Today’s Climate: June 24, 2009

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House Dems Strike Deal to Pass Climate Bill (Washington Post)

The ACES bill is expected to hit the House floor on Friday and pass, but with changes including $7.5 billion for a Green Bank, plus extra emission allowances for rural electric cooperatives and USDA rather than EPA oversight of agriculture offsets to appease Rep. Collin Peterson.

Chamber of Commerce Challenges EPA on Endangerment (Politico)

The Chamber of Commerce is calling for formal hearings before a neutral arbitrator where it can question EPA witnesses. It’s senior vice president of environmental affairs claims “there is no evidence that CO2 has an impact on health and welfare.”

Senate Panel Trims Interior, EPA Budgets (New York Times)

A Senate panel slashed the environmental agencies’ spending by $200 million from the levels approved by House appropriators. The Senate is expected to vote this week.

US Nixes 40% Cuts at Major Economies Forum (AP)

U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern said at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate: "The 40 percent below 1990 is something which in our judgment is not necessary, and not feasible given where we’re starting from, so it’s not in the cards."

GE Finance Arm Lining Up Green Power Deals (Reuters)

General Electric’s Energy Financial Services is working on thousands of megawatts of renewable energy projects, but it is not likely to move forward until the government sets rules for new grants, an executive says.

Renewable Energy May Be Stocks’ Next Big Thing (AP)

Keep an eye on renewable energy companies. After crashing along with the broader markets last fall, the WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index is up 61% since March.

Asia Challenges the U.S. for Green Tech Supremacy (Time)

In August, the leaders of Japan, China and Korea will hold a trilateral summit to discuss how they can pool their resources and expertise to develop and commercialize emerging green technologies.

Wind Energy Set to Grow at Record Pace (Reuters)

The World Wind Energy Association expects the world’s wind power production capacity to grow by a record 25 percent this year, despite financing difficulties for some projects in the economic downturn.

Is China Becoming a Huge Solar-Panel Market? (Earth2Tech)

As the world’s largest solar-panel producer for the last two years, China already is a major solar player. But now, some industry experts say, it’s expanding from being mainly a solar-panel supplier to also becoming a substantial customer.

Australia Carbon Plan Debate Likely Delayed To August (Dow Jones)

Austrailian Climate Change Minister Penny Wong conceded today that a Senate vote on carbon trading likely won’t occur until at least mid-August, when Parliament resumes after a six-week winter break.

Utah Fighting Radioactive Waste Disposal Plan (Salt Lake Tribune)

Utah is joining the court fight to stop EnergySolutions Inc. from burying large volumes of foreign radioactive waste in its Tooele County landfill. That includes leftovers from cleaning up Italy’s dismantled nuclear reactors that the company wants to import.

Swiss Glaciers Melting Faster Than Ever Before (Reuters)

Switzerland’s glaciers shrank by 12 percent over the past decade, melting at their fastest rate due to rising temperatures and lighter snowfalls, a university study shows.

Deep in Bedrock, Clean Energy and Quake Fears (New York Times)

In an enhanced geothermal project, AltaRock Energy will drill California ground that is laced with fault lines using a method that has caused earthquakes elsewhere.

UK Train Stations in £5M Drive for Two-Wheel Transit (Guardian)

The UK is unveiling a plan today to turn 10 railway stations into "cycling hubs," with extra bike storage and repair shops, in an attempt to emulate the Netherlands, where about a third of all trips to rail stations are by bike.