Today’s Climate: April 25-26, 2009

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Gore Pushes for U.S. Climate Law This Year (Reuters)

Speaking before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Friday, Al Gore urged passage of a federal climate law "this year," saying failure to pass legislation could cause the collapse of world climate negotiations (full testimony here).

Republicans Push Nuclear Energy to Lower Costs (AP)

The U.S. should build 100 more nuclear plants rather than spend billions for renewable energy if it is truly committed to lowering electric bills, the Republican Party said in its weekly radio and Internet address.

Californians Install Record 78 MW Of Solar Panels in 1Q (Wall Street Journal)

Defying a global trend of weak solar demand, owners of homes and businesses in California installed a record 78 MW of solar panels in the first quarter of 2009, the California Public Utilities Commission has announced. 

Southern Co’s Miss. IGCC Plant Faces New Challenge (Reuters)

Mississippi’s attorney general has questioned the state’s authority to approve a $2.2 billion coal-gasification plant that Southern Co. wants to build, throwing the future of the proposed plant into doubt.

U.S. Military Base Embraces Green Energy (Los Angeles Times)

A major Mojave Desert Army base has become a testing ground and showcase for green initiatives that officials estimate could save the nation millions of dollars, and even lives.

Alberta Wary of California Low-Carbon Fuel Rule (Reuters)

Alberta, Canada’s biggest energy-producing province, is wary of the new California low-carbon fuel rule and its potential effects on exports of oil sands production, the province’s energy minister has said.

Florida Renewable Energy Projects in Jeopardy without New Law (Tampa Bay Online)

Several renewable energy projects in Florida may be scuttled or delayed if the Legislature fails to pass legislation requiring utilities to get 20% of their power from clean sources by 2020.

EU Clears Way for Wider Energy-Saving Rules for Domestic Goods (Bloomberg)

The EU has agreed to set new energy efficiency standards for household products, such as windows and shower heads. Some goods could be banned as a result.

Supporters Hope Indiana Renewable Energy Bill Passes (AP)

Supporters of a proposal that would set Indiana’s first comprehensive renewable energy policy are watching closely as the legislative session enters its final days — although key lawmakers aren’t optimistic that the measure will pass.

UK Climate Protester Says Police Tried to Recruit Her (Reuters)

A British environmental campaigner was quoted as saying that undercover police tried to recruit her as an informant, and that money was mentioned and fear tactics were used.

Dutch Firms to Build Electric Car Network (DutchNews.nl)

The Netherlands’ electricity grid companies have agreed to set up a nationwide network of 10,000 charging stations for electric cars by 2012, the Volkskrant reported.

Drilling Drives a Wedge at Climate Change Summit (AP)

A moratorium on new oil and gas drilling and a phase-out of fossil fuels drove a wedge between youths and many of the older delegates at the UN-affiliated Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change.

North Korea Starts Reprocessing Spent Fuel Rods (AFP)

North Korea announced it has started reprocessing spent fuel rods from a pilot nuclear power plant, in protest to international condemnation of its controversial rocket launch this month.

Park Service Warns of Solar Projects’ Impacts to Mojave Desert (Greenwire)

A National Park Service official has warned the Bureau of Land Management that approving dozens of solar power plants in southern Nevada could dramatically impact water supplies across the arid region. 

The Tesla-Tata Road Race (Big Money, Slate)

Silicon Valley’s Tesla Motors and India’s Tata Motors are the opposite poles of an automobile future that could look utterly unlike what we have today: green luxury on one side and semi-green basic transportation on the other.