Today’s Climate: January 9-10, 2010

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Venezuela Faces Risk of Devastating Power Collapse (AP)

Venezuela is at risk of a devastating power collapse as drought pushes water levels precariously low in the country’s biggest hydroelectric dam.

Rep. Peterson Now Says He’ll Vote No on Climate Bill (Star-Tribune)

Blue Dog Democrat Collin Peterson, who played a major role securing rural lawmakers’ support for cap-and-trade climate legislation this summer, now says he would vote "no" if a similar bill returned to the House for final passage.

White House, EPA in Dispute Over Coal Ash (Wall Street Journal)

The Obama administration is engaged in an unusual internal spat as the White House and Environmental Protection Agency tussle over how to handle millions of tons of waste from coal-fired power plants.

eSolar Lands 2,000 MW Deal in China (Los Angeles Times)

The U.S.-based solar company will provide technology and assistance in setting up a series of solar farms for China, in the country’s first big venture into solar thermal power production.

Carbon Tariffs Resurface in Copenhagen Aftermath (EurActiv)

The idea of a carbon tax at the EU’s borders is gaining momentum after the Copenhagen climate talks, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy leading calls for a tariff on imports from China and other nations with less stringent environmental protection rules.

Obama Pivots to Jobs as Key Theme (Politico)

President Barack Obama made his promised hard pivot to jobs, following up the morning’s news about a 10 percent unemployment rate by announcing $2.3 billion in tax credits for clean-energy jobs.

Obama Still Wants ‘Comprehensive’ Climate and Energy Bill (The Hill)

A senior administration official reiterated that the White House wants Congress to approve combined climate change and energy legislation.

Unintended Ripples from the Biomass Subsidy Program (Washington Post)

In a matter of months, the Biomass Crop Assistance Program — a small provision tucked into the 2008 farm bill — has mushroomed into a half-a-billion dollar subsidy that is funneling taxpayer dollars to sawmills and lumber.

New Mexico Begins Big Solar Ramp Up (Greentech Media)

Recent announcements of large-scale PV projects from PNM and Xcel are early indicators of the New Mexico’s rapid demand growth.

Warmer Climate Could Stifle Carbon Uptake by Trees (Science Daily)

Contrary to conventional belief, as the climate warms and growing seasons lengthen subalpine forests are likely to soak up less carbon dioxide, according to a University of Colorado study.

North Dakota Rep. Wants to Block EPA Endangerment Finding (AP)

U.S. Rep. Earl Pomeroy believes lawmakers suffering "buyer’s remorse" over the House’s approval of CO2 limits will support his legislation to block the Environmental Protection Agency from writing greenhouse gas restrictions.

Army Hopes Trash-To-Diesel Project Can Lower War-Zone Risks (Greenwire)

In a bid to reduce the number of dangerous and expensive convoys trekking to remote base camps in Iraq and Afghanistan and to dispose of trash, the Army is backing an industry project aimed at turning solid waste into diesel.

McDonald’s Seeks to Cut Cows’ Methane Emissions (Guardian)

The fast food chain, which uses beef from 350,000 cattle a year for burgers, is to conduct a three-year study into methane emissions from cattle on 350 farms across Britain.

Who’s Sleeping Now? (New York Times)

The U.S. is either going to put in place a price on carbon and the right regulatory incentives to ensure America is China’s main competitor/partner in the energy technology revolution, or we are going to gradually cede this industry to Beijing and the good jobs and energy security that would go with it, writes Thomas Friedman.