Today’s Climate: August 29-30, 2009

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Both Sides in Energy Debate Watching Healthcare Battle (Los Angeles Times)

As the battle over healthcare unfolds, its attack ads, spin-doctoring and town hall rhetoric are being watched with special attention by the combatants in Washington’s next big fight — Pres. Obama’s climate plan.

Leave Population Out of Climate Talks, Indian Minister Says (Guardian)

Western nations are trying to use India’s "profligate reproductive behavior" to force Delhi to accept legally binding emission reduction targets, India’s environment minister has said.

UN Chief Urges World to Back Climate Deal (AP)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging the world to "seal the deal" on climate change ahead of the Copenhagen conference on global warming in December.

Firm Wants U.S. Inquiry in Lobby Case (New York Times)

Lawyers for a Washington lobbying firm have asked federal prosecutors to investigate a former employee who the company says sent fake letters to members of Congress urging them to oppose climate legislation.

Coming Soon: Cash for Appliances (San Francisco Chronicle)

The Department of Energy has said it is making $300 million in stimulus money available to state energy offices to offer rebates on energy-efficient household appliances.

Utah Gov. Herbert Says He Will Host First ‘Legitimate’ Debate on Global Warming (AP)

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says he will host the first "legitimate" debate about whether humans contribute to global warming later this year, highlighting skepticism on the topic that is quickly coming to define his new administration.

Oil Refiner Says CO2 bill to Cost It $7 Billion a Year (Reuters)

The U.S. climate bill would cost Valero, the country’s largest oil refiner, some $6 billion to $7 billion annually — more than it has ever made in a year — the company’s top government affairs official has claimed.

Nuclear Industry Fails in State-Level Bids (Sustainable Business)

The nuclear power industry has been shut out across the board in 2009 in its efforts in all six states where it has sought to overturn bans on the construction of new reactors.

State DOTs Tap Brakes on Emission Goals (ClimateWire)

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials — a key player in Capitol Hill transportation debates — has quietly launched an effort to scale back perceptions of their sector’s possible greenhouse gas curbs.

Lawsuit Says Coal-Fired Plants Violate Federal Law (AP)

The U.S. Justice Department and the state of Illinois filed a lawsuit last week against a company that runs six coal-fired plants, claiming violations of the federal air pollution law.

Automaker Think Emerges from Bankruptcy (Detroit News)

Plans to sell the Think electric car in the U.S., and possibly build them in Michigan, are being revived with the Norwegian company’s imminent emergence from bankruptcy protection.

UK Climate Supercomputer Causes Pollution Storm (Christian Science Monitor)

It has been revealed that a $48.9 million supercomputer hailed for its potential contribution to climate change research is one of the UK’s top emitters of carbon dioxide.

Four Years Later, New Orleans’ Green Makeover (TIME)

Four years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is quietly embracing a new and unexpected role as a laboratory for green building.

CFTC Plans to Regulate Chicago Climate Exchange (Bloomberg)

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission will move ahead with regulation of the Chicago Climate Exchange’s voluntary carbon credit trading program for farms, factories and power plants, the regulatory body’s chairman has said.