Today’s Climate: May 7, 2010

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250 Scientists Decry "Assaults" on Climate Research (Reuters)

More than 250 scientists, all members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, published an open letter in the journal Science on Friday, defending climate change research against "political assaults."

U.S. Puts Hold on Drilling Permits (Houston Chronicle)

The U.S. government has stopped issuing new offshore drilling permits until at least May 28, while it examines issues related to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, Interior Secretary Salazar said.

Lieberman: Offshore Drilling in Climate Bill Getting a ‘Second Look’ (The Hill)

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), a chief architect of the upcoming Senate climate and energy bill, said Thursday that offshore oil-and-gas drilling provisions in the measure are getting a "second look."

U.S. Climate Bill Unveiling Possible Next Week (Reuters)

The Senate’s long-awaited climate bill could be unveiled next week, but likely without the public backing of Republican lawmaker Sen. Lindsay Graham, according to Sen. Joseph Lieberman.

Giant Box Close to Being Over Oil-Spewing Well (AP)

A 100-ton concrete-and-steel box was close to being placed over a blown-out well on the Gulf floor early Friday, in an unprecedented attempt to capture gushing oil.

Gulf Spill Will "Forever" Change Drilling: BP Exec (Reuters)

The explosion and sinking of a BP oil rig and subsequent massive oil spill will "forever" change the offshore drilling industry, a top executive with the London-based oil giant said on Thursday.

Groups Sue Over BLM Plan Allowing Wyoming Drilling (AP)

Five environmental groups have filed a lawsuit challenging a long-range BLM plan that will guide oil and gas development over a vast area in south-central Wyoming.

Cash for Caulkers Improvement Rebates Win Partisan House Nod (Denver Post)

Homeowners could collect thousands in "Cash for Caulkers" rebates for adding insulation and energy-saving windows and doors under a new stimulus bill the House passed Thursday.

Mine Safety Sweep Yields Citations, Closures (Wall Street Journal)

Federal mine-safety officials said they closed six Kentucky mines and issued more than 1,000 citations for safety violations as a result of a nationwide sweep last month of 57 coal mines with a history of repeat safety violations.

Massey Plans to Restart 3 W.Va. Surface Coal Mines (AP)

Coal producer Massey Energy says it’s reopening three idled West Virginia surface mines as it copes with the aftermath of a deadly explosion at its Upper Big Branch mine.

South African Heads Race for UN Climate Chief (Reuters)

South Africa’s minister of tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk is the frontrunner to replace Yvo de Boer as UN climate chief, sources familiar with the selection process told Reuters on Thursday.

U.-Va. Plans to Comply with Cuccinelli Subpoena (Washington Post)

The University of Virginia does not plan to resist a subpoena from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli asking for documents related to the work of climate scientist Michael Mann, despite requests from some advocacy groups that it does so.

UK Green Party Wins First Commons Seat in Brighton (Bloomberg)

The Green Party won its first seat in the House of Commons on Thursday as leader Caroline Lucas defeated the Labour incumbent in Brighton Pavilion on England’s south coast.

China’s Energy Use Threatens Goals on Warming (New York Times)

Even as China has set ambitious goals for itself in clean energy production, the country’s surging demand for power from oil and coal has led to the largest six-month increase in the tonnage of human-generated greenhouse gases ever by a single country.

German Parliament Passes Solar Subsidy Cut Measure (Bloomberg)

The German parliament passed a measure on Thursday to cut solar power subsidies that also includes "experimental" ways to stimulate advances in battery and electric grid technology.

Cleantech Investment in First Quarter of 2010 Improves (Los Angeles Times)

Two Southern California electric-car manufacturers helped improve cleantech investment in the first quarter of 2010 compared with the same period the year before, according a new analysis from Ernst & Young released.