Today’s Climate: February 12, 2010

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Arizona Quits Western Cap-and-Trade Program (New York Times)

Citing financial worries, the State of Arizona has backed out of a broad regional effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions in the West through a cap-and-trade system.

Drive to Delay Calif. Climate Law May Be Stuck in Neutral (ClimateWire)

An election-year push to suspend California’s climate law appears to be struggling amid rumors that supporters are having trouble raising enough money to gather the signatures needed to place the issue on the November ballot.

U.S. Climate Skeptics Seize on Blizzard (AFP)

U.S. opponents of climate action are seizing on a record snowfall in Washington in hopes of killing legislation to curb carbon emissions, which already faced uncertain political prospects.

Cape Wind Would Reduce New England Electricity Rates $4.6B Over 25 Years (Environmental Leader)

Cape Wind released a study that finds its 468-MW offshore wind project in Nantucket Sound will reduce electric prices for the New England region by $4.6 billion over 25 years. This translates into an average savings of $185 million annually.

BrightSource Alters Solar Plant Plan to Address Concerns Over Desert Tortoise (Green Inc.)

BrightSource Energy plans to submit a new design to regulators that shrinks the size of its 4,000-acre Ivanpah solar station by 12%, reducing the number of desert tortoises that must be relocated and avoiding an area of rare plants.

Mountaintop Removal Bills Draw Hundreds of Supporters in Virginia, Kentucky (AP)

Opponents of mountaintop removal coal mining gathered in Virginia and Kentucky on Thursday in support of bills that would ban coal companies from dumping the rubble they blast off the tops of mountains into nearby streams.

‘Climategate’ Review Panelist Quits after His Impartiality Questioned (Guardian)

Nature editor Philip Campbell was forced out of an independent panel that was formed to investigate the hacked emails controversy at the University of East Anglia, after he said there was nothing to suggest a cover up.

India Skeptical of US Pledge to Combat Climate Change (Christian Science Monitor)

China and India have released more details about how they intend to combat global climate change. From the perspective of India’s environmentalists, the ball is now in the United States’ court.

China’s Fears of Rich Nation ‘Climate Conspiracy’ at Copenhagen Revealed (Guardian)

Rich nations furthered their "conspiracy to divide the developing world" at the Copenhagen summit, while Canada "connived" and the EU acted "to please the United States," according to an internal document from a Chinese government think tank.

Tokyo CO2 Credit Trading Plan May Become a Model (Reuters)

A plan to set emission limits for 1,400 large factories and offices in the heart of Tokyo may prompt political action on a stalled national effort.

GE Files New Suit Against Mitsubishi Over Wind Turbine Patents (Bloomberg)

General Electric, the biggest maker of wind turbines in the U.S., filed a new patent-infringement lawsuit against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and plans to appeal an earlier case it lost.

Nissan Electric Car Sign-Ups to Start in April (AP)

Nissan said that it will start signing up customers in April who want to buy its new Leaf all-electric car, with shipments starting by the end of the year.

Known Lithium Deposits Can Cover Electric Car Boom (Reuters)

Hopes of an electric car boom are spurring companies to seek new lithium sources, but new finds may be lower quality and costlier to develop than established deposits able to meet demand for years to come.

Japan Plans $1.1 Billion Nuclear, Electric-Car Loans (Bloomberg)

Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama’s cabinet endorsed planned legislation to offer $1.1 billion in low-interest loans to developers of electric cars and solar and nuclear power.