Today’s Climate: April 5, 2010

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Drilling Plan May Buoy Efforts on Energy Policy (New York Times)

As Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) prods his party to respond to younger voters’ environmental concerns, there is a chance of offsetting Democratic defections on the climate bill. “There’s a path to five or six Republicans,” Carol Browner says.

Chinese Wind Power Heads Offshore (MIT Technology Review)

China’s first offshore wind farm, a 102-megawatt array that’s set to come to full power this month in the Yangtze River delta near Shanghai, looks to be the start of something big.

BP Fights to Limit Controls on Shale Gas Drilling (Guardian)

BP is lobbying on Capitol Hill against a federal US environmental agency being given jurisdiction over the use of a controversial method of extracting gas from shale deposits, ahead of an important EPA meeting this week.

Japan Considering Aid to Bolivia in Return for Lithium (Green Car Congress)

The Nikkei reports that the Japanese government is planning to offer comprehensive economic aid to countries that produce rare-earth metals or lithium in exchange for supplies of the resources to be used in hybrid and electric vehicles.

Climate Change Cooperation on Agenda for India-China Meetings (Reuters)

India’s foreign minister travels to China this week to consolidate ties, recently improved by a trade boom and cooperation over climate change that shifted the focus away from a border dispute.

Rate Dispute Might Doom Wisconsin Wind Power Project (State Journal)

A local company’s plan to build a small wind farm just outside Madison and create more than 100 jobs is hanging by a thread amid a standoff with Madison Gas and Electric Co. over the price of electricity to be generated at the site.

PG&E’s Proposed Rates Could Hurt California’s Solar Market (Mercury News)

The utility, which now charges big users higher rates to reward conservation, is considering increasing the electric bills of most PG&E customers but dramatically reducing bills for energy hogs. That would remove one strong incentive to install solar panels.

Solyndra Auditors Cast Doubt Over Solar Startup (CNet)

Solar company Solyndra’s current finances raise "substantial doubt" over the startup’s ability to operate as a going concern, according to the company’s auditor. The company has been planning an IPO.

Connecticut Power & Light Proposes 10:1 Ratio for Peak Power (Greentech)

Connecticut Power & Light is proposing changing its rates structure from a flat rate to a 10-to-1 ratio in off-peak to critical peak pricing. The utility is looking to offset smart meter deployment costs with high prices for critical peak use.

Virginia: NASA, Navy Will Have Say on Drilling (Air Force Times)

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s push to drill for gas and oil off Virginia’s coast faces two formidable obstacles: the Navy and NASA. The question is: Can busy skies and seas coexist with offshore oil and gas drilling?

UN’s Ban Urges Central Asia Talks on Shrinking Aral Sea (Reuters)

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Central Asian states to work together to tackle the disastrous effects of the shrinking Aral Sea Sunday after local people urged the United Nations to resolve a regional dispute.

NASA Slated to Receive Billions to Study Earth (NPR)

The Obama administration budget includes billions of dollars for satellites and other tools to help scientists investigate Earth-bound problems, especially climate change.

Sold Up But Not Sold Out: Ben and Jerry (Guardian)

Ben and Jerry talk greenwashing, Wal-Mart and their relationship with Unilever, which one describes as a "forced marriage".