Today’s Climate: January 15, 2009

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Bill to Regulate Coal Ash Ponds Introduced (AP)

West Virginia Democrat Rep. Nick Rahall is introducing legislation that would set the first federal standards for coal ash ponds at power plants.

E.P.A. Pick Vows to Put Science First (New York Times)

Lisa P. Jackson, Obama’s choice to head the EPA, said at her confirmation hearing yesterday that her first task would be to restore scientific and legal integrity to an agency battered by charges of political interference.

Senate Panel Considers Obama Pick to Run Interior (AP)

Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar, Obama’s choice to head up the agency that oversees parks, endangered species and drilling on federal lands, will today go before the Senate energy panel that is considering his nomination.

American Meteorological Society Gives James Hansen its Top Honor (Climate Progress)

The American Meteorological Society has awarded top climate scientist James Hansen its highest medal for his "outstanding contributions to climate modeling, understanding climate change forcings and sensitivity, and for clear communication of climate science in the public arena."

U.S. Climate Action Partnership Agrees on Emissions Cuts (Washington Post)

The corporations and green groups that make up the US Climate Action Partnership have released a new cap-and-trade plan that calls for a 42% cut in emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels and big incentives for coal plants that capture and store CO2.

Study: Electricity Savings are Possible (AP)

Improvements in energy efficiency can be achieved to slow the growth of electricity demand over the next two decades by at least 22%, according to a report released by the utility-supported Electric Power Research Institute.

Supporters of L.A. Solar Energy Ballot Measure Raise $267,000 (Los Angeles Times)

The campaign for a new solar energy ballot measure in LA has raised more than $267,000, nearly two-thirds of it from groups affiliated with the union that represents Department of Water and Power employees, according to a new report.