Today’s Climate: August 26, 2009

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US Budget Update Stands Pat on CO2 Permit Auction (Reuters)

The White House budget update released yesterday still reflects the Obama administration’s plan to combat global warming by auctioning all permits to emit greenhouse gases even though Congress plans to give away a large part to industry.

McKibben: Pachauri’s Support for 350 ppm a Breakthrough Moment (

We’ve had many breakthroughs in the 350 campaign in the last 18 months, but maybe none as important as the news that the UN’s top climate scientists said in an interview that 350 ppm was the bottom line for the planet.

UN: History Can No Longer Guide Farmers, Investors (Reuters)

Climate change has made history an inaccurate guide for farmers as well as energy investors who must rely on probabilities and scenarios to make decisions.

DOE Loan Applicants Turn to Lobbyists for Help (Greenwire)

Department of Energy loan guarantee programs for innovative power projects have become a boon for lobbyists hired to shepherd the applications. Of the six companies that have won loan guarantees since the beginning of the year, five have lobbyists.

India Urges Rich Countries to Call Its Bluff on Climate (Bloomberg)

India and China would have to “respond very positively” if rich nations agreed to cut emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, India’s environment minister said from Beijing, where he was meeting with a Chinese climate negotiator.

Lead Scares Highlight China’s Environmental Dilemma (AFP)

A pair of lead poisoning scandals affecting at least 2,000 children in China are just the latest in a seemingly endless string of pollution scares exposing the dark side of the nation’s economic boom.

Shareholders Crank Up Demand for Climate Action (Business Green)

Shareholder pressure on firms to step up their efforts to address climate change is continuing to rise, with a record 68 climate-related shareholder resolutions filed by investors during the 2009 proxy season. There is also further evidence that the resolutions are working.

Australian Carbon Storage Plan Under Fire (ABC)

Australia gave the go-ahead to a consortium’s $50 billion plan to bury millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions, but the potential for leaks puts the project in doubt.

South Carolina Panel Expected to Approve Off-Shore Drilling (Post and Courier)

A legislative committee is expected to recommend the approval of natural gas and oil exploration off the South Carolina coast while also recommending the state write a comprehensive energy plan.

West Virginia Agency Loses Another Coal Mine Pollution Case (Coal Tattoo)

A second federal judge has ordered the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to clean up the way it cleans up abandoned coal mine pollution.

Shuttered Ford Plant Turns to Renewable Energy (Detroit Free Press)

In a $1-billion conversion of an iconic rust-belt industrial plant into a massive renewable energy park, Ford Motor Co. has struck a tentative deal to sell a dormant Wixom Assembly Plant to a grid storage battery maker and solar panel company.

German Wind Power Moves Further Out to Sea (Reuters)

The technology behind a German offshore wind power plant, forced out to deeper waters to protect tidelands, has the industry buzzing.

Tokyo to Test Electric Taxis with Switchable Batteries (Green Car Congress)

Better Place has received an award from the Japanese government to conduct a pilot project in Tokyo for the world’s first electric taxis with switchable batteries.