Today’s Climate: August 19, 2009

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Lobbyists Sent 13 Fake Letters to Hill (The Politico)

A lobbying firm working for a coal industry group sent lawmakers 13 fraudulent letters opposing the House climate bill — five more than initially believed, a House committee has revealed.

US Unions, Green Groups to Stump for Climate Change Bill (AFP)

U.S. labor unions and green groups have announced plans for a nationwide campaign, the ‘Made In America’ Jobs Tour, to boost support for the climate bill under debate in the Senate.

Energy Workers Rally Against Climate Plan (Houston Chronicle)

Over 3,000 local energy workers jammed a downtown Houston theater yesterday to protest climate legislation, the first of several such "Energy Citizens" rallies planned in 19 states in the coming weeks.

Australia: Govt, Coalition Agree to Renewables Deal (The Age)

The Opposition has agreed to support the Rudd government’s bill to have 20% of electricity come from renewable sources by 2020, after winning concessions that include protection for energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries.

Ford Electric Vehicles to Communicate with Power Grid (Detroit News)

Ford has announced plans for a smart-grid communication system, which it will test on 21 plug-in hybrids, allowing a car and grid to speak to one another to provide more efficient charging.

Southern California Edison Makes Big Solar Power Deal (Los Angeles Times)

Southern California Edison will pair with First Solar on two large solar power projects in Riverside and San Bernardino counties that will be able to supply electricity to as many as to 170,000 homes, the companies said.

Vestas Blames Island Nimbys for Profits Fall (Times Online)

Vestas, the Danish wind turbine maker that has closed two factories in Britain, has blamed "Nimbys" for thwarting its ambitions after its profits tumbled by more than a third.

Economic Climate Opens Door for Small Wind Energy Projects (Reuters)

Falling turbine, steel and labor prices have created the ideal environment for new mid-scale wind energy projects, which typically serve schools, farms, rural villages, businesses and municipal utility companies.

Gas Plant Must Curb Emissions, Watchdog Says (Vancouver Sun)

A proposed $500-million natural gas processing plant in BC will become the province’s single-largest source of CO2 unless the government tightens the rules for greenhouse gas emissions, the Pembina Institute has warned.

Progress Energy to Close NC Coal Plants (AP)

Progress Energy has announced plans to close three coal fired power facilities in North Carolina and replace them with a natural gas-fueled plant.

Wind of Change Blows Across the Great Lakes (Times Online)

The New York Power Authority, America’s largest state-owned power organization, is appealing to the private sector, including Britain’s National Grid, to help it to turn a corner of the Great Lakes into a giant wind farm.

Researchers: Shrinking Teton Glaciers Will Affect Utah Water (AP)

Glaciers on the Teton Range are shrinking, researchers say, joining a growing list of glaciers in North America and beyond that are losing their surface area and potentially reducing the water supply for nearby regions.

China Cuts Methane Emissions from Rice Fields (Nature News)

Simple changes to farming practices in China have slashed the amount of methane released from rice fields, researchers say. Paddy fields account for around 20% of human-related emissions of methane — a potent greenhouse gas.

Plants Stressed by Climate Change Emit More Greenhouse Gases (Canadian Press)

Plants stressed by drought and rising temperatures from global warming may actually release more greenhouse gases into the environment, says research from the University of Calgary.

Solar Uptake for Cell Phones Still ‘Limited’ (CNET News)

Solar technology in mobile computing devices is still impeded by performance and price issues and isn’t likely to entirely replace batteries anytime soon, according to analysts.