Today’s Climate: September 16, 2010

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2010 Headed Toward Being Hottest Year on Record (Washington Post)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that the first eight months of 2010 tied the same period in 1998 for the warmest combined land and ocean surface temperature on record worldwide.

Report: 80% of States on Track for Greenhouse Gas Permitting, Enforcement (Greenwire)

Nearly 80% of states have indicated that they will be ready to issue greenhouse gas permits for large industrial sources by Jan. 2, when EPA’s climate rules formally kick in, according to a survey from the National Association of Clean Air Agencies.

Coal Miners Rally Against Obama, for Mountaintop Removal (AP)

Hundreds of coal miners rallied on Capitol Hill Wednesday against the Obama administration’s attempts to rein in mountaintop removal mining, accusing the EPA of trying to wipe out the coal industry.

New Lawsuit Filed in Fracking Country (New York Times)

More than a dozen families in Susquehanna County, Pa., filed a lawsuit against the Southwestern Energy Production Company, asserting that the company’s nearby drilling sites contaminated their drinking water and made them sick.

U.S. Ambassador Urges Cleaner Oil Sands (Calgary Herald)

David Jacobson, U.S. ambassador to Canada, says the industry and government must do "more" to clean up the oil sands.

Oil Sands Firms Fail to Communicate: CEO (CBC News)

The oil sands industry is doing a "disastrous" and "phenomenally poor" job in trying to make the public understand the environmental impact of their projects, the CEO of Opti Canada Inc. said Wednesday.

Feds: Minimal Iimpacts from Drilling Moratorium (AP)

The deepwater drilling moratorium in the Gulf has not increased unemployment in the region, says a new report from the Obama administration that counters the dire predictions of oil industry officials and Gulf Coast residents.

Government Orders Non-Producing Gulf Oil Wells Plugged (Reuters)

The U.S. Interior Department said on Wednesday it would require oil and gas companies operating in the Gulf to plug nearly 3,500 non-producing wells permanently and dismantle about 650 oil and gas production platforms if no longer being used.

BP Oil Spill: Permanent Seal Only Hours Away, Say U.S. Officials (Guardian)

The final solution to BP’s oil spill could be in place by Sunday, five months after the deadly explosion spewed 5 million barrels of crude into the Gulf, the Obama administration said.

BP CEO Defends BP Safety Record Under MP Grilling (Reuters)

BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward defended the oil giant’s safety culture under a grilling from British members of parliament as UK regulators released dozens of documents questioning the company’s record.

Giant Solar-Power Plant Development Moves Forward In U.S. (Dow Jones)

California regulators Wednesday approved construction of what will be the world’s biggest solar plant, one of a string of super-sized developments in the state that will more than double the solar power generation capacity in the U.S.

South Africa Considers $21 Bln Solar Power Park (Reuters)

South Africa will test investor appetite this year for a solar park that could cost 150 billion rand and generate 5,000 megawatts of power, a government spokesman said on Thursday.

China Struggles to Meet Energy Efficiency Goals (New York Times)

Despite massive investment in new technologies, China is finding it difficult to make its economy more energy efficient, a senior official said Thursday.

Australian PM Refuses to Commit to Carbon Tax Under BHP Pressure (Guardian)

Australian PM Julia Gillard refused to commit to a tax on carbon despite public pressure from BHP Billiton and AGL Energy – two of the biggest carbon-intensive firms in Australia.

Britain Not Prepared for Climate Change: Report (Reuters)

Britain is not doing enough to prepare for the impacts of climate change, raising costs for homes and businesses, two separate bodies said this week.

Gamesa To Triple Manufacturing Investment in China (Sustainable Business)

Wind turbine maker Gamesa said it plans to triple its manufacturing investment in China through 2012.