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June 24 News: Houston To Become ‘The Alternative Energy Capital Of The World’?

Houston, Texas just agreed to buy $2 million worth of renewable energy, which will feed into the city for the next two years. [Houston Business Journal]

The City of Houston said it agreed to pay $2 million for two years worth of renewable power from Houston-based Reliant Energy Inc.

That’s more than 140 megawatts of renewable power — or about half of the city’s annual electricity demand, which will feed into the city from July 1 to June 30, 2013, according to a June 20 statement. The buy has the capacity to power more than 55,000 homes in Houston per year.

“Houston is already known as the energy capital of the world, but we are committed to becoming the alternative energy capital of the world as well,” Houston Mayor Annise Parker said in the statement.

The deal makes Houston the largest municipal renewable power buyer in the country, according to the statement.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said President Obama’s soon-to-be-announced plan on climate could be a “political game-changer.” [The Hill]

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Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), who has said “the question is not whether climate change is occurring, but how our nation is going to respond to it,” joined the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. [The Hill]

Secretary of State John Kerry said in New Delhi on Sunday that “the irreversible climate challenge is speeding towards us, crying out for a global solution.” [AP, New York Times]

A new bill would require government agencies to cooperate on climate change adaptation efforts. [The Missoulian]

Wildfires continue to burn in Southwest Colorado, as high winds and hot weather have made containment attempts difficult. [LA Times]

At least 1,000 people have been killed as a result of flash flooding and landslides in northern India. [New York Times]

Last year’s drought in Nebraska was so severe that trees are still struggling from heat stress, while many are succumbing to pests and disease. [Associated Press]

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Record-breaking floods in Alberta, Canada last week displaced more than 100,000 people and will leave the city of Calgary without power for days. [Reuters]

By 2100, Earth will host 10.9 billion people, growing at 10 million a year. [Yale 360]

If the radiated trees around Chernobyl were to catch fire, the smoke and ash currently inside them would go into the air. [Climate Central]

Utilities and solar energy producers are coming into conflict over the small-scale solar power. [Wall Street Journal]

Solar gardens, which enable people to buy or rent a piece of a solar array, are popping up across Colorado, aided by a pilot program by the state’s largest electricity provider. [The Denver Post]

Nissan just unveiled the world’s fastest electric car, which will be entered in next year’s LeMans race. [Mashable]

Next year, Massachusetts could be able to vote to adopt the first direct price on carbon in the United States. [Boston Globe]

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Researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology are developing self-assembling DNA molecules as a scaffolding for artificial photosynthesis. [Clean Technica]

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim emphasizes how unchecked climate change could roll back recent successes in the fight against global poverty. [Huffington Post]