Today’s Climate: March 12, 2009

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Salazar Seeks Fastest Route to Renewable Energy on Public Land (Reuters)

The U.S. Interior Department announced a new task force to speed the development of renewable energy projects on federal land by identifying areas for rapid creation of large-scale solar, wind, geothermal and biomass energy production.

Diplomats: London G20 Summit Will Address Climate Change (Reuters)

Next month’s G20 summit on the financial crisis will also tackle climate change, diplomats say. UN Chief Ban Ki-moon has shelved plans for a separate climate summit because President Obama could probably not attend.

Washington Infighting Slows Energy Plans (Washington Times)

A turf war between FERC and the Minerals Management Service is holding up plans to build wind turbines off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

Money Talks: Top Dem Strategist Jumps to Utility Industry (Huffington Post)

Brian Wolff, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has a new gig with the Edison Electric Institute. The goals of his new employer are directly at odds with the goals of his former employer.

Scientists Say Amazon Could Shrink by 85% Due to Climate Change (Guardian)

Much of the Amazon rainforest could be lost if greenhouse gas emissions are not brought under control, say scientists at the climate summit in Copenhagen. It won’t be obvious immediately, but even optimistic scenarios show irreversible damage.

AT&T to Put Largest Green Car Fleet on Road (Huffington Post)

AT&T says it will replace 15,000 vehicles, about 20% of its fleet, with new vehicles powered by alternative fuels. Unfortunately, writes Carl Pope, AT&T had to pare back an even larger commitment because U.S. automakers couldn’t meet the demand.

Boeing, Vestas Form Research Partnership (New York Times)

In an interesting sign of how industries may combine forces under a carbon-constrained economy, airplane maker Boeing and wind-turbine giant Vestas announced a research partnership.

‘Spin Battery’ Would Cut Energy Use (Science Daily)

A new type of battery that relies on tiny magnets to recharge could power computer hard drives much faster, less expensively and with less energy use, a study in the journal Nature reports.

US Reporting Rules for Chemical Releases Toughened (Washington Post)

Companies will have to provide more detailed disclosure of toxic chemicals they release into the U.S. environment under a little-noticed provision in the massive spending bill President Obama just signed.

Poll Shows Media Effect on Climate Understanding (Wonk Room)

Why is the media still giving space to global warming deniers? A new Gallup poll shows that while a majority of Americans understand that climate change is happening, an increased number – they’re all over age 30 – say it is “exaggerated.”

Entergy Forced to Retract Zero Emission Claims (Brattleboro Reformer)

Complaints led Vermont’s attorney general to investigate Entergy’s zero-emissions claims about a nuclear plant. Entergy has acknowledged its ads were inaccurate and pledges not to use them again.

Nuclear Waste Has No Place to Go (Chicago Tribune)

In a pool of water just a football field away from Lake Michigan, about 1,000 tons of radioactive fuel from a scuttled nuclear power plant is waiting for someplace else to spend a few thousand years. The wait just got longer, and that worries people who know the potential danger.

Witness a Journey to the Bottom of an Ice Sheet (New Scientist)

Researchers have brought back unprecedented video from deep inside Greenland’s ice sheet showing ice sheet-melting moulins in action.