Today’s Climate: March 19, 2010

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Senate Climate Bill Tied to Health Issue, Graham Says (Bloomberg)

Senate climate-change legislation won’t be introduced until at least next month and prospects for action depend on lawmakers’ "mood" following the debate on health care, said Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Enviro Groups Hold ‘Encouraging’ Meeting with Kerry on Climate Bill (The Hill)

High-level officials from 10 or so green groups met with Sen. John Kerry for roughly 1.5 hours in his Senate office on Thursday to discuss climate legislation, in a meeting they described as "very encouraging" and "productive."

U.S. Wind Power Growing Fast But Still Lags (Reuters)

Wind-generated electricity is growing rapidly in the U.S. but the pace still lags far behind that in China, the organizer of an industry conference in North Carolina said.

Climate Change Cited as Mont. Leases Suspended (AP)

A federal judge has approved a first-of-its-kind settlement requiring the government to suspend 38,000 acres of oil and gas leases in Montana so it can gauge how oil field activities contribute to climate change.

U.S. Mustn’t Discriminate Against Canadian Oil Sands (Reuters)

The U.S. should not discriminate against the Canadian oil sands industry, Canada’s ambassador in Washington said on Thursday, warning that trade restrictions could cause the energy supplier to seek out other customers.

EPA to Study ‘Fracking’ Gas Drilling Method (AP)

The EPA said Thursday that it will study potential human health and water quality threats from an oil and natural gas drilling technique that injects massive amounts of water, sand and chemicals underground.

Wind, Solar Energy IPOs May Rise This Year, Morgan Stanley Says (Bloomberg)

Renewable energy companies may tap financial markets for more funds this year instead of looking to mergers with utilities as a way of funding expansion, said Morgan Stanley, manager of the most IPOs for the industry in 2009.

Wind Farm Plans Stir Up Storm Over Military Radar (AP)

The U.S. military is growing increasingly concerned that proposed wind farms can disrupt or block radar designed to detect threats and protect America’s skies, a problem that is stalling the alternative energy projects around the country.

Czech Minister Quits Over Controversial Coal Plant (Reuters)

Czech Environment Minister Jan Dusik resigned Thursday from the cabinet, saying the prime minister had put pressure on him to decide hastily on plans to upgrade a controversial large coal-fired power plant.

Weyerhauser Joins Enviro-Industry Climate Coalition (Greenwire)

Global timber giant Weyerhaeuser Co. said today it has joined the U.S. Climate Action Partnership group that is lobbying for comprehensive climate and energy legislation on Capitol Hill.

North American Group Outlines Carbon Trade Rules (Reuters)

Members of the Western Climate Initiative have decided to stay with a plan laid out last year that would limit use of offset credits and allowances to no more than 49% of emission reductions.

EU Blocks Reuse of Offsets (Reuters)

The European Commission said it would prevent from August the re-entry into its emissions trading scheme of carbon permits, which companies had already used for compliance with their emissions caps.

Lights out on Incandescent Bulb Production at Toshiba (PC World)

Toshiba has ended production of mass-market incandescent light bulbs, putting to a close a 120-year manufacturing history in favor of more energy-efficient products, including LED lights.

Owners Threaten to Shut Down New Jersey Nuke Plant (AP)

Owners of the nation’s oldest nuclear power plant are threatening to shut it down rather than build the $800 million cooling towers mandated by New Jersey environmental regulators.