Today’s Climate: July 10-11, 2010

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U.S. Senate Set for Energy, Environmental Bill Debate (Reuters)

Democrats in the U.S. Senate aim to debate in late July a bill clamping down on offshore oil drilling and fostering more alternative energy use, but no decision has been made on whether to include climate change provisions, aides said.

GOP: Dems Wrongly Linking Carbon Caps, Oil Reliance After Spill (The Hill) 

Republicans are increasingly accusing Democrats of exploiting the BP oil spill to win traction for global warming legislation, but they maintain that leading climate plans would do little to wean the country off oil.

BP Starts Work to Install New Cap on Gushing Well (AP)

BP removed a containment cap from its stricken Gulf of Mexico oil well on Saturday in the first step toward installing a bigger cap to contain all the crude gushing into the sea.

Court Rejects Interior’s Bid to Reinstate Deepwater Drilling Moratorium (Greenwire)

A federal appeals court has refused to reinstate the Obama administration’s six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling. But the order said the administration can reapply for an emergency moratorium if drilling activity by deepwater rigs is about to begin.

Oil Companies Reeling from Drilling Moratorium Uncertainty (AFP)

Fed up with the uncertainty surrounding offshore drilling, oil companies are considering increasing their inland exploration activities or venturing abroad.

Interior Dept. Offers Oil, Gas Leases in Alaska Reserve (AP) 

The Interior Department is offering oil and gas leases on 1.8 million acres of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve while promising to protect critical migratory bird and caribou habitat.

Spill Commission Hires Science Adviser (New York Times)

The seven-member commission assembled by Pres. Obama to investigate the BP spill has hired Richard A. Sears, a longtime Royal Dutch Shell scientist, engineer and offshore drilling expert, to be its chief technical adviser. 

Obama Seeks $5 Billion to Create Clean-Energy Jobs (Bloomberg) 

President Obama called on Congress on Friday to add $5 billion for expansion of a clean-energy manufacturing tax credit to encourage job creation.

California Utilities Struggle to Meet Renewable-Power Requirement (Los Angeles Times)

California’s three large investor-owned utilities have less than six months to comply with a law requiring them to procure 20% of electricity sales from clean sources. But even government watchdogs don’t expect them to make it.

Climate Panel Struggles With Media Plan (Dot Earth)

The 831 researchers who will contribute to the next round of IPCC assessments have been sent a letter admonishing them to "keep a distance from the media" and send any press inquiries about the work of their author groups to supervisors.

New Illinois Coal Plant Looks Like Less of a Bargain (Chicago Tribune)

The price tag of a new Illinois coal plant already has more than doubled to $4.4 billion — costs that will largely be borne by utility customers.

Lake Superior On Track to Hit Record Temps (Minnesota Star Tribune)

Long notorious for its bone-chilling frigidity, Lake Superior is far warmer than normal, and could be headed for record-setting high temperatures later this summer. 

Controversial Changes to Brazilian Forest Law Passes First Barrier (Mongabay)

An amendment to undermine protections in Brazil’s 1965 forestry code has passed it first legislative barrier, reports the World Wide Fund for Nature-Brasil. Last week the amendment passed a special vote in the Congress’s Special Committee on Forest Law Changes.  

New Rules May Cloud the Outlook for Biomass (New York Times)

A debate in Massachusetts questioning the environmental benefits of biomass has culminated in new rules that will limit what sorts of projects will qualify for renewable energy incentives there. The decision may have nationwide implications for the industry.

Schwarzenegger to Host Third Round of Governors’ Global Climate Summit (Xinhua)

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced on Friday that he will host the third round of the Governors’ Global Climate Summit later this year to rally efforts in confronting climate change.

EU Sets 2013 Industry CO2 Cap at 1.927 Bln Tons (Reuters)

Greenhouse gas emissions from heavy industry currently regulated under the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme will be capped at around 1.93 million tons of CO2 in 2013, the EU Commission said.

Cairn Energy’s Arctic Oil Drilling Plan Condemned as Irresponsible (Guardian) 

A decision by a British oil company to start drilling wells in "iceberg alley" off Greenland has been described as "completely irresponsible" by environmental groups given BP’s problems in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tesla to Deliver Prototype Electric Autos to Toyota This Month (Bloomberg)

Tesla Motors, an electric carmaker working with Toyota on battery-powered autos, said it will deliver two rechargeable prototypes to Toyota this month as a first step in their alliance. 

Italy To Cut Solar Incentives From 2011 (Wall Street Journal)

Italy Friday announced an agreement on new energy-sector guidelines aimed at offering lower incentives for renewable-energy production. Under the new rules, incentives for PV solar panels will be reduced in 2011. 

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