Today’s Climate: March 7-8, 2009

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Administration Plans New Regulations on Coal-Ash Ponds (New York Times)

The Obama administration will propose new regulations governing coal combustion waste by the end of the year, a senior EPA official has said.

Bay Area’s ‘Big Three’ Mayors Sign Climate Change Pact (Mercury News)

The mayors of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland have signed onto a regional agreement that outlines a series of goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They also called for other cities to join the effort.

Kansas Senate Passes Coal Plants Bill (AP)

The Kansas Senate has approved a bill for two new coal plants in western Kansas, which Governor Sebelieus has promised to veto. The governor vetoed three similar bills last year.

Utility Cancels $1.8 Billion Iowa Power Plant (AP)

Interstate Power and Light on Thursday canceled plans for a $1.8 billion coal plant in Marshalltown, Iowa, citing the economy and uncertainty over state regulations.

Wyoming Coal-to-Liquids Plant Gets Air Permit (AP)

The state Department of Environmental Quality has issued an air permit for a proposed $2 billion coal-to-liquids plant in southeast Wyoming.

Ecotality, Nissan to Hook Up Arizona Car Charging Network (Earth2Tech)

Ecotality, an Ariz.-based frim that makes fast electric vehicle chargers and energy storage, has lined up Nissan to set up an electric vehicle charging network in Arizona’s Pima County, a deal that would include the state’s second-largest city, Tuscon.

Scientists to Issue Stark Warning Over Dramatic New Sea Level Figures (Guardian)

Scientists will warn this week that rising sea levels from global warming pose a far greater danger to the planet’s coastal areas than previously estimated, during this week’s opening sessions of the Copenhagen climate conference.

House Bill for a Carbon Tax to Cut Emissions Faces a Steep Climb (New York Times)

Representative John B. Larson of Connecticut embarked again last week on his lonely quest to enact a federal tax on CO2 emissions.

Japan: Battery Deal Sought with EU (Japan Times)

Japan will seek an agreement with the EU to jointly develop solar cells and new ultralight batteries for electric cars that can deliver three times the power of current technology, Japanese officials have said.

Chinese Carbon Dioxide Emissions Eclipse Efficiency Gains (Science News)

The rapid growth of China’s export-driven economy earlier this decade fueled a dramatic increase in CO2 emissions that overwhelmed the country’s substantial improvement in energy efficiency, a new analysis reveals.

Obama Works on U.S. Fuel Rule (Detroit Free Press)

Even as his administration moves toward allowing California and other states to set limits on vehicle fuel economy, Pres. Obama has begun crafting a new national standard that will likely supplant the states’ efforts.

Utility AEP Plans Backyard Energy Storage (CNET News)

Utility AEP, which operates in Midwestern and Southern states, plans this year to place equipment in residential areas capable of storing a few hours of electricity, one of the first tests of distributed storage on the power grid.

100 Months to Act on Climate, Warns Charles (Guardian)

The Prince of Wales will issue a warning this week that the world has only "100 months to act" before the damage caused by global warming becomes irreversible, in a speech to business leaders in Rio de Janeiro.