Today’s Climate: March 26, 2010

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Senators Outline U.S. Utility Carbon Market for Climate Bill (Bloomberg)

Senators Lindsey Graham and Joseph Lieberman outlined U.S. climate legislation that would have power companies buy and sell pollution rights in a carbon market and force oil companies to pay fixed fees for emissions.

‘Cap and Trade’ Loses Its Standing as Energy Policy of Choice (New York Times)

Why did cap-and-trade, a Republican plan to unleash the market and spur innovation, die? The short answer is that it was done in by the weak economy, the Wall Street meltdown, determined industry opposition and its own complexity.

Big Oil Seeks Natural Gas Deal in U.S. Climate Bill (Reuters)

Major oil companies were calling on three U.S. senators struggling over a compromise climate bill to provide new breaks for natural gas drilling as the lawmakers said the legislation might not be unveiled until at least the end of April.

Ethiopia Calls for Common Stand from Developing Countries (Xinhua)

Ethiopian PM Meles Zenawi said on Thursday that developing countries should have a common stand at the climate negotiations to be held in Cancún, Mexico next December.

IMF Member Countries Reject Green Fund Plan (Reuters)

International Monetary Fund member countries have rejected an idea supported by IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn to create a green fund to help developing nations pay for the impact of climate change.

Indonesia Insists on Bid to Chair UN Climate Body (Jakarta Post)

Indonesia will announce its candidate for the UNFCCC top post next week, but three of four names tipped for he position have refused to be nominated.

De Boer: UN Climate Deal ‘Possible in 2011’ (EurActiv)

The UN conference in Cancún needs to set the basis for a new climate treaty in 2011, Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UNFCCC, told EurActiv in an exclusive interview.

South Korea to Trade Carbon Emissions Rights (Wall Street Journal)

South Korea plans to begin trading carbon emissions rights in 2012 as part of the country’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Environment Minister Lee Maanee said Thursday.

House Bill Extends U.S. Ethanol Tax Breaks to 2016 (Reuters)

The U.S. government would extend ethanol tax breaks and a hefty tariff on imports until 2016, under a bill unveiled by two dozen lawmakers on Thursday, reigniting the "food vs. fuel" debate.

GE Says European, UK Policy Drove Offshore Wind Investment (Bloomberg)

GE plans to invest $453 million in developing and expanding wind-turbine operations in the UK and three European countries because of the region’s long-term support of renewable energy, the company’s power and water division chief said.

California Grid Preparing for Greener Future (Reuters)

Six or more major new transmission lines will be needed to meet California clean air and water standards that affect the changing production and use of electricity, the state’s Independent System Operator said in its five-year outlook on Thursday.

Audit Finds Vulnerability of EnergyStar Program (New York Times)

In a nine-month study, auditors concluded that the U.S. government’s EnergyStar program was highly vulnerable to fraud and has been granting approval for nonexistent products.

Philadelphia Seeks Ban on Natgas-Drilling Method (Reuters)

Philadelphia officials asked a state regulator on Thursday to ban the natural-gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing until its environmental effects, especially on drinking water, are studied.

Report: Cleantech Driving Canada’s Economy (Cleantech Group)

The cleantech sector in Canada grew 47% during the 2008-09 recession and could increase to 117% from 2010-12, a new report said.

NY Vermont Nuke Plant Says Radioactive Leak Plugged (AP)

Officials at Vermont’s only nuclear power plant say they’ve stopped a leak of a radioactive substance and are starting to clean up the groundwater.

Waste Issue Hurting U.S. Nuclear Revival (Reuters)

The lack of a permanent home for the nation’s radioactive waste is dampening prospects for a resurgence of the U.S. nuclear industry, federal commissioners said at their first public hearing on the subject.

How Republicans Learned To Reject Climate Change (NPR)

As climate change emerged as a top issue on the national scene a few years ago, it had one unusual quality: The response to it showed surprising signs of bipartisan support.