Today’s Climate: March 6, 2009

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Carbon Plan Unlikely to Include Total Permit Auction (Reuters)

A key Democratic lawmaker say any climate bill that passes the Senate is unlikely to adhere to an Obama administration plan that the government auction all of the permits to emit greenhouse gases because it would be too harsh on big industry.

Reid: Energy Bills Will Be Combined (New York Times)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid now says he will package energy and global warming is one large bill for consideration later this year. Republican swing vote Sen. Olympia Snowe warned: "You give people plenty of reasons to vote against this."

Ethanol Producers Want Higher Threshold (Washington Post)

The nation’s ethanol producers are urging the Obama administration to raise the 10 percent limit on ethanol in motor fuel to 15 percent or more. Their talking points hit on job creation and reducing oil imports.

Amazon Drought Created Huge CO2 Emissions (Reuters)

A 2005 drought in the Amazon rainforest killed trees and released more greenhouse gas than the annual emissions of Europe and Japan, an international study shows.

UK Outlines Plans for Low-Carbon economy (Guardian)

The UK’s climate secretary is announcing the key elements of his low-carbon economy plan today, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to call for a ”global green new deal.” The plan is expected to create 400,000 jobs but keeps coal in the mix.

NY Governor: An About-Face on Climate Change? (New York Times)

At the urging of the energy industry, Gov. David Paterson has agreed to reconsider a key rule on carbon emissions allowances that New York adopted as part of RGGI.

GM’s Opel ‘Should Consider Insolvency,’ German Minister Says (Financial Times)

Opel, GM’s troubled European unit, should consider insolvency rather than seeking a government bailout, a German minister said today. It was a shift from Germany’s past preference for credit guarantees.

IEA to US: Raise Gas Tax (Reuters)

An International Energy Agency economist urged Congress to consider new gas taxes and expand off-shore production to increase the nation’s energy security.

FutureGen Gets a New Lease on Life (Washington Post)

With Illinois lawmakers holding key posts in the White House and Congress, FutureGen is on the verge of resurrection. Energy Secretary Steven Chu also said he would support the plant with "some modifications."

World Bank OKs $1.3B for Brazil Climate Work (Reuters)

The loan "will support Brazil’s ongoing efforts to improve its environmental management system and integrate sustainability concerns in the development agenda of key sectors such as forest management, water and renewable energy."

China Pledges $2B for Tibet Environment (Reuters)

China will spend $2.19 billion over two decades to protect the environment in Tibet, which is at serious risk from global warming, the official new agency reports.

In Costa Rica, a Fight Over Geothermal Drilling in National Parks (IPS)

The government of Costa Rica hopes to increase its power generation by tapping into volcanic hot spots, and to that end it has introduced a controversial bill in Congress that would allow drilling into volcanoes in national parks.

UK Science Minister in a Spin Over Deniers (Reuters)

As a top-flight racing driver, Britain’s Science Minister Paul Drayson may seem an unlikely critic of the auto industry, but he’s the one gunning for auto industry executives who deny the scientific evidence of climate change.