Today’s Climate: August 14-15, 2010

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BP Could Get Final "Go" to Kill Well by Tuesday (Reuters)

BP will get the go-ahead to finish a relief well to finally seal its blown-out oil well but is doing a last batch of testing and planning first, the top government official overseeing the Gulf spill said on Saturday.

With BP Spill Under Control, US Looks at Drill Ban (AP)

Now that the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history has effectively been stopped, the White House is considering an early end to its moratorium on deepwater drilling.

Obamas Visit Gulf Coast in Attempt to Bolster Area’s Oil-Damaged Economy (Bloomberg)

Pres. Obama and his family arrived on Florida’s Gulf coast yesterday for a trip that’s part business and part pleasure, as his administration hopes to provide the region with an economic boost in the aftermath of the BP oil spill.

Feds Likely to Lift Suspension on Oil Leases (AP)

Federal officials want to move forward with oil and gas leases on about 260 square miles in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota that have been held up over climate change concerns.

BP Yet to Update Emergency Plan 3 Months after Deepwater Horizon Spill (The Observer)

BP has failed to update its oil spill emergency plan in the Gulf of Mexico more than three months after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in apparent violation of federal regulations, the Observer has learned.

U.S. Drilling Agency Penalizes Company Over Reports (Reuters)

Plains Exploration & Production Co. paid nearly $900,000 in civil penalties for failing to submit monthly reports on the company’s energy production on federal government leases, the U.S agency that oversees oil and natural gas drilling said on Friday.

Greenpeace Ship Sets Sail for Deep Sea Drilling Rig (Times of Malta)

Greenpeace said its ship the Esperanza set sail from London on Thursday to target a still-undisclosed deepsea oil drilling site in protest against the "huge risks" the industry is taking with the environment.

Australia: Thousands Protest on Climate Change (Sydney Morning Herald)

Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across Australia to urge the major political parties to take action on climate change.

MSHA Finds 36-Foot Crack in UBB Mine Floor (Charleston Gazette)

A crack in the floor of Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine measures 36 feet long and appears to be the normal result of the geologic stresses caused by longwall mining, U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration investigators said Friday.

Xcel Energy Unveils Plan to Cut Plant Emissions (AP)

Xcel Energy is proposing to spend $1.3 billion to convert coal-fired power plants to natural gas and close a plant to comply with a new Colorado law aimed at cutting pollution from power plants.

How Calif. Mid-Terms Will Decide the Future of Federal Climate Laws (ClimateBiz)

In addition to electing a new governor in November, the more than 23 million Californian voters will have the chance to cast a ballot on Proposition 23, an initiative designed to delay or nullify AB 32, the landmark climate legislation enacted in 2006.

SolarCentury Reports Green Jobs Boom (BusinessGreen)

SolarCentury, the UK’s leading solar energy firm, has reported that the number of people employed by the company has almost doubled over the past six months as the government’s feed-in tariff incentive scheme begins to take effect.

Advanced Biofuels Maker Gevo Files to Go Public (CNET News)

Gevo, the Denver-based algae company, on Thursday filed an S-1 document stating its plans to raise $150 million by going public on the stock market. On Wednesday, algae biofuel company PetroAlgae also filed for an initial public offering.