Today’s Climate: July 1, 2010

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US EPA: Tests Show Dispersants Safe for Sea Life (Reuters)

The U.S. EPA said on Wednesday that initial tests show that the dispersant BP is using to break up oil in the Gulf of Mexico does not harm endocrine systems in aquatic life.

NRG Says BP Spill May Slow Permitting Process for Offshore Wind-Power Far (Bloomberg)

NRG Energy Inc. said its wind power project off the coast of Delaware may take three times longer than planned to get approved after BP’s oil spill spurred a reorganization of federal offshore regulation.

BP Spill Nears a Somber Record as Gulf’s Biggest (AP)

BP’s massive oil spill will become the largest ever in the Gulf of Mexico by Thursday based on the highest of the federal government’s estimates, an ominous record that underscores the oil giant’s dire need to halt the gusher.

Top Democrat Drafting Pan to Deny BP New Offshore Drilling Leases (The Hill)

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that he’s drafting legislation to deny BP new offshore oil-and-gas leases for up to seven years due to the oil giant’s pattern of safety and environmental problems.

Louisiana Governor Seals Oil-Spill Records (Green)

Late last week Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed an amendment to a state bill that would have made public all records from his office related to the oil spill.

Interior Delays Offshore Expansion Hearings (New York Times)

The Interior Department said Wednesday that it was pushing back the date of public hearings on the administration’s plan, announced before the BP oil disaster began, to expand offshore drilling.

Senate Panel Approves Creation of Competing Gulf Oil Spill Commission (The Hill)

A key Senate panel delivered a rebuke to President Obama on Wednesday in approving the creation of a bipartisan oil spill commission that would effectively compete with his own.

Fiorina Says Calif. Climate Law is Killing Jobs (AP)

GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina appeared on a national cable news show Wednesday asserting that California’s law to fight global warming is killing jobs, but a review shows its economic effects remain uncertain.

U.S. Fines BP for Erroneous Reporting (Los Angeles Times)

The Department of Interior on Wednesday slapped BP America Inc. with a $5.2-million civil penalty for submitting "false, inaccurate or misleading" reports regarding natural gas production on Southern Ute tribal land in southwestern Colorado.

EPA Overturns 16-Year-Old Texas Permit Program (AP)

The U.S. EPA on Wednesday officially overturned a 16-year-old Texas air permitting program it says violates the Clean Air Act, leaving some of the country’s largest refineries in a state of limbo.

U.S. Export-Import Bank Reconsiders Rejecting India Coal Financing Deal (Bloomberg)

The U.S. Export-Import Bank will reconsider its rejection of a loan guarantee for Bucyrus
International Inc. so it can sell coal-mining equipment for a power project being developed by India’s Reliance Power Ltd.

UVA Volleys in Cuccinelli’s Climate Change Suit (AP)

The University of Virginia filed a brief yesterday in Albemarle County Circuit Court asking a judge to set aside Attorney General Cuccinelli’s request for documents on five grants relating to climate research by scientist Michael Mann, formerly of UVA.

IPCC Expects Increase in Sea-Level Forecasts (Sydney Morning Herald)

The world’s climate-change scientific body will ”almost inevitably” make an increase in its predictions of world sea-level rises due to global warming when it releases its next landmark report in four years, said the vice-chairman of the UN’s IPCC.

New Zealand Launches Emissions Trading Scheme (AFP)

New Zealand launched an emissions trading scheme Thursday in a bid to curb the greenhouse gases but the scheme has angered both businesses and environmentalists.

Bulgaria Suspended from U.N. Kyoto Carbon Trade (Reuters)

Bulgaria has been suspended from UN carbon trading for violating greenhouse reporting rules set under the Kyoto Protocol, a key tool to fight climate change, the Bulgarian environment ministry said on Tuesday.

Climate Talks Under Way in Rome (AP)

Representatives of some of the world’s most polluting nations opened discussions Wednesday on ways to verify that countries like China and India will meet their pledges to reduce emissions blamed for climate change.

Will the U.K. Eliminate the Carbon Trust? (ClimateBiz)

An influential report released this week recommends that the Carbon Trust and two other government-funded green nonprofits be folded into a larger Green Investment Bank to more effectively leverage private investment capital to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint.