Today’s Climate: May 15-16, 2010

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BP’s Own Probe Finds Safety Issues on Atlantis Rig (AP)

The company whose drilling triggered the Gulf of Mexico oil spill also owns a rig that operated with incomplete and inaccurate engineering documents, which one official warned could "lead to catastrophic operator error," records and interviews show.

Under Pressure, BP Tries Again to Contain Oil Spill (Reuters)

Energy giant BP made a new attempt to siphon gushing oil from an offshore well as political pressure and public outrage increased over the company’s slow progress at stopping environmental disaster.

Salazar Pledges to Review Drilling Agency Methods (AP)

The Obama administration said Friday it is tightening procedures at the agency that grants offshore drilling permits to ensure it follows all environmental laws.

U.S. Asks BP to Clarify Cleanup Costs in Gulf Spill (AFP)

U.S. officials have told BP to clarify what costs it will pay for cleanup of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill, with crews employing new tactics to stem the leak as globs of oil wash ashore in three states.

Huge BP Spill Means a High-Stakes Hurricane Season (Reuters)

BP’s oil spill could make for one of the highest-stakes U.S. Gulf hurricane seasons on record. Storms may scuttle clean-up efforts, force containment vessels to retreat, or propel spilled crude and tar balls over vast expanses of sea and beach, scientists said.

National Grid Makes Second Cape Wind Deal (Boston Globe)

National Grid, the utility that agreed to purchase half of Cape Wind’s power, has made a second deal to help the offshore wind project lock down construction financing until it finds buyers for the rest of the electricity it will produce.

U.S. Confirms Criminal Probe in Mine Blast (Wall Street Journal)

Federal prosecutors confirmed they are investigating possible "willful criminal activity" at a Massey Energy subsidiary where 29 miners were killed in an April explosion at a West Virginia coal mine, according to a letter from the U.S. Attorney for Southern West Virginia.

UN Climate Panel: Errors Shouldn’t Eclipse Progress (Reuters)

The UN panel of climate scientists said on Friday that mistakes in a 2007 report should not eclipse its progress and detract from a valid body of work on the risks of global warming.

Ed Miliband Formally Enters UK Labor Leader Race (Bloomberg)

Former UK Energy Secretary Ed Miliband entered the contest to become leader of the opposition Labor Party, pitting him against his older brother David, the only other candidate so far to have declared.

Oil Wholesalers See Potential In Solar Cell Component Business (Wall Street Journal)

Japanese oil wholesalers are strengthening their solar cell component businesses to earn more from the growth sector at a time when domestic demand for fuel oil is declining.

Suzlon Energy Sees ‘Great Potential’ for Middle East Wind Power (Bloomberg)

Suzlon Energy, India’s largest wind-turbine maker, sees "great potential" for wind power in the Middle East, especially the windiest countries Iran, Egypt, Morocco and Oman, the chairman said.

Plant Study Dims Silver Lning to Global Warming (Los Angeles Times)

Some biologists thought rising levels of CO2 might stimulate plant growth, but a new UC Davis study shows that too much of the greenhouse gas can inhibit absorption of nitrates needed to promote plant health.

Technology to Play a Big Role in Future Forestry Projects (GreenBiz)

A new report from the American Forest & Paper Association lays out the ways that technology can be put to work in reducing the forestry sector’s environmental impacts.