Today’s Climate: May 22, 2009

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One Hurdle Passed, Plenty Ahead For Climate Bill (Politico)

House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) says he has 40 Democrats ready to kill the climate bill if they don’t see action on ethanol and other farm-related issues.

China Strikes Tough Pose for Climate Talks (Financial Times)

China is adopting a hard line ahead of climate change negotiations, calling on rich countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40 per cent by 2020 from 1990 levels and help pay for reduction schemes in poorer countries.

Washington Gov. Orders Emissions Cuts (Los Angeles Times)

The Legislature refused to impose a cap-and-trade system, so Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire issued an executive order affecting a coal-fired power plant, public transit and other programs.

EPA to Restore Scientific Review Process (Philadelphia Inquirer)

In a bid to restore the primacy of science in setting air-pollution standards, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced she is reestablishing key internal review procedures regarding harmful pollutants.

Canada Plans First Municipal Waste-to-Biofuel Plant (Business Green)

Canada-based biofuel and biochemical producer Enerkem says it has approval to build the first commercial facility in North America that turns municipal waste into biofuels, a C$70 million joint effort with GreenField Ethanol.

Chevron Faces Shareholder Rebuke on Amazon Damage (Mongabay)

Calpers, the country’s largest public pension fund with $170 billion in assets, announced it will support a shareholder resolution calling on Chevron to examine whether it complies with environmental regulations in Ecuador.

Voluntary Carbon Market Doubled in 2008 (Business Green)

The voluntary carbon market credits on the Chicago Climate Exchange is maturing fast and more than doubled in size last year to $705 million.

Jury Finds Duke Violated Clean Air Act (Chicago Tribune)

Duke Energy violated the Clean Air Act by making changes at a southern Indiana power plant that significantly increased the air pollution it released into the Louisville, Ky., area, a federal jury ruled in a decade-old lawsuit.

Cape Wind Wins Crucial Permit (Reuters)

Cape Wind’s $1 billion plan for the first big U.S. offshore wind farm passed a key hurdle by winning permit requirements in Massachusetts, where it faces opposition from some influential residents.

15 Arrested Protesting Rep. Boucher’s Polluter Handouts (CCAN)

Fifteen people were arrested for blocking the entrance to Virginia Rep. Rick Boucher’s office while protesting his efforts to gut strong climate legislation at the expense of American families.

China’s State Grid Corp Plans To Build ‘Smart Grid’ By 2020 (Dow Jones)

China’s power distribution monopoly State Grid Corp. has set a goal of building a smart grid by 2020 to improve efficiency and distribute power more flexibly, the company’s general manager Liu Zhenya says.

Solyndra Signs $115M Deal With German Solar Integrator (Earth2Tech)

California thin-film solar startup Solyndra announced its second major European deal in a month, a $115 million deal to sell panels to a solar integrator in Germany through 2013.

Regional Climate Pact Lesson: Avoid Industry Giveaways (Yale Environment 360)

As Congress struggles over a bill to limit carbon emissions, a cap-and-trade program is already operating in 10 Northeastern states. But the regional project’s mixed success offers a cautionary warning to U.S. lawmakers on how to proceed.

Africa’s Coastal Cities at Risk as Climate Changes (IRIN)

Several large African cities are at risk from rising sea levels and intense storms, experts warn. Such low-income urban centres, infrastructure is often non-existent or ill-maintained, according to a World Bank report.

Global Warming Now Audible, Study Says (National Geographic)

According to a new study, it’s now possible to hear the rise of global warming in the form of more, larger, more intense storms—signs of climate change.