Today’s Climate: March 18, 2010

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Deal Nearing on Senate Climate Bill: Sen. Kerry (Reuters)

The Senate is close to wrapping up talks ahead of introducing a compromise climate bill, said Sen. Kerry, after meeting with a coalition that represents automakers, forestry and paper companies, Big Oil, steel, mining, electricity and others.

Gov. Christie Seeks CO2 Revenue to Close N.J. Budget Gap (Bloomberg)

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wants to use funds from CO2 permit auctions in the U.S. Northeast’s cap-and-trade program to help close the state’s $10.7 billion deficit.

Auto Alliance Opposes Murkowski on EPA Greenhouse Gas Regs (The Hill)

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is officially opposed to Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) effort to block EPA from regulating greenhouse gases through a congressional resolution of disapproval.

UN Chief Wants UN in Charge of Climate Talks (AP)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the UN will remain in charge of talks on a new global climate accord, dismissing a shift to negotiations with a streamlined group of countries suggested by UN climate envoy Gro Harlem Brundtland.

Cancun Climate Talks Get Dim Prognosis Nine Months Before Start (Bloomberg)

Government negotiators are already writing off chances for a global treaty to fight climate change, nine months before the annual talks begin in Cancun, Mexico.

Climate Debate Should be Reframed: Malidives President (AFP)

The climate debate should be reframed in economic and security terms ahead of a year-end UN summit in Mexico seeking a binding climate deal, the president of the Maldives said Wednesday.

Pembina Gives Low Grades to Deep Oilsands Projects (Edmonton Journal)

In its first report card on deep oilsands projects, the Pembina Institute said its study of nine projects reveals some in situ environmental impacts as serious as mining, and there is significant room for improvement in most.

Major California Solar Project Moves Forward (Green Inc.)

California regulators on Wednesday recommended that the state’s first new big solar power plant in nearly two decades be approved after a two-and-half-year review of its environmental impact on the Mojave Desert.

Arctic Animals Doing Better, But Not Close to Pole (AP)

The overall number of animals in the Arctic has increased over the past 40 years ago, according to a new international study. But critters who live closest to the North Pole are disappearing, in line with what is predicted with climate change.

Australian Laws to Promote Building Efficiency (Reuters)

Owners of large commercial buildings in Australia will have to disclose energy efficiency information when putting buildings up for sale or lease, under laws introduced in parliament on Thursday.

Tokyo to Get CO2 Rules (Bloomberg)

Tokyo will start a city-wide cap-and-trade system next month, beating the central government to become the first jurisdiction in Japan to introduce mandatory pollution limits and trading in carbon credits.

Marine Energy Projects Approved for Scotland (The Independent)

The seabed off the coast of Scotland could be transformed into the "Saudi Arabia of marine energy" after 7 power firms were awarded contracts for a landmark project designed to harness the area’s potential for tidal energy and power up to 750,000 homes by 2020.

Virginia Leaders Express Interest in Offshore Drilling (Washington Post)

Most Virginia leaders — regardless of their political party — have expressed interest in joining Alaska, Texas, Louisiana and other states in setting up offshore platforms to drill for oil and natural gas.

Honda Plans Lithium-Ion Civic to Narrow Toyota’s Lead (Bloomberg)

Honda, Japan’s second-largest carmaker, plans to introduce lithium-ion battery-powered hybrid cars as it struggles to narrow Toyota’s lead in sales of gasoline-electric cars.