Today’s Climate: August 12, 2010

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Illinois Town Backs Out of ‘Clean Coal’ Project (Wall Street Journal)

An Illinois town on Wednesday refused to provide land to store CO2, dealing a blow to the Obama administration’s plan to fund a carbon-storage facility in the town as a substitute for providing $1 billion to construct a "clean coal" power plant.

Gulf Leaders Wary Over Wavering on Final Plug (AP)

With the oil well plugged from the top and BP and federal officials pondering whether the final plug, or "bottom kill," is needed, local officials fear national disengagement from what remains a crisis of unknown proportions.

Green Groups Ready Battle Against BP Revenue Plan (The Hill)

Environmentalists are attacking potential White House plans to use money from BP’s future Gulf of Mexico production as collateral for the $20 billion oil spill claims fund, fearing it would make the government a cheerleader for wider drilling.

Texas Sues Feds Over Offshore Drilling Ban (AP)

The Texas attorney general has sued the Obama administration, claiming the current offshore drilling moratorium is "unjustified" and officials did not contact state officials before issuing the ban.

Gulf of Mexico ‘Dead Zone’ Grows as Spill Impact Is Studied (Bloomberg)

The Gulf of Mexico faces a renewed and enlarged threat to marine life: a low-oxygen "dead zone" about the size of Massachusetts, caused by chemical runoff into the Mississippi River that flows into the sea.

In La., Signs of Regrowth Seen in Oiled Marshes (AP)

Shoots of marsh grass and bushes of mangrove trees already are starting to grow back in the bay where just months ago photographers shot startling images of dying pelicans coated in oil from the Gulf spill.

Deutsche Unit Spurns U.S. for Climate Investment (Reuters)

Alternative energy investment prospects have shriveled in the U.S. after the Senate was unable to break a deadlock over tackling global warming, a Deutsche Bank official said.

BrightSource, NextEra Set to Win California Solar Contract Approvals Today (Bloomberg)

California regulators are set to approve today renewable power contracts totaling more than 400 MW for utilities PG&E Corp. and Edison International in order to meet state energy goals.

Spanish Solar Firm to Put U.S. Base in Arizona (AP)

A Spanish manufacturer of glass for commercial solar plants announced Wednesday that it will build a $50 million U.S. headquarters in the Phoenix suburb of Surprise.

Climate Change Fight Shifting To Western U.S. Coal Mines (Dow Jones)

Western U.S. coal producers are increasingly coming under fire by environmental groups that see a chance to fight climate change by curbing output from the Powder River coal basin, one of the country’s largest sources of fossil fuel emissions.

Report Highlights Split Among Utilities on EPA’s ‘Transport’ Rule for Air Pollution (Greenwire)

EPA’s plan to limit interstate air pollution from power plants would not hurt the reliability of the electric grid despite complaints from coal states, according to a new utility-funded report that highlights the battle lines that have formed within the industry.

Lords Distance Themselves from Climate Skeptic Christopher Monckton (Guardian)

The House of Lords has stepped up its efforts to make Christopher Monckton – climate skeptic and deputy leader of the UK Independence party – desist in his repeated claims that he is a member of the upper house.

Russia’s Peatland Fires Seen Burning for Months (Reuters)

Some of Russia’s smog-causing peatland fires are likely to burn for months, part of a global problem of drained marshes that emit climate-warming greenhouse gases, experts said on Wednesday.

New NASA Images Reveal Devastating Impact of Russian Fires (Mongabay)

A new series of images released by NASA show the extent of smoke hovering over Moscow and Central European Russia, while another image measures the amount of carbon monoxide in the area, a gas which can produce a number of health problems.

Yale Receives $1.5M U.S. Carbon Capture Project (AP)

The DOE says it has picked Yale University for a $1.5 million project to develop technologies to store carbon dioxide. The project is among 15 at a cost of $21.3 million over three years nationally to help develop "clean coal" solutions.

Bay Area to Install Over 5,000 EV Charging Stations (CNET News)

The San Francisco Bay Area is set to receive $5 million to install charging stations for electric vehicles throughout the area, the DOE announced Wednesday.

LED Bulb Edges Below $20 (Green)

This week, Home Depot fired a new marketing salvo in what is expected to be a broader national effort to get home customers to adopt LED lighting: an LED bulb that costs just under $20 online and will last around 30 years.

Analysis: Rare Earth Monopoly a Boon to Chinese Clean Tech Firms (Reuters)

In the race to build hybrid cars and wind turbines to feed growing demand for green technology, China has one clear advantage, it holds the world’s largest reserves of rare earth metals and dominates global production.

PetroAlgae Chances Weak Green I.P.O. Market (New York Times)

PetroAlgae, a company claiming that it has found a cheap way to convert algae into fuel, just filed for a $200 million IPO despite a weak public market for green companies. Early signs suggest that this move could do more damage to the burgeoning algae industry than good.