Today’s Climate: April 8, 2009

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UN Climate Talks Threaten Our Survival: Saudi Arabia (Reuters)

UN climate talks threaten Saudi Arabia’s economic survival and the kingdom wants support for any shift from fossil fuels to other energy sources such as solar power, its lead climate negotiator said.

Regional US Carbon Markets May Merge (Reuters)

The Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) could link over time with cap-and-trade markets developing in the West and Midwest, ahead of the launch of a federal climate scheme, a New York State official has said.

Santa Barbara County Reverses Oil Drilling Stand (AP)

Months after making national headlines for supporting offshore oil exploration and extraction, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors reversed course Tuesday and voted to oppose the drilling.

New Kansas Law Aims to Attract Green Energy Firms (AP)

A new Kansas law, taking effect on April 16, is designed to attract firms manufacturing equipment for solar and wind energy production.

Northeast Utilities Plans Charging Stations (Boston Globe)

One of New England’s largest utility systems has applied for a federal grant of around $700,000 to help build 575 stations to charge electric vehicles in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Exelon Cuts Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 35% (AP)

Power generator Exelon said Tuesday it has cut its GHG emissions by 35% from 2001 levels by closing old, inefficient power plants and increasing efficiency in transmission and distribution systems and its buildings.

Green Groups to Contest Shell’s Oil Sands Projects (Wall Street Journal)

Two green groups say they will ask the Canadian government to halt Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s planned expansion of production in the oil sands, after the energy giant reneged on environmental promises.

SunPower, Xcel to Build Solar Plant in Colorado (Reuters)

SunPower announced plans to build a photovoltaic solar power plant in Colorado for utility Xcel Energy. The 17-MW plant will be the second-biggest PV plant in North America when it is completed at the end of 2010.

Japan to Back Incentives for Green Appliance Buys (Reuters)

Japan’s government has decided to fund an incentive program aimed at encouraging consumers to buy energy-efficient electronics, as part of the nation’s economic stimulus.

Does the Pentagon’s New Budget Doom the Green Push? (WSJ Environmental Capital)

Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ radical revision this week of the Pentagon budget aims at making the US military better-equipped to fight irregular wars. It also may have scuppered the Pentagon’s recent green push.

Murray River Flows Lowest in a Century (Sydney Morning Herald)

The amount of water flowing into Australia’s stricken Murray River between January and March was the lowest in the 117 years that records have been kept due to record drought.

Trina CEO Expects 10x Growth in China Solar Market (Cleantech Group)

China-based Trina Solar is forecasting rapid growth of the solar sector and its own sales in China, thanks to a new government subsidy of nearly $3-per-watt for installed solar.

GM and Segway Wheel Out Puma to Change the Way City-Dwellers Move (Financial Times)

GM and Segway have unveiled the new Puma, a tiny two-wheeled, two-seat electric car that runs on a lithium-ion battery and has a driving range of 35 miles on one charge.

Maldives Plans to Halt Greenhouse-Gas Emissions, President Says (Bloomberg)

The Maldives, one of the nations most threatened by global warming, plans to cut its GHG emissions to zero to set an example in tackling climate change, the country’s president said.

WaPo Reporters Contradict Columnist George Will (Climate Progress)

In an unprecedented step, a Washington Post news article published yesterday on the rapid ice decline in the Arctic overtly contradicted the recent global warming distortions by George Will, one of the paper’s own columnists.