Today’s Climate: May 19, 2009

Share this article

U.S. to Issue Tougher Fuel Standards for Automobiles (AP)

President Barack Obama plans to announce new fuel efficiency standards today that will have drivers going farther on a gallon of gas and causing less damage to the environment — and picking up the tab.

China, US Held Secret Talks on Climate Deal (Guardian)

Senior Republicans and Democrats led two missions to China in the final months of the Bush administration for secret negotiations aimed at securing a deal by fall on joint US-Chinese action on climate change.

UAW Backs Climate Change Bill, with Auto Aid (Detroit News)

The United Auto Workers blessed House Democrats’ plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions, after congressional leaders agreed to add billions of dollars to support struggling automakers.

Climate Bill’s Clean Energy R&D Investment Weak (Huffington Post)

The Waxman-Markey bill promises to spur technology innovation, but it is on course to invest very little of the hundreds of billions of dollars in value created by the bill’s cap-and-trade program over the coming years towards that objective.

DOE Gives Smart Grid Projects a Financial Boost (Forbes)

The Department of Energy is raising the maximum amount of matching grants aimed at smart grid projects from $20 million to $200 million per project, meaning a smaller number of smart-grid projects could receive larger chunks of stimulus funds.

Carbon-Cutting Measures Will Save Shippers Money (Business Green)

The global shipping sector could slash its greenhouse gas emissions by at least a fifth at no net cost to the industry, according to the International Maritime Organization.

EPA Urged to Act on Climate, Not Wait for Congress (AP)

The EPA should begin taking steps to control greenhouse gases, supporters of federal regulation said at the EPA’s first of two public forums on the finding that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere endangers human health and welfare.

World’s Big-City Mayors Meet on Climate Change (AFP)

Former President Bill Clinton urged leaders of the world’s cities, which produce over two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions, to act swiftly to reduce those emissions as executives from 40 cities attended the Large Cities Climate Summit in Seoul.

Scientists Work to Plug Microorganisms Into The Energy Grid (Science Daily)

Microscopic organisms from bacteria to fungi and microalgae are biological factories proving to be efficient sources of inexpensive, environmentally friendly biofuels, according to research presented at the American Society for Microbiology’s annual meeting.

Analysts: Canada Tar Sands Emit More CO2 than Average (Reuters)

Canada’s tar sands emit 5% to 15% more carbon dioxide than average crude so developers need a clearer picture of where greenhouse gas regulations are headed to find the best way to tap the giant resource, an analyst report says.

Rechargeable Lithium-Air Battery Shows Promise (Green Car Congress)

Researchers in the UK are developing a rechargeable lithium-air battery that could deliver a ten-fold increase in energy capacity over current lithium-ion cells.

Barbarians at the Gate of Solar (Greentech Media)

Bechtel, Chevron and Lockheed Martin are all important players in the U.S. solar industry, and what they possess makes them a threat to pure-play PV developers: enormous balance sheets and considerable expertise designing, building and managing complex projects.