Today’s Climate: July 12, 2010

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T-Minus Three Weeks on Energy Bill (Politico)

People on every side of the climate and energy debate say that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid must unveil a concrete plan backed by a full-court press from the president this week, or the entire effort will fall apart in the run-up to the midterm elections.

BP Reports Progress on Oil Cap; Gulf Coast Waits (AP)

BP underwater robots steadily assembled heavy metal pieces in what could be the most significant progress yet toward containing the gushing Gulf well.

Justice Department Doing Interviews in Oil Spill Probe (Reuters)

The Justice Department has started interviewing witnesses as part of the criminal investigation of the oil spill, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a television interview.

BP Says Oil Spill Costs Climb to $3.5 Billion (AP)

BP said Monday that the cost of dealing with the oil spill in the Gulf has risen to $3.5 billion, though its shares rallied on reports it may sell some assets.

First Half of 2010 Sets Heat Records (Washington Post)

The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies is reporting that the first six months of 2010 are the warmest on record, both in terms of atmospheric data and in combined atmospheric/ocean readings.

Rising Sea Drives Panama Islanders to Mainland (Reuters)

Rising seas from global warming, coming after years of coral reef destruction, are forcing thousands of indigenous Panamanians to leave their ancestral homes on low-lying Caribbean islands.

New York Talks to Tackle Climate Financing Deadlock (BusinessGreen)

The latest round of UN-backed talks to identify how to raise climate finance for developing countries will take place in New York later today, with the UK warning that progress is essential to the chances of a global treaty being agreed.

Australian PM May Call Election Within Days: Media (Reuters)

Australia’s ruling Labor party is set for a narrow victory in elections expected to be announced within weeks, two new opinion polls showed on Monday, but it is struggling over key policy issues on climate and asylum seekers.

Australian Business Wants Emissions Trading Deferred: Survey (ABC News)

A pre-election survey has found nearly three-quarters of Australian businesses would prefer tax incentives for energy efficiency over a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme.

Fate of Japan Climate Bill Uncertain After Election (Reuters)

Japan’s climate bill, which backs the creation of an emissions trading scheme, faces an uncertain fate after the ruling Democratic Party and its ally lost their majority in a weekend election for parliament’s upper house.

Tories to Spend $240K on Clean Energy Polls (Canadian Press)

The Conservative government is spending $240,000 to conduct polls on how Canadians feel about green energy while renewable-energy producers complain their industry is in jeopardy because it lacks funding.

UK Energy Companies Urge Move on Nuclear Build Plans (Telegraph)

The UK nuclear industry will meet Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, for the first time this week and urge him to push on with plans to build a new generation of nuclear power stations across the country.

Train Wreck in Kansas Spills 43 Rail Cars of Coal (AP)

Union Pacific crews have been working to clean up mounds of coal that spilled in northeast Kansas when 43 rail cars derailed.

Plan to Save Indonesia’s Forests Hits Snags (Wall Street Journal)

A new project to restrict forest-clearing in Indonesia over the next two years is turning out to be more complicated than expected and could leave large areas of the country unprotected, as environmentalists and industry groups fight over terms of the deal before it takes effect in January.

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