Today’s Climate: December 19-20, 2009

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Obama, Denied Full Victory, Takes Validation (New York Times)

From Copenhagen to Capitol Hill, the president determined the outer limits of what he could accomplish on climate change and health care and decided that was enough, at least for now.

Climate Reality: Voluntary Efforts Not Enough (AP)

Around the world, countries and capitalism are already working to curb global warming, with or without a global treaty. But the impact of such piecemeal efforts is small. Experts say it will never be enough without a strong global agreement.

Climate Scientists Underwhelmed by Copenhagen Accord (AFP)

Top climate scientists say the eleventh-hour political deal hammered out at UN talks in Copenhagen falls perilously short of what is needed to stave off catastrophic global warming.

Headway in Copenhagen on Agriculture (New York Times)

A draft agreement forming an international working group to reduce global warming emissions from agriculture emerged this week from the climate talks in Copenhagen, a sign of the rising importance of agriculture in the climate change debate.

Year After Kingston Disaster, Fight Over Coal Ash Just Beginning (Charleston Gazette)

The coal ash spill in Tennessee heated up a long-simmering controversy over major loopholes in the way the nation regulates coal ash from power plants. Yet a year later, the battle over potential new rules is only just getting started.

Fear of Violence Grows in Mountaintop Mining Fight (AP)

Mountaintop removal foes say the industry and its allies are stoking fear and anger among miners by accusing environmentalists, Congress and the Obama administration of trying to kill coal through regulation and permitting. Both sides are fighting for a way of life.

Decision Due on Montana’s Half-Billion Tons of Coal (Business Week)

The Montana Land Board is expected to vote on Monday on whether to put a half-billion-ton coal reserve up for lease. It’s a politically charged decision for Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and four other Democrats who make up the panel.

Seminole Electric Drops Plan for Coal-Fire Power Plant (St. Augustine Record)

Tampa-based Seminole Electric Cooperative says it has withdrawn its application to build a new coal-burning 750 mega-watt plant in Florida “because of the uncertain regulatory and legal environment related to the construction of new coal-fired units."

Europe’s Wind Companies Snap Up US Stimulus Cash (Reuters)

European companies have scooped up the majority of U.S. stimulus money set aside for wind power projects, drawing on their expertise and global reach to tap into Washington’s effort to grow the base of renewable energy sources.

Poll: Three-Quarters of Americans Consider Climate Change Serious Problem (AP)

Three of every four Americans view climate change as a serious problem that will harm future generations if not addressed, according to an Associated Press-Stanford University poll.