Today’s Climate: June 15, 2010

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Texas Asks Court to Intervene in Fight with EPA (AP)

Texas asked a federal court on Monday to intervene in its fight with the EPA over how the state regulates emissions from oil refineries and other petrochemicals plants.

BP Faces Grilling in Congress (Reuters)

BP’s U.S. chief faces accusations in Congress today that the energy giant caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history with a calculated strategy to cut costs, hours before Pres. Obama uses a televised address to defend his handling of the disaster.

BP Engineer Called Doomed Rig a ‘Nightmare Well’ (AP)

BP took measures to cut costs in the weeks before the blowout in the Gulf of Mexico as it dealt with one problem after another, prompting a BP engineer to describe the doomed rig as a "nightmare well," according to internal documents released Monday.

Exxon Blogs Its Case for Deepwater Drilling on Eve of Hearings (Financial Times)

ExxonMobil joined the world of corporate blogging Monday, with a new website and strong stand in defending the industry’s record in deepwater drilling.

Obama Taps Top Scientific Minds for Oil Spill Probe (AFP)

Pres. Obama on Monday named five of America’s top scientists, environmentalists and conservation experts to his independent commission set up to probe the causes of the Gulf oil spill.

Official Removed From Team Reviewing Mine Explosion (Wall Street Journal)

Federal regulators removed an official from a team reviewing government actions prior to the April explosion at a Massey Energy mine that killed 29 miners, because he was previously involved in oversight of the mine.

TVA Fined $11.5 Million for Coal Ash Spill (The Tennessean)

Tennessee environmental officials issued an $11.5 million penalty against TVA for violating water quality and solid waste regulations as a result of the Kingston coal ash disaster.

Japan Gov’t Says Climate Bill May Come Later in Year (Reuters)

Japan’s cabinet will try to push its climate bill through the country’s upper house later in the year if it runs out of time in the current parliamentary session, a senior government official said.

Tories Put Climate Change on G8 Agenda After Pressure from World Leaders (Canadian Press)

Canada has added climate change to the G8 and G20 agendas after coming under pressure from world leaders and environmentalists.

Global Carbon Capture Plans Lag Climate Target: IEA (Reuters)

The world is failing to meet goals to develop carbon capture technology, the IEA said on Monday as it reported back to G8 countries on their past promises.

Europe’s New Wind Power Rivals Gas (New York Times)

The amount of power generated by new wind turbines in the EU this year will be about the same as the amount from new gas plants, according to the European Wind Energy Association, an industry group.

Gates-Backed Nuclear Outfit TerraPower Funded (CNET News)

TerraPower, a company seeking to commercialize a novel nuclear-power technology that has the enthusiastic backing of Bill Gates, has raised $35 million in venture funding.

Global Voluntary Carbon Market Tumbled in 2009 (Reuters)

The global voluntary carbon market tumbled last year both in value and in volume, according to a report released on Monday, as the recession and uncertainty about whether the U.S. would regulate greenhouse gases hurt demand.

BLM Announces Solar Energy Rental Rates For Public Lands (Sustainable Business)

The U.S. BLM has released a rental schedule for solar energy right-of-way authorizations on U.S. public lands. Rates range from $15.70 per acre for some counties in New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona to as much as $313.88 per acre in others.

Australian Scientists to Tackle Skepticism (The Age)

Representatives of scientific organizations including the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology will meet today to discuss better communication of the science behind man-made climate change, in the wake of crumbling political and public consensus on global warming.

Scientists on Hunt for Climate Clues Explore Rare Tropical Glacier (Christian Science Monitor)

A team of scientists is climbing Indonesia’s tropical glacier, Puncak Jaya, to dig out ice cores and study them for past patterns of climate change. They will also study samples from China, Peru and Kenya.