Today’s Climate: June 20-21, 2009

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Reps. Waxman, Peterson Inch Closer to Consensus on Climate Bill (ClimateWire)

House Democrats are within sight of agreement on the ACES climate bill, but it is still unclear if they have satisfied enough rural and fiscal conservative lawmakers to guarantee the votes for floor passage by this week.

U.S. Climate Bill to Cost $22 Billion a Year by 2020, CBO Says (Bloomberg)

The proposed House climate law would cost the U.S. $22 billion a year by 2020, or $175 for every household, the Congressional Budget Office said on Friday.

The Influence Game: Farm Lobby Wins on Cow Burps (Washington Post)

Thanks to an adept farm lobby campaign, the methane gas that farm animals pass is being left out of the climate legislation being considered by Congress.

U.S. Should Expand Carbon Capture Research, MIT Report Says (Bloomberg)

The U.S. should create a multibillion dollar program to prove that CO2 from the nation’s coal plants can be captured, a new report by MIT concluded.

Rural Electric Co-ops Threaten Climate Deal (ClimateWire)

An influential group of 930 rural customer-owned utilities that are more dependent on coal than many other generators could play a big role in killing the climate bill in Congress.

Russia Offers Climate Goal with No Real Bite (Reuters)

Russia has announced a weak emissions target scheme that would release 30 percent more greenhouse gases by 2020.

German Minister Rules Out New Nuclear Power Stations (AFP)

Germany’s economy minister has ruled out building new nuclear plants but said the life of some reactors might be extended and the development of alternative technologies stepped up.

PG&E Opposes Two Solar-Power Bills (Mercury News)

California utility Pacific Gas & Electric has angered green energy advocates by opposing two state bills that would ramp up the benefits for those who go solar.

Solar Project Meets Bigger Foe Than Cloudy Skies: The Air Force (Washington Post)

The U.S. Air Force is opposing a solar project in Nevada that would feature a vast field of mirrors, a molten-salt storage facility and a 600-foot "power tower."

1 Coal Plant Faces Many Battles (AP)

Opponents of a $1.6 billion coal plant in southwest Arkansas have multiple fronts on which they’re battling the facility, and limited time to keep waging that fight.

Coal Production Wyoming to Decline This Year (AP)

Wyoming coal production is expected to decline this year after more than a decade of steady, record-setting increases.

Blankenship Challenges Hansen to Global Warming Debate (Coal Tattoo)

Don Blankenship, the CEO of coal giant Massey Energy, has challenged Dr. James Hansen, one of the world’s top climate scientists, to a debate on global warming.

Hawaii Paying Nearly Twice Market Rate for Solar Power (Honolulu Advertiser)

Hawaii taxpayers are paying what could amount to a multimillion-dollar premium for power from recently installed solar panels on the roofs of state-owned buildings.

Denmark to Power Electric Cars by Wind in Vehicle-to-Grid Experiment (Guardian)

The project on the island of Bornholm will use the batteries of parked electric cars to store excess energy from wind and then feed electricity back into the grid when the weather is calm.

Tibet Drought Worst in 30 years: Chinese State Media (AFP)

A drought in Tibet has intensified into the region’s worst in three decades, leaving thousands of acres parched and killing more than 13,000 head of cattle, China’s state media said.

Averting a Climate-Led Food Crisis in Africa (Nature News)

Most African farmers will be able to find heat-resistant crop varieties within their own borders or in other countries on the continent, providing a first step towards adapting to climate change, according to new research.