Today’s Climate: June 5, 2009

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In Congress, a High-Stakes Quest for Permission to Pollute (Washington Post)

During the final days of the drafting of a 946-page climate bill, Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) won support for an amendment that deleted a single word and inserted two others. The words could be worth millions of dollars to U.S. oil refiners.

Todd Stern: ‘We Can’t Rewrite the Last 8 Years’ (Wonk Room)

Todd Stern, the U.S. special envoy for climate change, explains in an interview that he believes the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act is both necessary and sufficient to achieving an international climate deal.

Clean Energy Depends on Wider Economy Growth (Reuters)

Clean energy has strong guaranteed government backing in long-term subsidies but its future growth hinges on wider economic recovery and European targets are in doubt, senior energy executives tell Reuters Energy Summit.

China Chides Rich Nations on Climate Change (Reuters)

A new editorial from China’s official news agency accusing rich nations of shirking their duties on climate change, plus earlier remarks by a Chinese negotiator, showed much divides Beijing an Washington over how to contain greenhouse gas emissions.

Never Again? Judge Blocks Further Mine Protests (Coal Tattoo)

A judge in Raleigh County, W.Va., has ordered a halt to further protests against several Massey Energy mountaintop removal operations. Activists said today their fight — and their peaceful civil disobedience actions — will continue.

California Port Plugs In to Cut Pollution (Los Angeles Times)

Port officials unveil what is billed as the world’s first electrical shore-side power system for tankers, which are notorious fuel guzzlers and air polluters.

EU Eyes Airlines, Shipping for Climate Funding (Reuters)

Shipping and airlines could be tapped for money to help poor nations tackle and adapt to climate change, according to draft proposals to be presented to European finance ministers next week.

Obama Weighing Role in Copenhagen Climate Talks (New York Times)

President Obama may attend world climate talks in Copenhagen this December, marking the first visit to the annual U.N. conference by a sitting U.S. president since George H.W. Bush’s 1992 trip to Rio.

Canada Enviro Minister: CCS No ‘Silver Bullet’ for Tar Sands (Globe & Mail)

While Ottawa and Alberta are spending billions on CCS demonstration projects, the minister acknowledges what critics have said all along: The technology has limited use for the energy-intensive tar sands.

Wind Market Forecast: Sunny With a Chance of Disappointment (Earth2Tech)

The firm Emerging Energy Research said this week that it expects the national wind market to bounce back with a vengeance as soon as 2010.

Bioenergy Makes Heavy Demands On Water Supplies (Science Daily)

The ‘water footprint’ of bioenergy, i.e. the amount of water required to cultivate crops for biomass, is much greater than for other forms of energy, a new study shows.

UK Will Double Kyoto Cuts by 2010 (Business Green)

The UK marks World Environment Day today with the release of new data showing the country is on track to deliver emission 2010 cuts that are almost double its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.

UNEP: Nurturing Forests, Peatlands Will Attack Global Warming (Dow Jones)

Stopping deforestation, preserving peatlands and ending reckless agricultural methods around the globe could be a major weapon in tackling climate change, the U.N. Environment Programme said today.

Pacific Islands Seek Low-Cost Storm Protection (Reuters)

Pacific islands are trying low-cost ways to protect crops and coasts from cyclones that are a bigger threat – for now – than rising sea levels that could wipe low-lying island nations off the map.

Tracking How Humans Disrupt The Nitrogen Cycle (Science Daily)

Scientists have found a new way to measure the human impact on the nitrogen cycle by using isotopes in their deposited form – nitrates. The greatest change occurred between 1950 and 1980, following a rapid increase in fossil fuel emissions.

Mexican Billionaire Invests in Green (AFP)

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, one of the world’s richest men, launched a $100 million project that includes the largest private investment in Mexico’s environment.

Greening the Herds: A New Diet to Cap Gas (New York Times)

Cows at 15 farms across Vermont have new grain feed that includes more plants like alfalfa and flaxseed — substances that, unlike corn or soy, mimic the spring grasses that the animals evolved long ago to eat. Their methane is down 18%.