Today’s Climate: February 24, 2009

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Supreme Court Won’t Hear Power Plant Appeal (Dow Jones)

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a bid by a group of utility companies and industry trade groups to resuscitate a Bush-era EPA rule delisting mercury from regulated power plant pollutants.

Obama to Tell Congress How Agenda Will Aid Economy (New York Times)

President Obama will use his first address to Congress this evening to present a road map for “how we get to a better day." The speech will explain his economic policies and argue that legislative revisions on energy are crucial to lifting the economy.

U.S. May Set Greenhouse Gas Standard for Cars (Washington Post)

The Obama administration is considering establishing national rules for regulating greenhouse gas emissions for automobiles, according to White House officials. Carol Browner backs a single standard.

Ontario Introduces Sweeping Energy Bill (New York Times)

Canada’s most populous province introduced a sweeping package of energy related legislation, including incentives and rule changes it hopes will increase the amount of energy from renewable sources. It also would take away the ability of local governments to block the construction of wind farms.

Ga. Power Lobbyists Push for Nuke Charges (Journal-Constitution)

Georgia Power’s full court lobbying press at the state Capitol is raising eyebrows among legislators. At stake is a bill that would allow Georgia Power to begin collecting interest costs for a nuclear expansion six years before the new nuclear reactors are set to be completed.

eSolar, NRG in Deal to Develop 500 MW Solar Power (Reuters)

NRG Energy stepped in the solar power arena with a $10 billion agreement with eSolar to create up to 500 megawatts of solar thermal plants in the U.S. Southwest. 

NASA’s Orbiting Climate Observatory Lost at Launch (SolveClimate)

NASA’s Orbiting Climate Observatory never reached orbit after its launch this morning and landed in the ocean near Antarctica, taking with it scientists’ hopes for a better understanding of the Earth’s carbon sinks. NASA officials say they will keep working on the missions and are "committed to advancing Earth system science."

Floating Wind Turbines to be Tested Off Portugal (Business Green)

U.S. wind turbine developer Principle Power and Portugal’s Energias de Portugal are teaming up on a project to develop a deep-water offshore wind farm off the coast of Portugal using floating wind turbines.

Clinton, Gore: It’s the Clean-Energy Economy, Stupid (Politico)

Bill Clinton and Al Gore told a roomful of climate change heavyweights that the nation must push on with a national clean energy Smart Grid — or risk losing the battle on climate change.

Obama Eyes Climate Bill This Year or Next (Reuters)

The White House signaled that it could wait until 2010 for major climate change legislation to move through the U.S. Congress as long as it fulfilled President Obama’s criteria for tackling global warming.

Study: Climate Change Risk Underestimated (AFP)

The risk posed to mankind and the environment by even small changes in average global temperatures is much higher than believed even a few years ago, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Figuring Out Green Power (Science Daily)

Scientists are dramatically speeding up identification of genes that affect the structure and function of chloroplasts, which could lead to plants tailored specifically for biofuel production.