Today’s Climate: July 8, 2010

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CBO: Climate Bill Would Cut Deficit by $19B (USA Today)

The climate bill now stalled in the Senate would cut the federal deficit by about $19 billion over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office reported Wednesday.

Germany Targets Switch to 100% Renewables for Its Electricity by 2050 (Guardian)

Germany could derive all of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2050 and become the world’s first major industrial nation to kick the fossil-fuel habit, the country’s Federal Environment Agency said today.

Legal Showdown Over Drilling Moratorium Looms (San Francisco Chronicle)

The oil industry and Obama administration are set to face off in a New Orleans federal appeals court today in the latest round of a high-stakes legal battle over the drilling ban that has idled deepwater rigs across the Gulf of Mexico.

BP Project Off Alaska Likely Delayed Til Next Year (AP)

A BP spokesman said Wednesday that a company drilling project off Alaska will likely be delayed until next year after calls for increased state and federal scrutiny in the wake of the Gulf oil spill.

EU Energy Chief Urges Ban on New Offshore Drilling Until BP Probe Finished (Bloomberg)

The EU’s energy chief urged a ban on new offshore oil drilling until the causes of BP’s spill are known, citing the need for "utmost caution."

BP Needs 3 More Days to Attach New Macondo Vessel (Argus)

BP will need three more days to finish attaching a third production vessel that could almost double the oil recovery rate at its leaking Macondo well in the Gulf, the U.S. government’s national incident commander Thad Allen said on Wednesday.

BP Steps Up ‘Charm Offensive’ (Wall Street Journal)

BP CEO Tony Hayward intensified what one BP investor described as an international "charm offensive" aimed at reassuring key partners and encouraging deep-pocketed investors to see the value in BP’s beaten-down share price.

BP Push for Mideast Investors May Pose Problems in U.S. (Los Angeles Times)

BP’s recent attempts to get Middle Eastern investors to help plug the leak in its blown-out balance sheet could cause more problems for the embattled British oil company.

Environmentalists to Sue ExxonMobil Over Texas Refinery (Texas Tribune)

ExxonMobil will be sued by two environmental groups over the release of large amounts of air pollutants from its Baytown oil refinery, the nation’s largest, according the Center for Public Integrity.

Western Climate Group Sees Carbon Cuts and Savings (Reuters)

A coalition of U.S. states and Canadian provinces planning a cap-and-trade market to curb emissions, can meet their environmental goals and reap modest cost savings, a study released on Wednesday said.

Gillard Says Australia to Review Carbon-Trading Legislation Plans in 2012 (Bloomberg)

Australian PM Julia Gillard said her government intends to review plans for a carbon-trading system in 2012, and that setting a price for carbon is best done through the market.

Europe Bans Illegal Timber to Protect Forests (AFP)

The EU on Wednesday barred the import and sale of illegally harvested timber in a bid to fight climate change and deforestation from the Amazon to Asia.

Rapid Ice Loss Continues Through June (National Snow and Ice Data Center)

Average June ice extent was the lowest in the satellite data record, from 1979 to 2010. Arctic air temperatures were higher than normal, and Arctic sea ice continued to decline at a fast pace.

National Research Council Renews Support for Hydrogen Vehicle Research (SustainableBusiness)

The public-private partnership to develop cleaner vehicles should continue to include fuel cells and other hydrogen technologies in its R&D portfolio, says a new report by the National Research Council.

Oceans’ Growing CO2 levels May Threaten Coral Reef Fish (Los Angeles Times)

The ocean’s rising CO2 levels may cause many coral reef fish to swim toward the smell of predators rather than away from them — and thus toward likely death, marine ecologists said this week.

3 Greenpeace Activists Disrupt Israel-Bound Ship (AP)

Israel says it has arrested three Greenpeace activists who sneaked onto an Israel-bound coal ship on the high seas to protest the country’s plans to build a new coal plant.

Solar-Powered Plane Flies for 26 Hours (New York Times)

A solar-powered experimental airplane with a huge wing span completed its first test flight of more than 24 hours on Thursday, powered overnight by energy collected from the sun during a day aloft over Switzerland.