Today’s Climate: May 5, 2010

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Lieberman: Pushing Climate Bill without Sen. Graham is ‘an Open Question’ (The Hill)

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said he is "open" to advancing the legislation without co-sponsor Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has suspended his support.

Execs: 60,000 Barrels is Worst-Case Gulf Scenario (AP)

Executives from BP told members of a congressional committee that in the worst-case scenario a leaking well could spew up to 60,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. Exempted BP’s Gulf of Mexico Drilling from Environmental Impact Study (Washington Post)

The Interior Department exempted BP’s Gulf of Mexico drilling operation from a detailed environmental impact analysis last year, according to government documents.

Oil Cleanup Chemicals Worry Environment Watchdogs (Reuters)

Oil-dispersing chemicals used to clean up the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico carry their own environmental risks, making a toxic soup that could endanger marine creatures, wildlife watchdogs say.

Obama Backs ‘Significantly’ Higher Spill Damage Cap (Bloomberg)

The Obama administration is backing "significantly" higher limits for damages BP might face for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and won’t rule out scaling back plans to expand offshore drilling.

Lieberman: Drilling Still Part of Energy Bill (National Journal)

Sen. Joe Lieberman said on Tuesday that offshore oil and gas drilling provisions will remain in a draft Senate climate and energy bill he has coauthored, despite the massive Gulf Coast spill that has given fresh ammunition to drilling critics.

Florida Could Sue BP Over Any Spill Damage: Governor (Reuters)

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said on Tuesday it was possible that his state could sue BP over any damage Florida might suffer from the Gulf Coast spill.

Groups Challenge Shell’s Arctic Air Permits (AP)

Alaska Native and conservation groups have filed challenges to clean air permits the EPA granted Shell Oil for drilling exploration wells in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

Automakers Seek to Delay Ethanol Blending Raise (New York Times)

Citing new test data, the auto industry says the federal government’s plan to raise the amount of ethanol mixed into gasoline will damage cars and increase the amount of pollution they emit.

Germany, Mexico Call Climate Meeting Helpful (AP)

Some 40 nations agreed Tuesday on taking individual steps to fight global warming, but made little progress during a three-day meeting near Bonn toward drafting a new international climate change treaty.

Calif Utilities Dinged over Energy Efficiency Goal (Reuters)

California’s investor-owned utilities were rebuked on Tuesday for failing to reach energy efficiency goals over a three-year period, putting them at risk for penalty payments.

Higher Energy Bills, Wind Power Push Likely After UK Election (Bloomberg)

UK consumers can expect higher utility bills no matter which party wins tomorrow’s election, with all three pushing to get more electricity from renewable sources and from plants that burn coal more cleanly.

Australia Geothermal Energy Sector Sees Tax Wins (Reuters)

Australia’s geothermal energy industry expects to get a boost from proposed changes to the country’s tax laws that will allow the sector to write-off exploration costs.

Ice Cap on West Ugandan Mountain Range Splits (AP)

Ugandan wildlife authorities say the ice cap on the country’s western Rwenzori mountain range has split after extensive melting caused by global warming.

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