Today’s Climate: March 21, 2010

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Senate Climate Bill to Give Free Permits: Sources (Reuters)

U.S. power generating companies would get free pollution permits, at least initially, as part of a compromise climate bill being written in the Senate that also would give the coal industry $10 billion to develop "clean" technology, sources said.

Offshore Drilling Revenue Sharing Takes Hold in Senate Climate Bill (ClimateWire)

Coastal states that agree to oil and gas drilling off their shores would be offered one-quarter of the revenue, under the latest draft of the new climate bill, sources on and off the Hill say.

U.S. States Sue EPA to Stop Greenhouse Gas Rules (Reuters)

At least 15 U.S. states have sued the EPA seeking to stop it from issuing rules controlling greenhouse gas emissions until it reexamines whether the pollution harms human health.

Environmental Groups Challenge Virginia’s EPA Lawsuit (AP)

Two environmental groups are challenging Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli’s legal action to block federal regulation of greenhouse gases.

Canada Has Warmest and Driest Winter on Record (Green Car Congress)

Environment Canada reported that the national average temperature for the winter 2009/2010 was 7.2 °F above normal, based on preliminary data, making this the warmest winter on record since nationwide records began in 1948.

Top Climate Officials Urge Progress at Mexico Summit (AFP)

The UN IPCC has listened to and learned from recent criticism, but the threat of global warming is real and must be tackled, the group’s head said Saturday.

China Huaneng Aims to Produce 35% of Power From Clean Energy (Bloomberg)

China Huaneng Group, the nation’s biggest power generator, is targeting a capacity to produce about 35% of its electricity from clean energy by 2020, as the country seeks to cut pollution, President Cao Peixi said.

UK: Energy Firms Could Be Forced to Buy Low-Carbon Power (Guardian)

The UK government will next week signal a move towards the introduction of a "low-carbon obligation" that would force British Gas and other suppliers of energy to buy a percentage of their power from nuclear and so-called "clean coal" plants.

Ontario Slaps New ‘Green’ Tax on Electricity Bills (Toronto Star)

Ontario electricity customers will soon be slapped with an additional tax to cover $53 million of the Liberal government’s new conservation and green energy program.

Japan Planning 14 Nuclear Plants: Report (AFP)

Resource-poor Japan is planning to build at least 14 nuclear power plants over the next 20 years to reduce its reliance on other countries for its energy needs, a report said Sunday.

China Speeds Up Offshore Wind Power Construction (People’s Daily)

China will give top priority to developing offshore wind power projects to boost its flourishing wind power industry in 2010, according to a senior energy official.

Clean Tech Sector Thriving, Survey Finds (Green Inc.)

According to a survey released by Clean Edge, revenue for wind power, biofuels and solar PV grew in 2009 by 11.4 percent to $139 billion around the world.

IDB Set to Increase Financing for Renewable Energy Projects (Business News Americas)

The Inter-American Development Bank expects to direct as much as 80% of its loans for private sector energy projects over the next three years to renewable energy sources, IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno told a panel in Mexico.

Language of Religious Fervor Inflames Climate Change Debate (ClimateWire)

Apocalyptic visions and the language of religious fervor are invading the climate arena, replacing issues of fact with those of faith and bringing high emotion into science — an area where it should have no place — politicians and religious leaders complain.

Milan and Brescia Herald Italy’s Electric Car Future (The Independent)

The two cities of Milan and Brescia are to be the first in Italy to boast a complete, innovative charging structure for electric vehicles with 270 EV charging points.

Artist Places Sculptures on Melting Arctic Iceberg (Reuters)

A Dutch artist arranged two large sculptures on an iceberg in Greenland on Friday to raise awareness about climate change, and people will be able to monitor it online as the ice melts.