Today’s Climate: August 17, 2010

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Old-Style Coal Plants Expanding Across U.S. (AP)

Utilities across the country are building dozens of old-style coal plants that will cement the industry’s standing as the largest industrial source of climate-changing gases for years to come.

U.S. to Tighten Reviews for New Offshore Drilling Plans (New York Times)

The Obama administration said Monday that it would require significantly more environmental review before approving new offshore drilling permits, ending a practice in which regulators essentially rubber-stamped hazardous deepwater projects.

Appeals Court Postpones Hearing on Drilling Ban (AP)

A federal appeals court has postponed a hearing on an overturned six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling. The moratorium was struck down by a federal judge in New Orleans in June.

Enviros Escalate Online Campaign to Link Senators, Oil Cash (The Hill)

Liberal groups that recently launched a website tracking oil and coal industry political cash are now targeting specific "oil splattered" senators in a new campaign and website called

La. Shrimpers Reporting Clean 1st Day Catch (AP)

Commercial shrimpers out for the first season since BP’s spill indicated their catch was plentiful and free of oil, despite a report by scientists that much of the crude remains below the surface of the Gulf.

Feeling Abandoned by Congress, State Regulators Push for U.S. Carbon Cap (ClimateWire)

Congress has "left state regulators in the lurch" by failing to set new national climate policy that could guide regulators’ decisions on the fate of coal generators in their states, the new chairman of a task force on climate policy says.

Obama Says Commitment to Clean Energy Will Boost Jobs (Bloomberg)

"We expect our commitment to clean energy to lead to more than 800,000 jobs by 2012," Obama said after a tour of the ZBB factory, a battery maker in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

U.S. Chamber Sues EPA Over Greenhouse Gas ‘Endangerment’ Decision (Greenwire)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the advocacy group Coalition for Responsible Regulation have asked a federal appeals court to review EPA’s decision that greenhouse gases endanger human health.

NM Regulators Hear Greenhouse Gas Debate (AP)

A proposal aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions from New Mexico’s coal plants and parts of the oil and natural gas industry would not destroy the state’s economy as critics of the plan fear, an attorney told state regulators Monday at the start of a week-long hearing.

U.S. EPA Seeks to Regulate Carbon from Trucks, Buses (Reuters)

U.S. environmental regulators sent draft rules to the White House on Friday that would for the first time cut greenhouse gas emissions from heavy trucks and buses, a government website showed.

MSHA Energizes Mine Ventilation Inspections (Charleston Gazette)

Federal officials said Monday they are stepping up enforcement of ventilation requirements for underground coal mines following reports of major violations at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine, where 29 workers died in an April 5 explosion.

UK Needs Clean Coal for New Energy Policy: Government (Reuters)

New UK coal plants will need to fit carbon-removing technology to comply with the upcoming Emission Performance Standard, energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne said on Monday.

The Reality of Nuclear Energy is Inconsistent with Dreams of a Renaissance (Guardian)

Of the more than 200 countries in the world, only 30 use nuclear power. In July 2010, a total of 439 nuclear power plants with a net installed capacity of 373.038 GW were connected to various national electricity grids, about 1.2 GW more than at the beginning of 2006.

Host Mexico Aims to Save Global Climate Talks (Reuters)

Mexico hopes to "rescue" global climate change talks by hosting a successful summit later this year that ends in concrete actions to control greenhouse gases, its chief negotiator said on Monday.

Australia: Abbott Reiterates Climate Skepticism (The Age)

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has reiterated his skepticism about climate science, suggesting the world has stopped warming despite a new report by Australia’s leading scientists showing statistical evidence that temperatures have been rising for decades.

Three China HFC Projects Face U.N. CO2 Offset Probe (Reuters)

A UN panel will review carbon offset issuances requests by three Chinese greenhouse gas destroying projects, a UN spokeswoman said on Tuesday, a sign the most lucrative projects under the Kyoto Protocol may face more scrutiny.

Report Questions Forests’ Effectiveness in Storing Carbon (ClimateBiz)

A new study suggests declining tree growth in certain regions may hinder their ability to store CO2 and help the world meet emissions reduction targets.

Soaring Temps Cause Mass Coral Killing in Indonesia: Study (Reuters)

A dramatic spike in ocean temperatures off Indonesia’s Aceh province has killed large areas of coral and scientists fear the event could be much larger than first thought and one of the worst in the region’s history.

A123’s Spin-Off, 24M, Lands $16 Million (New York Times)

24M Technologies, a new venture spun off from advanced battery company A123Systems, has raised $10 million in a first round of venture funding and a $6 million grant from the DOE’s ARPA-E program.

U.S. Green Data Center Market To Hit $13.81 Billion By 2015 (Environmental Leader)

From 2010 to 2015, the U.S. green data center market is projected to increase from $3.82 billion to $13.81 billion, according to the latest issue of EL Insights. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 29% during this time period.