Today’s Climate: August 13, 2010

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EPA Proposes Rules on Greenhouse Gas Permits (Reuters)

The EPA on Thursday proposed new rules to ensure factories and power plants will be able to obtain permits they will need to emit greenhouse gases starting next year.

Decision Expected on Plug for BP’s Broken Oil Well (AP)

Officials could know by early Friday if BP’s broken oil well in the Gulf of Mexico has been sealed for good.

Chief Concedes Drilling Regulator Relied on Industry (Wall Street Journal)

The U.S. Interior Department’s new offshore-drilling chief on Thursday conceded that the agency had relied too much on the oil and gas industry it was supposed to police, setting the stage for a regulatory revamp.

Alabama AG Sues BP, Others Over Gulf Oil Spill (AP)

Alabama’s attorney general is suing BP and others over the Gulf spill because he says the oil company has broken too many promises about accepting responsibility for the disaster.

Enbridge Pipeline Shutdown Puts Squeeze on Energy Producers (Globe and Mail)

The shutdown of a key U.S. Enbridge pipeline is exacting a mounting toll across the North American oil industry, pinching profits, putting thousands of jobs at risk and threatening gasoline shortages.

Company Works on Mich. Oil Pipeline Restart Plan (AP)

Enbridge, the company that runs the pipeline that spilled oil into the Kalamazoo River in southern Michigan, said Thursday it is revising its proposal to restart the line.

DEP Hopes New Mining Policy Heads Off EPA Crackdown (Charleston Gazette)

West Virginia regulators on Thursday issued new water-quality guidelines they and the coal industry hope head off the Obama administration’s efforts to crack down on mountaintop-removal mining.

Energy Department Official Once Led Company That’s Now Reworking FutureGen (AP)

A top official in the DOE office who oversees the FutureGen clean coal project is a past president of a company newly chosen to retrofit a western Illinois power plant instead of finishing the original project in Mattoon.

Lake Mead’s Water Level Plunges as 11-Year Drought Lingers (Greenwire)

Lake Mead, the enormous reservoir of Colorado River water that hydrates Arizona, Nevada, California and northern Mexico, is receding to a level not seen since it was first being filled in the 1930s.

Extreme Weather May Be Signs of Climate Change (AP)

Floods, fires, melting ice and feverish heat: From smoke-choked Moscow to water-soaked Iowa and the High Arctic, the planet seems to be having a midsummer breakdown. It’s not just a portent of things to come, scientists say, but a sign of troubling climate change already under

World ’09 CO2 Emissions Off 1.3 Percent: Institute (Reuters)

Global CO2 emissions in 2009 fell 1.3 percent to 31.3 billion tons in the first year-on-year decline in this decade, German renewable energy institute IWR said on Friday.

Despite Efforts, France Fails to Curb CO2 (AFP)

France’s CO2 emissions have remained constant over the last two decades despite efforts to curb the potent greenhouse gas, a government agency reported Thursday.

Clean-Tech Investors Lean On China For Capital, Policy Support (Wall Street Journal)

U.S. venture capital investors in new energy technologies are beginning to groom their portfolio companies for increased business in China, given favorable government policies and more availability of capital.

India Plant’s Carbon Status Denial Upsets Investors (Reuters)

A UN carbon credit scheme’s rejection of a huge Indian coal plant deprives the project of revenue running into hundreds of millions of euros and rings alarm bells for investors developing similar plants.

Peel Energy’s Plans for Scottish Coal-Power Plant Face Global Opposition (Bloomberg)

Peel Holdings’s plans for a coal-fed power station built with capture and storage technology in Scotland faces global opposition, according to the environmental group WWF.

REDD Project Design Method Gets Boost from Auditors (Reuters)

A carbon accounting technique aimed at saving tropical forests has passed a key hurdle, strengthening chances it could underpin development of a potential multi-billion dollar market for forest carbon offsets.