Today’s Climate: May 16-17, 2009

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GOP Plans 450 Climate Bill Changes (Politico)

House Republicans are considering introducing 450 amendments during the mark-up of the ACES climate bill next week, including lowering emissions targets and making Yucca Mountain a storage facility for carbon waste.

Obama Praises Progress on Climate Legislation in Weekly Address (Grist)

In his weekly address on Saturday, Pres. Obama praised Democratic Congressional leaders for their "historic agreement" on climate and energy legislation. He called it a "promising sign of progress" on a top issue for his administration.

Most Voters Support the Fight Against Global Warming (U.S. News & World Report)

A new poll released by the Pew Environmental Group found that Democrats view climate action much more favorably than do Republicans, but it also found that the majority of Republicans support action of some sort.

Obama Makes $2.4 Billion Bet on ‘Cleaner’ Coal (MSNBC)

As earmarked in the federal stimulus, $2.4 billion is being set aside to speed up the development of technology to capture and store CO2 from coal plants, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced.

China to Focus on Energy Efficiency Post-Kyoto: State Media (AFP)

China may pledge to improve its energy efficiency by a wide margin in the post-Kyoto years rather than commit to any direct cuts in GHG emissions, the China Daily reported.

UN: Growth of Slums Boosting Natural Disaster Risk (AP)

The rampant growth of urban slums around the world and weather extremes linked to climate change have sharply increased the risks from "megadisasters" such as devastating floods and cyclones, a UN report said today.

Draft UN Climate Texts Mark Step Towards Treaty (Reuters)

The UN has published the first draft negotiating texts to help bridge the "great gulf" between options for rich nations to cut GHG emissions. The texts will be discussed at the next round of talks in Bonn from June 1-12.

CA Judge Blocks Wal-Mart’s Supercenter Proposal (Los Angeles Times)

A California judge has rebuffed Wal-Mart’s plan for a supercenter in the desert town of Yucca Valley, partly on the grounds that the retailer failed to take measures to reduce its impact on global warming.

DOE Narrows List of Projects for Nuclear Loan Help (AP)

The Energy Department has narrowed its list of the most likely recipients of $18.5 billion in loan guarantees for building the first new nuclear power plants. The cost of building one plant now stands at more than $9 billion.

San Francisco Mayor Signs Deal for Huge Municipal Solar Project (Mercury News)

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom signed an ordinance for the state’s largest municipal solar project — a 5-MW photovoltaic installation on the roof of the Sunset Reservoir, the city’s largest reservoir.

NY Wants to Install 100 MW of Solar Power (Reuters)

New York wants to install up to 100 MW of solar photovoltaic power at public and private facilities to help meet the state’s  renewable energy mandate, the governor said in a release Friday.

Pre-Orders in Japan for 2010 Prius to Top 80,000 By Debut on Monday (Green Car Congress)

Pre-orders in Japan for the 2010 Prius have topped a record 75,000 and are expected to surpass 80,000 by today. The third-generation Prius debuts in Japan on Monday.

Norway Stalls Kaarstoe CO2 Capture Project (Reuters)

Norway has stalled construction of an experimental CCS facility. The cost of capturing the plant’s CO2 and burying it in subsea structures was "much higher" than that of purchasing the plant’s emissions on financial markets, an official said.

Interior Sec Salazar: Commercial Use of Oil Shale 10 Years Off (Rigzone)

The commercial use of oil from U.S. oil shale deposits is at least 10 years away and will require technological advances to get past hurdles standing in the way of its commercial use, Interior Secretary Salazar has said.

Energy Star Server Ratings to Include Power Profile (CNET News)

The first version of an Energy Star rating for enterprise servers is poised for release on Monday, with about one quarter of available servers expected to meet the standard.

Op-Ed: Don’t Pay the Rich to Scrap Their Cars (New York Times)

The latest "cash for clunkers" bill by the U.S. House, which would cost $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion, is a huge disappointment; any program that expensive should deliver much better mileage.