Today’s Climate: Aug. 2, 2010

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EPA Notes Improvements at Michigan Oil Spill Site (AP)

A regional administrator for the EPA said Sunday that significant improvement had been made at the site of an oil spill in a southern Michigan river. But the agency cautioned that it will take months to complete the cleanup.

$5 Million Spent So Far on Kalamazoo River Oil-Spill Cleanup (Michigan Live)

The EPA has spent $5 million so far on the Michigan oil spill, exceeding by $3 million the original allotment given to the agency for containment and cleanup efforts.

Gulf Crews Prepare to Start Plugging Well for Good (AP)

Engineers on the Gulf of Mexico hoped to begin a plan by Monday evening to shove mud and perhaps cement into the blown-out oil well at the seafloor, making it easier to end the gusher for good.

BP Executive ‘Absolutely’ Would Eat Gulf Seafood (AFP)

BP’s chief operating officer sought to give the southern U.S. fishing industry a much-need boost Sunday, saying he’d "absolutely" eat Gulf of Mexico seafood after the massive oil spill devastated the region.

Congress Questions BP’s Use of Dispersants in Gulf (Reuters)

BP’s use of dispersant chemicals is sparking questions from a U.S. congressional panel, which says the company used more of these compounds than the EPA had directed.

Poll: Interest Up On New Energy Sources, Down on Global Warming (The Hill)

According to a Rasmussen report out Sunday, 65% of Americans think finding new energy sources is better than reducing current energy consumption. On global warming, 57% say it is a "serious issue."

Study Claims Conventional Ag Limits Greenhouse Gas (AP)

Advances in conventional agriculture have slowed the flow of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, in part by allowing farmers to grow more food to meet world demand without plowing up vast tracts of land, a study by Stanford University researchers has found.

UN Carbon Offsets Rise as Board at CDM Rejects Record Number of Projects (Bloomberg)

The executive board of the Clean Development Mechanism turned down 22 projects requesting registration, the most during any single meeting, and approved 21 applications, some conditionally, according to the minutes published from last week’s meeting.

U.S. Inaction on Climate Troubles Global Talks (AP)

The failure of a climate bill in the U.S. Senate is likely to weigh heavily on international negotiations that begin today on a new agreement to control global warming.

Figueres Urges Smaller Steps on Climate Change as UN Warming Talks Resume (Bloomberg)

Costa Rica’s Christiana Figueres took charge of UN climate talks on Monday, calling on nations to do the "politically possible" and take smaller steps rather than striving for an all-encompassing deal to halt global warming.

Australia Election Set for Neck-and-Neck Finish (Reuters)

Australia’s Labor government and the opposition are neck-and-neck ahead of an August 21 election, an opinion poll showed on Monday, prompting a call by PM Julia Gillard for an aggressive election campaign.

Spain Plans To Cut Future Photovoltaic Subsidies By Up To 45% (Wall Street Journal)

Spain’s government has sent a proposal for a regulatory decree to the country’s national energy commission to cut subsidies for future PV solar plants by up to 45%, the industry ministry said in a statement.