August 22-23, 2009

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Demand for Tariffs in Global Warming Legislation Splits Allies (Los Angeles Times)

A group of Midwestern Democrats is pushing for tariffs on products from countries that don’t limit CO2 emissions, a controversial step that the legislators say is needed to help U.S. manufacturers survive emissions restrictions here.

Pass U.S. Climate Law, Then Strengthen: Waxman (Reuters)

Rep. Henry Waxman is urging Congress to pass a climate bill now and work to raise its federal renewable standards over time, as California has done.

Southern Governors Hear Warning on Climate Change (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Climate change over the next 20 years will cause intense droughts in the Southwest and significant storm damage along the Gulf Coast, governors attending the Southern Governors’ Association’s annual meeting were warned.

Energy Dept. Fails to Use Thermostats to Cut Costs (New York Times)

A recent audit found the U.S. Energy Department could save more than $11.5 million annually in energy costs by properly employing thermostats that adjust the heat and air conditioning at night or on weekends.

China Will Have Solar Feed-in Tariff in Place in 2009 (Renewable Energy World)

The Chinese government is readying a feed-in tariff for utility-scale solar plants that will dwarf the country’s previous solar subsidies and drive a wave of investment into the sector, according to solar firm Suntech.

CPUC Approves PG&E, Solar Thermal Plans (PV Tech)

The California Public Utilities Commission has approved two 25-year power purchase agreements between PG&E and BrightSource Energy for electricity generated at a pair of concentrating solar plants to be built in the deserts of California.

Carbon Targets May Be Too Tough, Says John Prescott (Guardian)

Targets to cut CO2 emissions may have to be watered down to get a deal at the Copenhagen climate summit, the former UK deputy prime minister John Prescott, who brokered the Kyoto deal, has warned.

Experts: Water Issue Crucial in World Climate Deal (AP)

Thousands of scientists and experts have urged world leaders to include strategies for global water management in the planned Copenhagen climate agreement.

EU Names Airlines that Could Face Europe Ban (AFP)

The EU has published a list of nearly 4,000 airlines that it says should reduce their impact on the environment from 2012 or face being banned from European airports.

BP America Spent $4M Lobbying Gov’t in 2Q (AP)

BP America, the U.S. arm of the British oil giant, spent $4 million to lobby the federal government in the second quarter, a 54% increase from a year ago, reflecting several potentially costly measures facing the oil industry.

UK: Coal Aid Rides High Above Wave Power (Guardian)

The UK government has spent 20 times more subsidizing the coal industry over the past six years than it has put into marine energy, new figures show.

Australia: Industry Warns of Carbon Trading Backlash (Sydney Morning Herald)

Australia’s biggest steel maker, BlueScope, has attacked the proposed carbon trading scheme, signaling a start to the next round of argument before the government’s legislation goes to the Senate again in November.

Toyota to Release New Medium-Sized Hybrid Within This Year (Kyodo News)

Toyota plans to release a new medium-sized hybrid sedan this year, the SAI, which is bigger than the current best-selling Prius, as it seeks to expand its lineup of electric-gas hybrids.

Climate Change Opens Arctic Route for German Ships (Reuters)

Two German ships set off on Friday on the first journey across Russia’s Arctic-facing northern shore without the help of icebreakers after climate change helped opened the passage.

Lockheed to Bolster Utilities Looking for DOE Smart-Grid Funds (VentureBeat)

Global defense contractor Lockheed Martin is teaming up with Black & Veatch, a major construction company, to offer utilities a suite of products they can use to improve their smart grid implementations.