Today’s Climate: June 14, 2010

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Obama Plans First Oval Office Speech to Put Pressure on BP (New York Times)

Pres. Obama will use his first Oval Office speech Tuesday night to outline a plan to legally compel BP to create an escrow account to compensate businesses and individuals for their losses from the oil spill, administration officials said.

BP Oil Spill May Not Be Capped Until Christmas, Expert Warns (Guardian)

One of the world’s leading authorities on oil well management has warned it could take until Christmas to cap the Gulf of Mexico spill that is devastating the southern coast of America.

Australian Oil Well Blowout Foreshadowed Gulf Disaster (The Times-Picayune)

The blowout of Australia’s Montara well just eight months before BP’s Macondo well began spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico would seem to suggest that a catastrophic rig failure and oil gusher are not nearly so implausible.

Drilling Rules Hit Alaska Pipeline (Wall Street Journal)

The government’s new wariness about offshore drilling in the wake of the Gulf spill is dimming what may be the best hope for extending the life of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, a crucial artery supplying one-quarter of the West Coast’s oil.

After Delays, U.S. Begins to Tap Foreign Aid for Gulf Spill (Washington Post)

In the past week, the U.S. submitted its second request to the EU for any specialized equipment to contain the oil spill, and it is now soliciting additional boom and skimmers from nearly two dozen countries and organizations.

Official: Utah Oil Spill Hasn’t Reached Great Salt Lake (AP)

Emergency workers believe they have stopped a 21,000-gallon oil leak from reaching the environmentally sensitive Great Salt Lake, one of the West’s most important inland water bodies for migratory birds.

BP Spill Is ‘Opportunity in Disguise’ for Rig-Makers (Bloomberg)

Heightened U.S. scrutiny of offshore drilling after the BP spill, the worst in the nation’s history, may spur oil companies to replace aging rigs with new platforms made in South Korea and Singapore.

Harper Pressured to Put Climate Change on G8, G20 Agenda (Canwest News Service)

International leaders are mounting pressure on the Canadian government to include climate change as a major issue on the agenda at upcoming G8 and G20 economic summits in Huntsville, Ont., and Toronto.

Firms Abusing Kyoto Carbon Trading Scheme: Watchdog (Reuters)

Firms participating in a Kyoto Protocol carbon scheme are abusing it by artificially inflating their greenhouse gas emissions, thereby allowing rich nations’ emissions to rise significantly, a watchdog said.

Greenpeace Breaks Into Swedish Nuclear Plant (AFP)

As many as 30 Greenpeace activists broke into a Swedish nuclear plant Monday, demanding that parliament this week vote against allowing new nuclear facilities to be built, the group and police said.

Nearly Half Japan’s Reactors Had Problems (Reuters)

Nearly half of Japan’s 54 commercial nuclear power reactors had problems that needed to be addressed during operations last financial year but none required operations to be suspended, a report said on Monday.

Alternative-Energy Firms Adapt to Europe’s Woes (Wall Street Journal)

To respond to Europe’s economic problems, CEOs of companies that make solar panels and wind turbines are hedging against currency fluctuations more aggressively, boosting sales in other parts of the world and raising prices.

Fishermen Express Doubts About Coal Plant Overlooking Their Fishing Grounds (Mongabay)

Local fishermen in the Malaysian state of Sabah are uncertain of their future, if the government pushes ahead to build a 300-MW coal power plant.

Solar Power Brings World Cup to Ghanaian Bush (Reuters)

Deep in the Ghanaian bush, some 200 people danced and hollered on Sunday as solar power helped beam Ghana’s World Cup victory over Serbia to the pineapple-growing village of Oboadaka for the first time.