Today’s Climate: August 16, 2010

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BP on Cusp of ‘Bottom Kill’ to Permanently Plug Source of Oil Spill in Gulf (Washington Post)

BP and the U.S. government may decide as soon as Monday to move ahead with a four-day process to permanently plug the source of the Gulf spill through a "bottom kill" of the Macondo.

La. Shrimpers Worry About Prices for New Season (AP)

Shrimpers trawling Louisiana waters Monday fear that some fisherman might try to sell oil-contaminated shrimp, after demand dropped and prices crashed a month ago.

Energy Department Watchdog Notes Woes with Managing Stimulus Dollars (The Hill)

The Energy Department’s internal watchdog has mixed reviews of the department’s distribution and use of economic stimulus dollars, even as the White House touts the massive spending bill in the run-up to midterms.

California Landmark Global Warming Law Under Fire (San Jose Mercury News)

A November ballot measure that would suspend California’s landmark global-warming law could also end up rolling back some of the state’s other sweeping environmental standards, including its renewable portfolio standard.

Wind Turbines Are Coming to New York, and Not Just Offshore (New York Times)

Within three years, the Port Authority of New York hopes to have five wind towers operating on the west side of New York Harbor. Meanwhile, the Dept. of Veterans Affairs is considering placing wind turbines on or near its hospitals in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Firms Falling Short On Climate Action: Norway Fund (Reuters)

Companies in energy-intensive sectors, such as oil production, chemicals and transport, are doing too little to combat climate change, Norway’s $455 billion sovereign wealth fund said on Friday.

UK: Coal-fired Power Stations Win Reprieve (Guardian)

The UK government is watering down a commitment to tough new environmental emissions standards, raising the possibility of dirty coal-fired power stations such as Kingsnorth going ahead.

China Province Cuts Power to 500 Factories (AFP)

Authorities in eastern China have cut off electricity to more than 500 factories for a month after they failed to meet emission reduction targets, state media reported Monday.

China Firms Offer $0.108/kWh Feed-In Rate in Solar Tender (Reuters)

A Chinese consortium offered to accept a grid feed-in tariff of as low as $0.108 per kilowatt hour kWh in its bid for one of China’s second batch of utility-level solar power projects, an industry source said on Monday.

Australia Mulls Foreign-Linked Carbon Offset Scheme (Carbon Positive)

The Australian government is proposing to allow foresters and farmers to create carbon offset credits for international sale into emissions trading markets. PM Julia Gillard launched the policy over weekend, part of her campaign ahead of federal elections on August 21.

IOI Undecided on Resuming Palm Oil Trade with SMART After Audit (Reuters)

Malaysia’s IOI Corp stopped buying palm oil from PT SMART three to four weeks ago, and is still undecided on whether to resume purchases after an environmental audit last week gave a mixed score card to the Indonesian planter, traders said on Monday.

Russia Ban on Grain Export Begins (BBC News)

Russia has imposed a ban on grain exports until the end of the year, after a severe drought and a spate of wildfires devastated crops and brought the grain harvest down by at least a third compared with last year.

Is 2010 the Year Khosla Cashes In As the Biofuel Baron? (Earth2Tech)

While venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has been backing biofuel startups for years, 2010 could be the first year that he stands to generate returns from his biofuel bets, as two of his companies have filed for IPOs in recent weeks.