Today’s Climate: June 23, 2009

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House Strikes Deal on Climate Bill, Clearing Way for Passage (Reuters)

House Democrats said tonight they had reached a deal on difficult agriculture issues in a climate change bill, clearing the way for a vote on Friday and likely approval.

CBO: Climate Bill to Cost Average Household $175 (Washington Post)

Climate-change legislation would cost the average household $175 a year by 2020, according to the Congressional Budget Office, far below the figure commonly used by GOP critics of the House bill. The poorest would actually get a $40 benefit.

Russia’s Targets Would Allow 30% Increase in Emissions (Cleantech)

Russia has found a loophole to international calls to reduce emission. Since 1990, the country has ceased much of its industrial activity, so a 10% to 15% cut from 1990 levels would allow a 30% increase over Russia’s 2007 emissions.

Mexico: ‘Green Fund’ Better than Carbon Credits (AP)

Mexican President Felipe Calderon pushed for a $10 billion "green fund" as a more efficient way to fight climate change than carbon credits during the latest sessions of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate.

Chilean Glaciers Melting at Unprecedented Rate (Santiago Times)

The latest research expedition to the Southern Patagonia Ice Field reveals that alpine glaciers in the Chilean and Argentine Andes are disappearing at much faster rates than previously anticipated by the scientific community.

Fuel Economy Focus Would Be Profitable for Detroit (Green Car Congress)

A study by the University of Michigan finds that an industry-wide fuel economy increase of 30% to 50% (35 mpg to 40.4 mpg) would increase Detroit automakers’ gross profits by roughly $3 billion a year and increase sales by the equivalent of two large assembly plants.

FTSE Draws Up Green Business Classification (Business Green)

The company behind the FTSE index is launching a range of new indices and investment tools designed to help investors accelerate funding and improve returns from green businesses.

US Draws Line with China on Climate Technology (AFP)

Access to green technology is increasingly becoming a stumbling block in global efforts to fight climate change, with U.S. lawmakers bristling at what they see as China’s attempt to "steal" U.S. know-how.

Scottish Government Raising 2020 Emissions Cuts to 42% (BBC)

Scotland’s governing ministers, facing a climate bill defeat if they stuck with a 34% emissions cut by 2020, said they would raise the target to 42% provided European governments agree at Copenhagen to reduce emissions by 30%.

UK Powers Up World’s Largest Electric Car Trial (Guardian)

The UK today is unveiling the world’s largest coordinated trial of environmentally friendly vehicles. The £25 million plan is designed to accelerate the introduction of electric cars by allowing people to take part in long-term trials.

EPA: Tenn. River to Be Clean of Coal Ash Next Spring (WBIR)

Six months after the TVA Fossil Plant in Kingston unleashed more than one billion gallons of toxic fly ash, the EPA is in charge of the cleanup and predicts the ash will be out of the river by spring 2010.

Sierra Club Calls for Public Hearings on Kansas Coal Plant (Journal-World)

Environmentalists are calling for public hearings on Sunflower Electric’s plan to build an 895-megawatt coal-burning power plant in southwest Kansas. “Building a massive, new polluting coal facility will have serious long-term consequences,” Sierra Club argues.

Old Habits Die Hard, Especially in Washington (Huffington Post)

“The old habits of special interest dealing, cover up and delay, work for those who pay your campaign bills, not those who elect you,” writes Sierra Club’s Carl Pope, highlighting a California congressman’s support for coal.

Sweden promotes climate-friendly food choices (EurActiv)

First-of-their-kind guidelines for climate-friendly food choices developed by the Swedish authorities recommend citizens to reduce their meat and rice consumption as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Scientists Breeding Cows to Burp Less (Reuters)

Canadian scientists are breeding a cows to burp less, a breakthrough that could reduce a big source of greenhouse gases.