Today’s Climate: March 5, 2009

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Automakers to Skip EPA Hearing on Tailpipe Emissions (Los Angeles Times)

The EPA will hold a hearing today at the behest of Pres. Obama on whether California and 13 other states should be allowed to regulate tailpipe emissions. No automakers will be testifying. Instead, two trade groups will represent the industry.

US Treasury Secretary Attacks Oil, Gas Tax Breaks (Reuters)

US oil and natural gas producing companies should not receive federal subsidies in the form of tax breaks because their businesses contribute to global warming, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has told Congress.

Car Firms Told to Halve Emissions (BBC News)

Four leading international agencies, including the IEA, are urging the motor industry to halve CO2 emissions from cars by 2050, in a new campaign called "50 x 50."

US Energy Dept to Fund $84 Million for Geothermal Energy (Reuters)

The US Energy Department has said it plans to provide up to $84 million in funding for geothermal energy projects, with $49 million of that for projects demonstrating enhanced geothermal systems.

Utah Lawmakers OK Renewable Energy Firm Incentives Bill (AP)

A state legislative committee has passed a bill to designate renewable energy zones across Utah and give tax credits to clean energy companies.

‘Green’ Energy Plant Proposed for Virginia (Washington Post)

Loudoun County, Virginia would be powered by electricity generated in its back yard under a proposal to build a $813 million hybrid facility using natural gas, steam and solar energy. It would be the lowest emitting plant in the state.

Cleantech Investing Slows, Foretelling a Future GHG Problem (ClimateWire)

Investments in new wind farms and other clean energy projects are slowing with the crumbling global economy, and that could make climate change’s bite harder in the decades ahead, financial analysts have warned.

Rich Nations Revise Up Greenhouse Gas Problem (Reuters)

Industrialized nations have added CO2 emissions equivalent to the annual totals of France or Australia since the 1990 base year. The biggest rises have been by the US and Russia.

Rudd Reaffirms Mid-2010 Timetable for Carbon Trading (The Australian)

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has again declared Australia will begin an emissions trading scheme in the middle of next year, after he previously signaled a six-month delay.

Emissions Exchange Trading Volumes Soar in 2009 (Reuters)

Exchange-traded volumes for EU emissions permits and Kyoto Protocol carbon offsets traded so far in 2009 are double last year’s average, data from the exchanges has shown.

Citizen Scientists Invited to Track Seasonal Signs of Climate Change (Environment News Service)

Volunteers are being recruited by a coalition of government, academic and citizen scientists, called the USA-National Phenology Network, to help scientists observe the effects of climate change on plant and animal species.

Dot Eco Partners with Gore to Secure the ".eco" Web Domain (Business Wire)

Dot Eco, the applicant for the ".eco" top-level domain, has announced a partnership with Al Gore and his Alliance for Climate Protection to promote and secure the new web domain as an equivalent of ".org" or ".com."