Today’s Climate: January 16-17, 2010

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Lobbyist Clients Gave Heavily to Murkowski Campaigns (Politico)

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski has received more than $124,500 in donations from clients of an energy lobbyist involved with drafting an amendment that would bar the EPA from regulating CO2 as a pollutant.

Huge Ice Chunk Breaks Away From Antarctica (Sphere)

In less than a day, the Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf, which is bigger than the state of Rhode Island, broke away from Antarctica and shattered into many pieces last week.

Europe Searches for a Way to Lead Future Climate Talks (ClimateWire)

The EU is preparing to decide whether it will raise the ante by increasing its own emission cuts. It also hopes to rally other countries to adopt the Copenhagen Accord that emerged from the December conference.

Germany to Decide On Solar Subsidy Cut Next Week: Minister (Dow Jones)

The German government will decide next week on the size of its coming solar subsidy cut, while at the same time trying to convince its EU partners to adopt a higher target for CO2 curbs, German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said.

Fossil Fuel Use 2034? Not Much Different. (Green Inc.)

A quarter century from now fossil fuels will still supply 68 percent of America’s energy needs, compared to 76 percent today, according to a new projection from engineering and energy consulting firm Black & Veatch.

U.S. Government Says Loans for Nuclear Plants Complicated (Reuters)

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that the process for approving federal loan guarantees for new nuclear plants has become "complicated," but the department still expects to issue its first loan deals very soon.

Geothermal Drilling Safeguards Imposed (New York Times)

The U.S. Energy Department, concerned about earthquake risk, will impose new safeguards on geothermal energy projects that drill deep into the Earth’s crust.

‘No Basis’ for Excluding Climate Impacts From NEPA Reviews, CEQ Says (Greenwire)

The White House Council on Environmental Quality has found "no basis" for excluding greenhouse gas emissions from National Environmental Policy Act reviews.

Texas Wind Plans Advance Despite Pickens Retreat (Reuters)

A move by oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens to cut his order for wind turbines and to postpone construction of a huge wind farm in Texas isn’t a sign that the appetite for wind electricity in the state has diminished, the American Wind Energy Association said.

Canada Should Consider Slowing Oil Sands Boom: Official (AFP)

Canada should consider reining in development of its booming oil sands, the world’s second largest reserve behind Saudi Arabia, Alberta’s new energy minister said.

Antarctic Wind Farm Reduces Bases’ Reliance on Diesel (Reuters)

The world’s southernmost wind farm has been opened in Antarctica, the first in what could be a number of renewable energy projects aimed to lower the frozen continent’s reliance on diesel for power.

Greenpeace to Build $23 Million Flagship (Guardian)

German and Polish shipyards will shortly start work on Greenpeace’s $23 million flagship, a mega-yacht that will be one of the greenest ships afloat, with a satellite system that will allow campaigners to stream video from anywhere in the world.

Teams from 98 States to Attend World Future Energy Summit (Gulf Times)

More than 98 government delegations led by heads of state, royalty, prime ministers and 1,400 CEOs will explore the future of energy at the World Future Energy Summit 2010, which kicks off on Monday in Abu Dhabi.

EU’s Hedegaard Sees Action On CO2 from Cars, Trucks (Reuters)

The EU’s nominee for climate commissioner said she wanted to regulate carbon emissions from trucks and to review existing rules for cars.

Germany’s Endless Search for a Nuclear Waste Dump (Der Spiegel)

Germany has been looking for a permanent storage site for its nuclear waste for over 30 years. And if opponents to the plans have their way, the search might have to start again from scratch.

Yingli Gains Approval for State Key Laboratory of PV Technology (PV Tech)

Yingli Green Energy has received approval from the government of China to establish the first national-level key laboratory in the field of PV technology development.

Broadwind Sets Offering at $5.75 Per Share (AP)

Broadwind, which provides products and services to the U.S. wind industry, set the price for a public offering of its shares at $5.75 each and said it will sell 15 million shares.