Today’s Climate: January 8, 2009

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China Aims to Increase Coal Production 30% by 2015 (AFP)

China is aiming to step up its coal production by about 30% by 2015, increasing annual output to more than 3.3 billion tons from 2.54 billion tons in 2007, the government has announced.

Administration Won’t Finalize Fuel Economy Rules (AP)

The Bush administration has said that it won’t finish implementing new auto efficiency rules, leaving the issue to the incoming Obama administration. The auto industry criticized the decision, saying the delay would cost them money.

Tennessee: Groups Urge More Regulations on Coal Ash (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

Four environmental groups called Wednesday for new federal and state regulations on wet coal ash storage, saying the industry has run amok from a lack of government regulation.

FutureGen Coal Plant in Mattoon May Be Revived (Chicago Tribune)

Members of the Illinois Congressional delegation are pushing President-elect Obama to include the $1.87 billion FutureGen "clean coal" project in the economic stimulus bill that Obama hopes to sign shortly after Inauguration Day.

Markey to Lead Powerful Energy Subcommittee (Boston Globe)

Rep. Edward Markey today will be named chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. Markey already chairs the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

Wind Energy Continues to Expand in Iowa (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

In 2008, the state of Iowa — the nation’s no. 3 in wind generation — added about 1,000 megawatts of wind energy, or enough to power 300,000 homes. In 2009, another 700 megawatts are expected to go online.

Europe Looks to Alternative Sources for Energy (Wall Street Journal)

As Europe counts the cost of Russia’s latest gas shut-off, there are signs it will give a boost to liquefied natural gas, or LNG, which currently plays a minor role in the continent’s energy balance.

Venture Capitalist Says U.S. Losing Green Race (San Francisco Chronicle)

Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, delivered a stark warning to Congress on Wednesday that the US is on the verge of being left behind in the green tech revolution.

Japan to Monitor Greenhouse Gases from Space (Reuters)

Japan’s space agency has announced that it will launch its Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) on January 21, which will enable scientists to calculate the density of CO2 and methane from 56,000 locations on the Earth’s surface.