Today’s Climate: January 28, 2009

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Bush Oil-Shale Rules to Get Review (Denver Post)

New and pending oil-shale development rules and leases for new fields — pushed through during the final days of the Bush administration — could soon be up for review and perhaps overhaul, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has said.

Wind Power Hits Economic Storm (AP)

The American Wind Energy Association has reported that the amount of electricity generated by wind turbines grew by 50% in 2008. Some 55 new manufacturing facilities were built and 13,000 new jobs were created. But the group sees storm clouds ahead.

Gore: Economy Should Spur Action on Global Warming (AP)

Al Gore, who will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today, is expected to tell Congress not to be sidetracked by the financial crisis and to take "decisive action" this year to reduce global warming emissions.

Senate Panel OKs $49 Billion Energy ‘Stimulus’ Plan (CNET News)

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 21 to 9 yesterday to pass major portions of the Democrats’ stimulus package. The committee’s bill allocates about $49 billion in spending on energy provisions, including $40 billion through the Department of Energy.

2 Tenn. Congressmen Seeking $25M for Ash Cleanup (AP)

Two Tennessee congressmen say they are seeking $25 million from a federal economic stimulus bill to help pay for cleaning up a large coal ash spill in Kingston. 

EPRI to Study Carbon Capture at Coal Power Plants (Reuters)

Five electric utilities in the US and Canada will host studies of post-combustion CO2 capture systems at existing coal plants, the Electric Power Research Institute has said.

Rudd, Obama Pledge to Team Up on Climate (The Age)

Australian PM Kevin Rudd and Pres. Obama have pledged closer cooperation in preparing for the next UN conference on climate change, in their first talks since Obama’s inauguration.

German Government Blocks Ocean Fertilization Project (BusinessGreen)

Germany has called a temporary halt to a research project intended to assess the effectiveness of ocean fertilization projects designed to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store it on the sea bed, amid fears the work would breach international regulations.

Climate Change Leaves Emperor Penguins ‘Facing Extinction’ (The Times)

If rising temperatures continue to melt sea ice at current rates, the population of a large emperor penguin colony in Terre Adelie, Antarctica, will shrink from 3,000 to just 400 breeding pairs.

Offshore Wind Could Power Every Home in the UK by 2020, Says Government (Guardian)

Britain’s Department for Energy and Climate Change has concluded that another 5,000-7,000 wind turbines could be built off the coast by 2020, generating 25 GW of energy. That’s equivalent to 25 large coal plants and enough to power every UK home.