Today’s Climate: August 10, 2010

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BP Moves to Well Kill and Kicks Off Compensation Fund (Reuters)

BP advanced on the final lap toward permanently killing the source of the Gulf oil spill and kicked off a $20 billion compensation fund with a $3 billion initial deposit on Monday.

Enbridge to Begin Repairing Line (Calgary Herald)

Enbridge is ready to begin repairing the damaged section of ruptured pipe after successfully excavating the site of a leak in Michigan, company officials said Monday.

Texas Sues BP Over Air Pollution from Refinery (AFP)

The state of Texas accused BP of putting profits before environmental safety and sued the British energy giant Monday for the mass release of pollutants after a fire at its troubled Texas City refinery.

Pennsylvania Broke Law on Natgas Water Use: Group (Reuters)

Pennsylvania regulators are illegally allowing natural gas companies to withdraw water from rivers and streams for use in the Marcellus Shale drilling boom, an environmental group claims.

EPA Limits Mercury and Other Pollutants from Cement Plants (Los Angeles Times)

The EPA on Monday completed regulations limiting the release of mercury and other toxic air pollutants from cement plants, a move the Obama administration said would save lives but that cement makers warned could drive jobs overseas.

Solar Industry Pleads Obama to Help Restore Loan Guarantees (The Hill)

Solar industry officials are pleading with Pres. Obama to restore billions of dollars in renewable energy loan guarantees that Congress is at least temporarily cutting to pay for emergency education and Medicaid help to states and other policy priorities.

UN Chief Recommends Small Steps on Climate (New York Times)

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, said Monday that he doubted that member states would reach a new global climate change agreement in December at a conference in Mexico.

Ex-Australia PM Rudd Joins UN Sustainability Panel (AFP)

Ex-Australian leader Kevin Rudd said Tuesday he had joined a high-level UN panel on global sustainability, after a truncated rule marked by vain attempts to force through carbon trading laws.

Pakistan Floods Shows Threat from Warmer World: Scientists (Reuters)

Floods that have devastated Pakistan could be a sign of the future as
climate change brings greater extremes of weather to the region,
climate scientists say.

NOAA: July Hotter than Normal in the U.S. (The Hill)

July was the 17th warmest in the U.S. since the start of the 20th century, while it was the warmest July on record for several East Coast states and cities, according to a report released Monday by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

Audit Partially Clears Indonesia SMART on Green Claim (Reuters)

An audit of Indonesian palm oil giant PT SMART Tbk showed on Tuesday the firm had not destroyed primary forest but had planted on carbon-rich deep peatlands, partially clearing it of accusations by Greenpeace.

Spain’s Green Scheme Stalls as Only 16 Electric Cars are Sold (Guardian)

In the first seven months of the year, only 16 electric cars were registered for use on Spanish road. That makes the government’s stated goal of having 2,000 electric vehicles circulating by the end of this year almost unachievable.

Siemens Wins $1 Billion Wind Power Orders (AFP)

Germany’s Siemens said Tuesday it has won two orders in the U.S. and Canada to supply wind turbines that experts said were worth around $1.1 billion.

Solazyme Bottles $52 Million for Algae-Based Fuel (New York Times)

San Francisco-based biofuel company Solazyme announced Tuesday that it has landed $52 million in a fourth round of venture capital to commercialize its algae-based fuel.

Canada Has Big Geothermal Potential, Industry Says (Reuters)

Canada has the potential to generate enough clean, low-cost electricity from geothermal sources to power 5 million homes, the country’s geothermal association said on Monday.

SAP Boosts Renewable Energy Use to 50 Percent (ClimateBiz)

Half of the energy used by software giant SAP now comes from renewable sources, moving the company closer to its goal of shrinking its carbon footprint 5 percent this year.

Study Says Rising Temperatures Thwart Rice Growth (AP)

A projected rise in temperatures because of climate change will slow the growth of rice production in Asia, an international team of scientists says in a new study.

Nissan Signs MOU with Kagoshima to Develop C02-Free Island in Japan (Autoblog Green)

Nissan and Kagoshima Prefecture will jointly embark on a project to create a so-called CO2-free island off the coast of Japan’s southern tip to promote the widespread adoption of electric vehicles and use of renewable energy.