Today’s Climate: January 29, 2009

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Offshore Calif. Drilling Deal Could Be Scuttled (AP)

An agreement paving the way for the first oil drilling off the California coast in nearly 40 years has run into unexpected opposition from state and federal lawmakers that may sink it altogether today.

Gore Urges Passing Stimulus Deal to Aid Climate (Reuters)

Al Gore told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday that the first step toward restoring US "economic and moral leadership" is to pass Pres. Obama’s stimulus package — and the second step is to put a price on carbon.

House Passes Obama’s $819B Stimulus (AP)

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives approved the historically huge $819 billion stimulus bill Wednesday night. The vote was 244-188, with Republicans unanimously opposed.

EU Unveils Proposals for Global Climate Change Deal (EUobserver)

The EU has unveiled proposals for achieving a Post-Kyoto deal on climate change, calling for a commitment by rich nations to slash emissions by 30% by 2020, with the overall goal to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures.

Solar Panel Installations in California Through the Roof in ’08 (Los Angeles Times)

California residents and businesses last year installed a record 158 MW of photovoltaic panels on their rooftops, the California Public Utilities Commission has said. That’s more than double the 78 MW installed in 2007.

Clean Power Groups Slam New Canadian Budget (Earth2Tech)

The Canadian Wind Energy Association has blasted Canada’s government for dropping support for renewable incentives in the proposed federal budget for 2009. Similarly, Greenpeace has accused lawmakers of putting the bulk of cleantech funds into so-called "clean coal."

Arctic’s Thawing Seas May Bring New Security Risks (AP)

NATO commanders and lawmakers from alliance nations will be gathering today to examine the risks posed by the thawing Arctic Circle and the prospect of standoffs among nations rushing to lay claim to the energy reserves there.

IT Industry Joins Energy Efficiency Push (Reuters)

The IT industry is joining the push toward energy efficiency by developing new power management technology to curb the sector’s harmful contribution to climate change, US research firm Gartner has said.

Australian Heatwave Sign of Climate Change (Reuters)

A heatwave scorching southern Australia, causing transport chaos by buckling rail lines and leaving more than 10,000 homes without power, is a sign of global warming, the nation’s climate minister has said. 

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