Today’s Climate: June 6-7, 2009

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Obama ‘Optimistic’ U.S. Can Lead on Climate Change (AFP)

Pres. Obama said he was increasingly hopeful that the U.S. can lead the way on climate change, six months before crunch global talks in Copenhagen.

China Rejects $21.5 Billion of Polluting Projects (Bloomberg)

China has rejected $21.5 billion worth of steel, petrochemicals and power projects in the past seven months out of concern they will worsen pollution.

EU: Poor Nations Need $142 Billion a Year in Climate Fight (Reuters)

The EU has laid out plans to deliver $142 billion a year by 2020 to developing nations to help them cut global warming emissions.

Developing Countries Could be Paid to Go Nuclear (New Scientist)

Draft text currently under negotiation at the Bonn climate talks includes an option to make nuclear facilities eligible for funding under two schemes meant to help poorer countries develop low-carbon technologies.

Mexico Promises CO2 Cuts, Activists Urge Consistency (AFP)

Pres. Felipe Calderon has promised to reduce Mexico’s CO2 emissions by 50 million tons a year starting now as Greenpeace slammed the government for inconsistent energy policies.

Floating Wind Turbine Launched (BBC)

The world’s first floating wind turbine, a 2.3-MW structure built by Siemens, is to be installed off Norway’s coast this weekend. The technology could help move offshore wind farms out of sight.

Millions of Tons of TVA Coal Ash Coming to Ala. (AP)

Utility TVA plans to dispose of millions of tons of coal ash from a massive spill in Tennessee into a giant landfill in one of Alabama’s poorest counties.

US Urged to Abandon Ageing Flood Defenses (Guardian)

The U.S. is being urged to abandon the outmoded "patch and pray" system of levees – whose failure magnified the devastation of Hurricane Katrina – and borrow from the Dutch model of dykes and water management.

PG&E Harnesses 230 MW Solar Project from NextLight (

PG&E has signed a contract with NextLight Renewable Power for 230 MWs of solar photovoltaic power, marking another addition to the California utility’s string of solar deals.

Consumers Power Insists it Needs New Coal Plant (Detroit Free Press)

Consumers Energy said it "needs" to build a new 930-MW coal-fired power plant in Michigan even though alternative sources and efficiency can provide most of the new electricity it will need to produce in coming years.

Oil Sands Expected to Grow, but at Slower Pace than Previous Forecasts (The Canadian Press)

Canada’s biggest energy group predicted that oil sands production will grow from last year’s 1.2 million barrels per day to 2.9 million barrels in 2020, assuming the investment climate improves. That’s a slower pace than previously forecast.

T. Boone Pickens Highlights U.S. Oil Dependence for Sixth Consecutive Month (Press Release)

Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens said that based on figures from the EIA, the U.S. imported 65% of its oil, or 366 million barrels, in May 2009, sending approximately $21.6 billion, or $484,087 per minute, to foreign governments.

Green Building Materials Market to Jump to $571B by 2013 (Earth2Tech)

The global green building materials market will grow about 5% per year to reach $571 billion by 2013, up from about $455 billion last year, according to a new report.

EPA Sued over Claims of Air Pollution in West (AP)

The EPA was sued Friday by an environmental group that claims the agency has failed to safeguard public health in the West by not limiting the transmission of air pollution across state lines. 

Mitsubishi Motors to Preempt Rivals’ Electric Cars (Bloomberg)

Mitsubishi, the maker of the i MiEV electric car, will begin selling the $47,500 model to corporate and government customers in Japan next month before Toyota and Nissan introduce rival versions.