- Energy efficiency and renewable energy chief is named at the Department of Energy: It's Cathy Zoi, former CEO of Al Gore's climate nonprofit, Clinton Administration environmental official, and cleantech businesswoman.
- The White House could not say, in response to a question by ScienceInsider, what President Barack Obama will be doing during Earth Hour Saturday. World Wildlife Fund: not happy that administration not promoting the effort.
- Representative Jay Inslee (D–WA) introduces legislation that would instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to tackle the problem of black carbon. Although this type of soot, emitted in the United States mostly by diesel vehicles, is not a greenhouse gas and, therefore, not covered under the Kyoto protocol, when it lands on snow it speeds up melting. Last year, University of California, San Diego, atmospheric scientist V. Ramanathan calculated in a paper published in Nature that the pollutant could have up to four times as much potential to warm Earth than previously thought. Black carbon only lasts in the atmosphere for weeks at most; carbon dioxide lasts for a century or more. So cutting black carbon pollution—most easily done by toughening car emission standards—could have a big effect fast and help protect the Arctic.