Today’s Climate: May 12, 2009

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Waxman Meeting Dems, Preparing for Climate Bill Markup (New York Times)

Rep. Henry Waxman is expected to outline details of a major global warming and energy bill today during a closed-door meeting with fellow Democrats on his House Energy and Commerce Committee.

EPA Takes on Oversight of TVA Coal Ash Spill (Tennessean)

The EPA says it is taking over oversight of the cleanup because it has more experience than TVA. In December, 5 million cubic yards of potentially toxic coal ash spilled from an enclosure at the Kingston, Tenn., plant and into yards and streams.

Energy Companies Want Opt-Outs of UK’s 2025 CCS Deadline (Guardian)

Power companies plan to ask the British government not to force coal-fired plants to close in 2025 if carbon capture technology is not ready.

Australian Budget Puts $15 Billion into Green (Sydney Morning Herald)

With its emissions trading delayed, Australia’s government is beefing up its green initiatives, including plans for four massive solar plants, to the tune of $15 billion.

Think Gets EU-wide Approval for Electric Vehicle Sales (CleanTech)

Norway’s Think Global today secured approval to sell its electric vehicle, the Th!nk City, in all European countries. It is the first certification for an EV’s highway readiness, and it is expected to speed Think’s time to market across Europe.

Stephen Harper’s War on Climate Science (DeSmogBlog)

The government of Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper just appointed two "climate skeptics" with connections to the oil industry to important federal scientific bodies. The scientific community is appalled.

Canadian Province Weakens Emissions Goal to Help Utility (Globe and Mail)

The Saskatchewan government abandoned its promised greenhouse gas reduction target of 32 percent by 2020 in favor of the national government’s weaker 20 percent target so it could help an emissions-belching power company save money.

China Needs $190 Billion in Renewable-Energy Spending (Bloomberg)

By 2010, China expects low-polluting power sources to account for 10 percent of use, a top energy official said today. To get to its 2020 renewable energy target of 15 percent, it will need to invest $190 billion.

ECX Expects to Double CO2 Trading Volume in 2009 (Reuters)

The world’s largest exchange for trading carbon emission credits expects to more than double its trading volume this year as more companies come to the European Climate Exchange to manage their environmental costs.

Cloudy Forecast for Solar’s Q-Cells and Solon (Reuters)

A lack of project funding threatens to undermine the solar industry’s already fragile growth prospects, two of the sector’s biggest players said today, reporting profits that missed market forecasts.

SAP Buys Into Carbon Management (CNet)

SAP, Europe’s largest software company, is acquiring expertise in managing carbon emissions with the purchase of 2-year-old Clear Standards, a Virginia-based company with tools for tracking and reporting a corporation’s environmental impact.

Green Investment Funds Look to Asia (New York Times)

The fact that the Chinese government is supporting the growth of its green economy, unlike Western countries, appears to be boosting the confidence of foreign investors.

Duke Energy Quits Manufacturers Group Over Climate Bill (Business Journal)

Duke Energy parted ways with the National Association of Manufacturers, in part over the organization’s opposition to a cap-and-trade approach to climate legislation.

In German Suburb, Life Goes On Without Cars (New York Times)

Residents of the upscale community of Vauban are suburban pioneers, going where few soccer moms or commuting executives have ever gone before: They have given up their cars.