Today’s Climate: September 23, 2010

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Bingaman: Climate Bill Outlook Grim (Reuters)

Pres. Obama’s dream of passing a big bill to battle global warming is likely dead for the next two years, according to Sen. Jeff Bingaman, a leading Democrat and long-time backer of climate legislation. 

Murkowski Left in Place as Top Energy Committee Republican (Washington Post)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski will remain the ranking Republican on the Senate energy committee despite her running as a write-in candidate for reelection against GOP leadership wishes. 

Calif. Renewable Energy Rules Likely to Advance (Los Angeles Times) 

The California Air Resources Board is expected to approve regulations today that could break an impasse in a battle to require utilities to obtain a third of their power from solar and other renewable sources by 2020.

Global Wind Power Capacity May Rival Nuclear Within Four Years, GWEC Says (Bloomberg) 

Installed power capacity from wind turbines around the world will probably rival the potential generation of electricity from nuclear plants within four years, the Global Wind Energy Council said.

Obama Admin Rejects Timeout for Natural Gas Drilling in N.Y., Pa. (Greenwire)

The Obama administration has decided against pressing for a temporary halt to Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania and New York, a key federal official said. 

U.S. Oblivious to Oil Sands Impact: Native Leaders (Canadian Press)

A pair of Canadian aboriginal leaders said decisionmakers in Washington are unaware but receptive to arguments about the environmental impact of oil sands development, after meeting with federal officials.

Regulators OK Restart Plan for Michigan Pipeline (AP)

Federal regulators said Wednesday they have approved a plan to allow a pipeline that leaked at least 820,000 gallons of oil in southern Michigan this summer to gradually restart.

California Wants 1 Million Electric Vehicles on Roads by 2020 (Detroit News)

California has unveiled a new plan to get 1 million battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on its roadways in a decade.

Proposition 23: Environmentalists Power Up (Los Angeles Times) 

California environmental groups have launched a massive grassroots organizing effort to defeat Proposition 23 that would suspend the state’s 2006 global warming law. A conference call to rally opposition this week drew 23,077 participants.

California Regulators Approve 370-Megawatt Solar Power Plant (Wall Street Journal) 

California regulators approved construction Wednesday of a 370-MW solar-thermal power plant by BrightSource Energy, one of nine facilities that together will more than double U.S. solar power generation capacity.

U.S. Seen Losing Renewable Energy Race to Asia (Reuters)

Several Asian countries could soon challenge the U.S. in the race to build a renewable energy industry if Washington doesn’t provide more incentives for its domestic business, venture capitalists and others told a Congressional hearing on Wednesday.

World’s Biggest Offshore Farm Pushes U.K.’s Wind Power Beyond 5 Gigawatts (Bloomberg)

Britain’s capacity to generate electricity from the wind will pass 5 GW today, enough for 2.7 million homes, as Vattenfall opens the world’s biggest offshore turbine farm southeast of England.

Forest Deals Push Forward as Climate Talks Lag (AlertNet)

With progress towards a UN climate deal lagging, financial institutions, donors and tropical forest countries are moving rapidly to set up their own systems to pay forest nations to preserve their trees as a means of curbing carbon emissions.  

Kremlin Adviser Says Kyoto Can’t Stop Climate Change (Reuters)

The Kyoto Protocol will have virtually no impact on slowing global warming unless it expands to take in the U.S., China and more developing countries, Russia’s chief climate negotiator said on Wednesday.

Greenpeace Plan Month-Long Stay on North Sea Drill Ship (AFP)

Greenpeace campaigners who boarded an oil drilling ship near the Shetland Isles in protest at exploration in the North Sea have enough food and drink to stay for a month, the group said.

Ocean Cold Snap Paused Global Warming in 70s: Study (Reuters)

A cold snap in northern oceans around 1970 may have caused a dip in world temperatures that briefly interrupted a trend of global warming, scientists said on Wednesday.

Fears Mount of Massive Caribbean Coral Bleaching: Study (AFP)

Above-average temperatures this year could spark massive coral bleaching in the Caribbean basin region, experts with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned Wednesday after a major study.