Today’s Climate: January 13, 2010

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Green Group Seeks Ethics Probe of Murkowski-Lobbyist Ties on EPA Amendment (The Hill)

Greenpeace has asked the Senate’s Select Committee on Ethics to probe the "depth of the relationship" between Sen. Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) staff and two industry lobbyists they consulted about a proposal to block the EPA from regulating CO2 emissions.

Gore Urges Senate to Defend EPA’s Power to Limit Greenhouse Gas (Bloomberg)

Former VP Al Gore has joined a dozen Senate Democrats in opposing the Republican effort to "strip" the EPA of its ability to regulate carbon pollution.

Chamber of Commerce Considering EPA Lawsuit (USA Today)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it is now considering a lawsuit against the EPA challenging the agency’s plans to control greenhouse gases.

Pickens Reduces Order for Wind Turbines, Puts Panhandle Wind Farm on Hold (Dallas Morning News)

Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens has cut his massive order for wind turbines from GE by more than half, and has said he will not build his mega wind farm in the Texas Panhandle until transmission is built.

Basic Countries to Meet Ahead of Crucial Copenhagen Accord Deadline (Guardian)

Ministers from Brazil, South Africa, India and China are to meet in New Delhi later this month to co-ordinate their position ahead of the January 31 deadline for countries supporting the Copenhagen Accord to submit formal emission targets.

NM Indian Tribe Hopes to Profit from Solar Energy (AP)

The 3,000 members of the Jemez Pueblo Indian Tribe in New Mexico are on the verge of building the nation’s first utility-scale solar plant on tribal land.

Ritter Wants to See Renewable Energy Standard Upped to 30% by 2020 (Colorado Independent)

Gov. Bill Ritter has revealed a plan to increase Colorado’s renewable energy standard by another 10% by 2020, up from the current 20 percent.

Dem Candidate Promotes Energy in Bid for Utah Gov (AP)

Democrat Peter Corroon launched his gubernatorial bid Tuesday by saying Utah should become energy independent within 10 years by investing in renewable energy.

US Carbon Emissions to Rise Next 2 Years: EIA (Reuters)

U.S. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels should rise this year and next as the economy recovers, making the Obama administration’s goal to cut emissions by 2020 a tougher task, the government’s top energy forecaster said.

Indonesia Forest Plan at Odds with Carbon Target (Carbon Positive)

The Indonesian government’s pledge to cut CO2 emissions through slowing deforestation can’t be achieved under its own forest policies — which allow for 3.4 million hectares of forests to be razed for mining and other development — according to a local group.

Suntech Solar Panels Sold Out Through Early 2010 (Reuters)

China-based Suntech Power said its solar panel is sold out through at least the second quarter of 2010, as installers have been buying ahead of expected cuts in solar aid in Germany.

Canada: Don’t Single Out Oilsands on Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Canadian Press)

Alberta’s oilsands shouldn’t be singled out as the reason for the country’s poor record on greenhouse gas emissions, the Conference Board of Canada said in a report calling for a balanced approach to environmental policymaking.

James Hansen Rails Against Cap-and-Trade Plan in Open Letter (Guardian)

Hansen’s letter advocates using the fee-and-dividend approach to reducing carbon emissions, rather than cap-and-trade, claiming it is a "transparent, honest approach that benefits the public."

Tucker Carlson’s ‘Daily Caller’ Website Bankrolled by Climate Change Denier (DeSmog Blog)

The primary funder of Tucker Carlson’s new website, ‘The Daily Caller,’ is climate skeptic Foster Friess. Carlson has also reportedly lined up sponsorship from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Mining Association and Southern Company, all opponents of climate action.

South Korea Targets $400 Billion Nuclear Plant Orders (Bloomberg)

South Korea, which won its first overseas order to build a nuclear power plant in December, aims to secure $400 billion of contracts by 2030 as demand for nuclear energy increases.

Climate Scientists Convene Global Geo-Engineering Summit (Guardian)

Scientists are to hold a high-level summit in March to discuss possible field trials of schemes that would tackle climate change by reflecting sunlight or fertilizing the ocean with iron.