Today’s Climate: March 19, 2009

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West Antarctic Ice Sheet Can’t Withstand Nonstop Global Warming (NPR)

A study in the journal Nature analyzing ice core samples finds a clear history showing the massive West Antarctic ice sheet has melted before – under conditions that the Earth may soon experience.

Congress Sets Deadline for Calif. Waiver (Constitutional Accountability Center)

Among the controversial earmarks and line items packed into the omnibus spending bill signed last week, Congress appears to have slipped in a deadline for the EPA’s decision regarding California’s auto emissions waiver: June 30.

EU Power Cos. Promise Carbon-Neutral Electricity by 2050 (New Energy Focus)

A majority of Europe’s power company CEOs signed a declaration promising the EU they would provide carbon-neutral electricity by 2050. However, unproven CCS technology is part of their plan.

Saudis: Climate Action Will Harm Gulf Economies (Reuters)

Strict measures across the world to act against climate change could seriously affect the economies of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations, a Saudi official told an OPEC energy conference today.

Carbon Market Backers Split Over Auction Rules (Bloomberg)

Barack Obama’s proposal to charge billions of dollars for pollution permits has divided businesses, environmentalists and Democrats all needed to help pass a U.S. law to limit climate damage from greenhouse gases.

Recurrent Energy Buys Cash-Hungry UPC Solar’s Assets (Dow Jones)

A lack of available project financing has forced another photovoltaic project developer to pull up its stakes. UPC Energy Group announced is has sold off its solar assets to Recurrent Energy Inc.

Britain Braces for Climate Protests (In The News)

In a sign of increased cooperation between environmentalists and development activists, Christian Aid is heading a climate change protest today at the headquarters of energy giant E.ON. NASA’s James Hansen is expected to speak.

Bluewater Wind Projects Continue Despite Company Woes (News Journal)

Bluewater Wind says its offshore project in Delaware remains tied to the search for an investor, and does not sink or swim with the fate of of its parent company, Babcock & Brown Ltd. Bankers took control of the publicly traded parent company last week.

Two New Nuclear Reactors Get Green Light in Georgia (Reuters)

Georgia’s Public Service Commission approved two additional nuclear reactors for Georgia Power to begin expanding its Vogtle nuclear plant , as long as it gets all other needed permits. The PSC also approved shifting a coal-fired plant to biomass.

Coal Titan Plans Giant Indiana Mine (Indianapolis Star)

Peabody Energy plans to open the biggest surface mine in the eastern U.S. this year in Indiana about 10 miles from where Duke Energy is building a $2 billion coal gasification power plant.

Michigan Dems May Block Obama on Emissions (Detroit News)

Michigan’s senators, normally reliable allies of President Obama, are emerging as potential obstacles to one of his top budget priorities: a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions.

Internet could become environmental watchdog (Reuters)

The Internet could provide an early warning system for environmental damage, imitating an online watchdog that gives alerts about outbreaks of disease, scientists said today.

Eco-Bills Come Due at Chesapeake Bay Beaches (Washington Post)

With sea levels rising, the climate “bills are coming due" at beaches in Virginia and Maryland, and the temporary fixes to preserve tourism are getting expensive.