Today’s Climate: June 18, 2009

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White House Will Intensify Climate Bill Push Next Week (Politico)

The Obama administration will make an intense push to pass climate and energy legislation next week, according to key lawmakers, aides and lobbyists.

Italy Cancels G8 Research Meeting (Nature)

The Italian government caught scientists off-guard by unexpectedly cancelling next week’s G8 science and technology meeting, where monitoring climate change and maintaining environment-friendly energy supplies were to be among the issues.

Business Tycoons Advising UN Chief on Climate (Reuters)

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has formed an advisory group on climate change that includes Mexico’s Carlos Slim, India’s Ratan Tata, other business tycoons and executives from NGOs, according to one member, the CEO of Vattenfall.

Plant-Based Jet Fuel Outperforms Oil (Wall Street Journal)

A consortium made up of Boeing, engine makers and commercial airlines says veggie fuel is not only good for airplanes’ carbon footprint – it actually performs as well, if not better, than its petroleum-based equivalent.

EU Eyes Toll Roads to Curb Emissions (Reuters)

Toll roads should play a bigger role in managing Europe’s booming transport industry and cutting greenhouse gas emissions, European Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani said as he outlined EU transport priorities for the next decade.

Enviros to EPA: Take Over W.Va. Water Pollution Program (Coal Tattoo)

A coalition of environmental groups filed a formal petition asking the EPA to take over administration of the Clean Water Act’s water pollution permitting and enforcement program from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

Mountaintop Mining Goes to Washington (Earthjustice)

Next week in a Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee, Sen. Ben Cardin plans to hold Congress’s first hearing on mountaintop removal since 2002.

Chu: Climate Bill That Isn’t ‘Perfect’ Is Worth Passing (Bloomberg)

Congress should approve legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions this year, even if the targets aren’t “perfect” and need to be tightened in the future, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu tells Bloomberg News.

California Utility Cuts New Solar Thermal Deal (Reuters)

Southern California Edison announced new agreements for 960 MW of solar and wind power, including up to 726 MW from solar thermal plants Germany’s Solar Millennium AG plans to begin operating in 2013 and 2014.

UK Maps Climate Change in Its Backyard (Guardian)

Met Office scientists today are releasing a detailed map of how climate change is expected to strike every part of the UK over the next century, with temperatures rising 3-5C by century’s end and rainfall decreasing.

Duke Plans Nuclear Plant in Ohio (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Duke Energy is expected today to announce plans to build a nuclear power plant on federal land in Ohio that once housed a nuclear weapons facility.

Ethanol Giant Shifts to Corn Cobs and Biomass (Cleantech)

The world’s largest ethanol maker has created a division to focus exclusively on biomass such as corn cobs and waste wood that can be used to make cellulosic ethanol and power anaerobic digesters.

Researchers Propose Milking Diatoms for Oil (Green Car Congress)

Scientists in Canada and India are proposing a variety of ways of harvesting oil from diatoms—single cell algae with silica shells—that could produce 10-200 times as much oil per acre of cultivated area compared to oil seeds.

Multinationals Eye Lithium Reserves in Bolivia’s Salt Flats (Guardian)

As the invention of the pneumatic tyre turned rubber into a precious commodity in the 19th century, the world’s tilt towards greener energy is expected to do the same for lithium in the 21st and raise the value of places like Bolivia’s salt flats.

‘Tough’ Negotiator Peterson Rocks Climate Debate (New York Times)

A look at Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, who has become the de facto spokesman for the dozens of farm groups that have come out in opposition to the climate bill.