Today’s Climate: February 11, 2009

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Salazar Puts Brakes on Offshore Drilling; Activists Want Ban (Associated Press)

A day after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar put the brakes on a last-minute Bush push for new offshore drilling and instead encouraged wind power, Congress is set to hear from activists and coastal communities that want drilling banned.

Delayed Clearances Cloud CDM Projects (Economic Times of India)

There is a logjam of projects waiting to be registered at the CDM executive board level, and as a result, companies are losing carbon credits and are also likely to put their projects on hold, an Indian economist says.

Greece Says Yes to Clean Energy, No to Coal and Nuclear (WWF)

Greece outlined an energy future of strong support for renewable energy, with its development minister ruling out investment in new coal-fired or nuclear power plants.

Britain’s National Grid to Pipe CO2 Under North Sea (Times Online)

Britain’s power grid operator plans to invest “several billion pounds” in a project that would pipe CO2 emissions from UK power stations into geological formations beneath the North Sea. It hopes to invent the system in the next three years.

Point-Counterpoint Climate Debate Could Undermine CO2 Efforts (Guardian)

Britain’s Met Office Hadley Centre takes the media to task, saying both "apocalyptic predictions" and absolute denials about Arctic ice melt and soaring temperatures could undermine efforts to tackle the very real problem of carbon emissions.

Tom Vilsack: Q&A With the New Face of US Ag Policy (Washington Post)

Sustainable-food and farming activists in Washington have long felt they were on the outside looking in. New U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says he wants to change that.

ETS Getting In the Way of EU’s CO2 Reduction (Spiegel)

Despite Europe’s boom in solar and wind energy, CO2 emissions haven’t been reduced, and the EU’s own climate change policies are to blame. As Germany puts up more wind turbines, Eastern Europe is allowed to build more polluting power plants.

Gas-Guzzlers Will Cost More to Park in Scotland (BBC)

Edinburgh’s city council approved new rules creating a sliding scale for residents’ permits based on their vehicle’s CO2 rating. Charges will almost double for the biggest polluters.

PSE&G Proposes $773 Million Solar Energy Program (SolarBuzz)

PSE&G asked New Jersey regulators to approve a $773-million solar energy proposal that would include the largest pole-attached solar installation in the country and would utilize brownfields and other underdeveloped properties.

Large Volume of Cellulosic Biofuel Possible by 2030 (Science Daily)

A Sandia National Labs study finds that plant waste and dedicated energy crops could sustainably replace nearly a third of gasoline use by 2030.

Stimulus Could Exclude Algae Research (Politico)

Energy lobbyists say little-known renewable technologies could be shut out of research funding in the stimulus package. Potentially stranded is a budding form of algae-based carbon capture that could cost significantly less than "clean coal" technology.

Kelp Genetics Study Reveals Climate Clues (Reuters)

Sea ice extended further north in the Southern Ocean during the last Ice Age than previously thought, a New Zealand research team has found in a study that could improve predictions of climate change.

Response to Calif. Drought is Dry Run for Cimate Change (Chronicle)

With California’s unfolding drought, farms have begun to fail, communities to crumble, food prices to rise and more people to go hungry. How we respond to the drought will offer a template of how to respond to climate change, writes former state agriculture secretary Richard Rominger.