Today’s Climate: February 23, 2010

Share this article

Solar Project in Mojave Desert Gets $1.4 Billion Boost from Stimulus (Washington Post)

The Energy Department announced a "conditional" $1.4 billion loan guarantee to BrightSource Energy to build a solar thermal power complex in the Mojave Desert that would ultimately produce as much as 392 MW of electricity.

USGS: Antarctic Ice Shelves Melting (Mongabay)

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has found that every ice front in the southern part of the Antarctic Peninsula — the coldest part — has been retreating overall for the past sixty years with the greatest changes visible since 1990.

UN Official Sees Climate Aid Scheme within Months (Reuters)

Developing nations could be able to apply within three months for some of the $30 billion in climate aid promised by rich nations at last year’s Copenhagen talks, the head of the UNEP said on Monday.

U.S. Aims for Legally Binding Climate Change Agreement in 2010 (Bloomberg)

In a State Department letter to the UNFCCC, the U.S. said it wants to reach a legally binding agreement at the summit in Mexico in December, a sign Pres. Obama hasn’t given up the fight for a global climate accord.

Obama Mounts Last-Ditch Attempt to Pass a ‘Hybrid’ Climate and Energy Bill (ClimateWire)

The White House is mounting a last-ditch effort to piece together an energy and climate bill that has enough incentives for nuclear power, natural gas and the coal industry to muster the votes needed to pass it this year.

Key U.S. Senator Sees No Quick Move on Climate Bill (Reuters)

U.S. Senator Max Baucus, whose committee oversees aspects of climate legislation, said on Monday there did not appear to be momentum yet for passing a bill.

Group Petitions EPA to Reduce Soot Pollution (AP)

The Center for Biological Diversity has petitioned the EPA to reduce soot, saying it accelerates melting of glaciers and sea ice.

Bonn to Host Extra UN Climate Talks, Treaty Unsure (Reuters)

Germany will host an extra session of UN climate talks in April but it is too early to say if the world will agree to a new treaty this year, Danish Climate Minister Lykke Friis, who presides over the negotiations, said on Monday.

Influence Spending by Wind, All Renewables Soared in 2009 (Greenwire)

As lobbying on climate and energy surged last year, the wind industry pushed hard into a field of competitors, nearly tripling its spending on influence efforts from a year earlier.

Facebook Gets Slammed by Greenpeace (USA Today)

Facebook is getting slammed by Greenpeace for planning to open a data center next year in Oregon that will get power from a utility that partly uses coal.

Cummins, Justice Department Settle Pollution Case (AP)

The Justice Department says diesel engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. will pay a $2.1 million penalty and will recall 405 engines for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.

E-Waste to Hit Developing World Hard (Reuters)

Waste from discarded electronics will rise dramatically in the developing world within a decade, with computer waste in India alone to grow by 500% from 2007 levels by 2020, a new UN study said.

Ethanol Producers Rise Sharply (Wall Street Journal)

Shares of ethanol producers rose sharply after one of the larger producers, Green Plains Renewable Energy, reported a bullish fourth quarter and said industry trends looked positive for 2010.

Q-Cells Outlook Hit by German Solar Subsidies Threat (Reuters)

Germany’s Q-Cells, the world’s fourth-biggest maker of solar cells, warned of an uncertain year today as it prepares for Berlin to cut back on subsidies, which have made Germany the biggest solar products market in the world.