Today’s Climate: August 5, 2010

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Looking for the Oil? NOAA Says It’s Mostly Gone (AP)

With a startling report that some researchers call more spin than science, the government said Wednesday that the mess made by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is mostly gone already.

Obama Says "Long Battle" in Gulf Close to End (Reuters)

BP said on Wednesday it was close to subduing its ruptured Gulf of Mexico oil well, and the White House hailed the "beginning of the end" of efforts to contain the worst spill in U.S. history.

Browner, Gibbs Say Drilling Ban Could End Early with Safety Assurances (The Hill)

Two senior White House officials said Wednesday that the administration’s controversial moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling could end before the scheduled late November expiration.

BP Offers Cheaper Gas (CNN Money)

In an effort to help struggling gas stations and appease furious consumers following the Gulf disaster, BP is offering a series of incentives to its distributors that could shave two cents off the price of gasoline at the pump.

Rep: Enbridge Inc. Violated Oil Spill Rules (AP)

A member of Congress said Wednesday that Enbridge violated federal regulations by dragging its feet on reporting a pipeline rupture that poured hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into a southern Michigan waterway.

NY Senate Passes Gas Drilling Moratorium (Reuters)

The New York State Senate has approved at least a nine-month delay in issuing permits for a method of natural gas drilling, saying more study is needed to ensure it does not contaminate the state’s water supply.

Texas Defies EPA on Regulation of Greenhouse Gases (Greenwire)

Texas officials warned U.S. EPA this week they won’t change or reinterpret their air pollution laws to comply with federal greenhouse gas regulations, arguing that the Obama administration’s climate rules are illegal.

New Wind Farm Deal Could Be Model for Industry (AP)

Montana and company officials say a deal to pay for a big, new wind farm with money from a utility could serve as a model to spur growth in the renewable energy industry — as long as Congress keeps incentives in place.

House Republicans Use GAO Report to Bash Climate Proposals (The Hill)

Senior House Republicans say a new Government Accountability Office report on the quality of some international greenhouse gas data should prompt U.S. officials to steer clear of binding policies that limit carbon emissions.

UK Businesses See Climate Change As Threat, Not Opportunity (Dow Jones)

UK businesses are concerned about the effects of climate change on the UK, but while one in three has been significantly affected in the last three years by extreme weather, less than a quarter has started to address the risks and opportunities of climate change, a new study showed.

French Firm Total Rules Out Carbon Capture for Joslyn Mine for Now (Edmonton Journal)

French energy giant Total confirmed Tuesday it will not use carbon capture technology in the first phase of its Joslyn North Mine oil sands project in Alberta, Canada, citing expense as the roadblock.

New Gas Pipeline Prompts Fears for Amazon Rainforest (Guardian)

A gas pipeline cutting through 660 km of Amazon rainforest will deliver cleaner energy to a sprawling industrial city buried in the heart of the jungle. But environmentalists fear the pipe is simply a bridgehead towards greater exploitation of gas and oil fields in the area.

China May Launch Environmental Tax Trial: Report (Reuters)

Three Chinese ministries will soon submit a proposal for a trial environmental tax, likely to be levied on emissions of CO2 and discharges of polluted water, the China Business News reported on Thursday.

World’s First Solar Power Plant that Can Work at Night (Scientific American)

The world’s first solar power plant to employ such technology — a thermal power plant that concentrates the sun’s rays with mirrors on long, thin tubes filled with the molten salt — opened in Syracuse, Sicily, on July 14.

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