Today’s Climate: May 5, 2009

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Obama Enters House Climate Debate (New York Times)

President Obama puts his political chips on the line today when he meets with House Democrats wrestling with legislation to overhaul U.S. energy and climate policy.

UN Climate Chief: US Law May Not Be Needed for Global Deal (Reuters)

Yvo de Boer, the U.N. climate chief, say the change of attitude in Washington is a good start and the United States won’t necessarily need a fully enacted law to show its good intentions in Copenhagen.

Britain to Help China on Carbon Capture (Guardian)

Britain will share the benefits of its investment in carbon capture and storage technology with China and other developing countries, the UK energy secretary said today. The move may help Britain meet a Kyoto protocol promise.

Interior Mulls Bush’s Polar Bear Rule (New York Times)

The Interior Department has until Saturday to throw out a Bush administration special rule on polar bears that limits the use of the Endangered Species Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

States Rethink Weatherization Program (Stateline)

Inspired by $5 billion in stimulus money, some states are proposing radical new approaches to a decades-old home insulation program for low-income families. But critics are leery of changing a program that works.

Chamber of Commerce Under Fire on Climate (Politico)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is taking heat from Johnson & Johnson, Nike and other corporate members over its opposition to global warming legislation.

Smart Grid Debate: Licensed vs. Unlicensed Wireless (Earth2Tech

Increasingly, utilities and companies are deciding whether smart grid wireless networks need to run over licensed wireless spectrum or unlicensed, which can be used by anyone. The choice could determine which tech companies succeed.

KPMG: Wind Power Gains Most from Green Stimulus (Financial Times)

Oil and gas executives in a survey of alternative energy from KPMG say they believe wind will be the biggest winner from President Obama’s policies. The biggest losers? Forty-two percent of executives said coal, while 36 percent said oil.

W.Va. Issues First CCS Permit – a Tiny One (Coal Tattoo)

The spin from the governor’s office ignores the fact that carbon capture and storage technology isn’t really here today — a pilot, test project that is pretty darned small is.

Mafia Link to Sicily Wind Farms Probed (Financial Times)

Italian and EU subsidies for the building of wind farms and the world’s highest guaranteed rates, $240 per kwh, for the electricity they produce have turned southern Italy into a highly attractive market exploited by organized crime.

Miracle Biofuel Falls Short of Hype (Yale Environment 360)

The scrubby jatropha tree has been touted as a wonder biofuel, But questions are emerging as to whether widespread jatropha cultivation would simply displace food crops in the developing world.

Heritage Promotes ‘Completely Untrue’ Attack On Green Jobs (Wonk Room)

An official from the Navarre region that is powering Spain’s renewable industry says a study critical of green jobs in his country is "completely untrue." The study is being promoted by the Heritage Foundation and a few Republicans in Congress.

EU Buying Habits Are Latest Automotive Import (Los Angeles Times)

The economy and environment are causing U.S. car buyers to adopt a few European values: They will buy gas misers and they are keep them longer.