Today’s Climate: April 9, 2010

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Climate Talks Reopen in Bonn (Guardian)

Top of the agenda is how countries respond to the Copenhagen accord, the non-legally binding deal that was pushed through by a small group of countries in a bitter atmosphere in the last few hours of the UN conference.

Oil and Gas Leases On Hold In Montana, Dakotas (AP)

Federal land managers are suspending an April 13 sale of 91,000 acres of oil and gas leases in Montana and the Dakotas until they can study how oil field activities contribute to climate change.

Connecticut Mulls Rollback on Clean Energy (New York Times)

Connecticut could become the first state to roll back its renewable portfolio standard, which is the amount of electricity that, by state mandate, must come from renewable sources.

Rep. Markey Plans Bill Seeking Billions in Offshore Drilling Royalties (Boston Globe)

President Obama’s pledge last week to open huge areas for offshore drilling creates an opportunity to pressure oil companies to pay billions of dollars for past deep-water oil production if they want to drill in the new areas.

Carbon Capture Projects to Benefit From New UK Electric Tax (Bloomberg)

The UK government won Parliament’s approval for the authority to levy a tax on electricity suppliers to fund carbon capture and storage projects.

European Carbon Trading Survives Key Tests (Financial Times)

A funny thing has happened to Europe’s carbon dioxide prices in the past few days: They have failed to collapse.

Europe Successfully Launches Ice-Studying Satellite Cryosat-2 (BBC)

Cryosat’s data should help scientists understand better how melting polar ice could affect ocean circulation patterns, sea level and global climate. It is a copy of a spacecraft that was destroyed on launch in 2005.

Pickens’ Wind Turbines Coming to Minnesota (Star Tribune)

After shelving plans for a mega wind farm in the Texas Panhandle, Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens renegotiated his headline-making order of 667 wind turbines from General Electric Co., cutting it to about 334 machines with plans to stick them in Minnesota.

Solar Equipment Makers to Shine in Shakeout (Reuters)

Boosted by surging demand from China, European companies that supply machines to the solar sector will fare better than cell and wafer makers which are being forced to replace old equipment.

Automakers Move to Dismiss Calif. Preemption Lawsuit (Constitutional Accountability Center)

Automakers this week filed a motion to dismiss a long-running challenge to a set of California auto emission standards. They made a similar move in Rhode Island, but Vermont’s case is open, and auto dealers are upset in New Mexico.

Car Ownership Costs on the Rise: Boon for Mobility on Demand? (Earth2Tech)

AAA’s latest study on rising vehicle ownership costs reads like a case for would-be green car owners if not flat-out deserting the personal car, then carefully considering alternatives like car sharing networks that often cover fuel, maintenance and insurance costs.

Pronghorn Herd Faces Obstacles from 
Gas Boom (Yale Environment 360)

In recent years, intensive development — including a natural gas drilling boom in Wyoming and Colorado — has begun to eat away at the pronghorn’s territory. A video report.

Poll: 51% Say Lifestyle Changes Needed for Environment; 65% Say Won’t Happen (Green Car Congress)

Most Americans see a need for major lifestyle changes to help the environment, but even more don’t think that’s likely to happen, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports survey.