Today’s Climate: July 7, 2010

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New Rules Issued on Coal Air Pollution (New York Times)

Acting under a federal court order, the Obama administration proposed new air-quality rules on Tuesday for coal plants that officials said would bring major reductions in soot and smog in 31 states from Texas to the Eastern Seaboard.

PG&E Opposes CA Prop. to Halt Global Warming Law (AP)

Pacific Gas & Electric Company, California’s largest utility, says it will oppose Proposition 23, the initiative that seeks to suspend the state’s landmark global warming law.

Key U.S. Lawmaker Opposes Canadian Oil Sands Pipeline (Reuters)

Henry Waxman, chair of the House Energy and Commerce committee, has called on the State Department to block a TransCanada pipeline designed to supply U.S. refineries with Canada’s oil sands crude.

Oil Seeps Into New Orleans’ Lake Pontchartrain (AP)

For the first time since the accident, oil from the ruptured well is seeping into New Orleans’ Lake Pontchartrain, threatening another environmental disaster for a huge body of water that has become a a bountiful fishing ground.

Recovery Effort Falls Vastly Short of BP’s Promises (Washington Post)

In the 77 days since oil from the ruptured well began to gush into the Gulf, BP has skimmed or burned about 60% of the amount it promised regulators it could remove in a single day.

Embattled BP Chief Flies in to Abu Dhabi for Talks (The National)

BP’s plans for a stronger relationship with the Middle East were taken a stage further last night as Tony Hayward, its embattled CEO, made a surprise visit to Abu Dhabi.

Dead Zone in Gulf Linked to Ethanol Production (San Francisco Chronicle)

While the BP oil spill has been labeled the worst environmental catastrophe in recent U.S. history, biofuel is contributing to a Gulf of Mexico "dead zone" the size of New Jersey that scientists say could be every bit as harmful to the gulf.

Gulf Awash in 27,000 Abandoned Wells (AP)

More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. And no one is checking to see if they are leaking, an AP investigation shows.

Coast Guard Bans Reporters from Oil Cleanup Sites (The Raw Story)

Journalists who come too close to oil spill clean-up efforts without permission could find themselves facing a $40,000 fine and even one to five years in prison under a new rule instituted by the Coast Guard late last week.

RI AG Urges Regulators to Nix Wind Farm Contract (AP)

Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch says he’s challenging a contract for a proposed offshore wind farm off the coast of Block Island.

Dow Chemical Standing Apart From Industry on Cap and Trade (ClimateWire)

With time running out on climate legislation in the Senate, officials of Dow Chemical Co., the largest American chemical company, continues to call for a bill that would set a price on carbon emissions, in contrast to most other U.S. chemical firms.

Protest at Maine Wind Power Site Yields 3 Arrests (AP)

An environmental group says three of its members who blocked the entrance to a western Maine wind power construction site have been arrested. The organization is protesting the new turbines, which they say destroy mountaintops and don’t offset fossil fuel use.

Businesses Push for Decisions on EU Carbon Scheme (Reuters)

The EU is under pressure to finalize details on its emissions cap for industry from 2013, how carbon permits will be auctioned and the amount to be given to airlines when they join the EU’s scheme in 2012.

China Calls for Bids to Develop 13 Solar Power Projects in Country’s West (Bloomberg)

China, the world’s second-biggest energy user, plans to develop 13 solar power projects in the western region as part of a government aim to cut emissions and boost energy investment in the area.

Taiwan Could Become No. 2 Solar Producer in 2010 (SustainableBusiness)

Taiwan’s solar manufacturing industry is expanding at a rapid rate and could surpass both Germany and Japan in the year ahead to become the No. 2 solar maker in the world behind China.

More Shareholders Vote Yes on Climate Goals: Study (Reuters)

Proxy proposals intended to encourage U.S. companies to reduce emissions and better disclose their environmental footprints this year received a higher percentage of shareholder support than ever, according to a report by Ceres, a U.S. investor group.

Tesla Stock Sinks Below $17 IPO Price (Earth2Tech)

Tesla Motors’ stock on Tuesday sank for the first time below the company’s IPO price of $17, shedding more than 16% to close at $16.11 — a significant drop from the peak above $30 that the electric firm saw on its second day of trading last week.

UPS’s Green Shipping Program Goes Global (GreenBiz)

UPS is expanding its carbon neutral shipping program to 35 countries and territories in Europe, Asia and the Americas following the launch of the service last fall in the United States.

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