Today’s Climate: March 30, 2010

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U.S. Government to Unveil Offshore Drilling Plan This Week (Reuters)

The Obama administration is expected to announce by Wednesday its updated plan for oil and natural gas drilling in U.S. waters, including whether to allow exploration for the first time along the U.S. East Coast.

Insurance Regulators Scale Back Climate Rule on Industry (ClimateWire)

A surprise rebellion by a majority of insurance regulators reversed key elements of a landmark regulation requiring the nation’s largest industry to publicly disclose its efforts to address climate change.

Sen. Sanders Sees ‘Bonanza’ for Coal in Emerging Climate Bill (The Hill)

Sen. Bernie Sanders is expressing "deep disappointment" with climate legislation Sen. John Kerry and two colleagues are crafting, arguing the bill could become a "bonanza" for the coal industry.

Analyst: Clean Tech Investment Set to Soar 35% This Year (Business Green)

Analyst Datamonitor predicts that the failure to deliver an international climate change deal will not derail a clean tech investment recovery.

Texas Weighs Efficiency, Solar Mandates (New York Times)

Texas regulators may soon ramp up mandates requiring tougher energy-efficiency standards and development of renewable energy sources other than wind power.

Why Cloud Computing Leaders Need to Demand Clean Power (Earth2Tech)

A report published today by environmental researchers at Greenpeace finds the energy consumption and carbon emissions of cloud computing are already significantly higher than previously thought.

Security Experts: Smart Meters Vulnerable to Hacking (Greenwire)

Flaws in "smart meters" meant to help make homes more energy-efficient also expose them to hackers who could potentially turn strangers’ electricity on and off, security experts find.

Scientists and TV Weathercasters at Odds on Global Warming (New York Times)

Climatologists, who study weather patterns over time, almost universally believe the Earth is warming and that humans have contributed to climate change. There is less of a consensus among meteorologists, who predict short-term weather patterns.

Nissan Announces Electric Leaf Pricing (NPR)

Nissan said today that the electric Leaf will be priced at $32,780 in the U.S. That means when the $7,500 federal tax credit is subtracted, the car’s base price would be just north of $25,000.

People Power in Short Supply for Green Tech (CNet)

One of the biggest challenges facing newly formed green-tech companies–and the field overall–is a lack of people with the appropriate technical and business skills, say experts.

Electric Co-ops Look at Loans for Green Homes (Stateline)

A South Carolina electric cooperative association wants $4.5 billion more to help rural homeowners who they say will otherwise be left out of the green revolution.

Sierra Club Chief Explains Climate Change Strategy (Los Angeles Times)

New Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune says the environmental organization would fight a Senate climate bill if it contained too many concessions to industry.

Greenpeace: Koch Industries Funds Climate Change Deniers (AFP)

Koch Industries, a huge privately-owned US company dominated by oil and chemical interests, is plowing millions of dollars into campaigns to discredit climate science and clean energy policies, a Greenpeace report says.

The Struggle of Farming a Land Where ‘Normal’ Has Lost Its Meaning (ClimateWire)

Kenya is struggling to emerge from a drought that saw at least 10 million people facing starvation. And while dry spells are old hat in a nation dominated by an arid and semiarid climate, today rising global temperatures are ending what little predictability farmers could count on in the past.