Today’s Climate: May 17, 2010

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UN to Pick Costa Rican as New Climate Chief: Sources (Reuters)

Veteran Costa Rican climate diplomat Christiana Figueres is set to be appointed as the new UN climate chief, sources said on Monday.

Worry that Gulf Oil Spreading into Major Current (AP)

Engineers finally figured out how to siphon some of the oil that has been spewing into the Gulf for almost a month, but it could be too late to stop the ooze from reaching a major ocean current that could carry it through the Florida Keys and up the East Coast.

BP Has "Systematic" Safety Problems: Report (Reuters)

Energy giant BP has a "systematic safety problem" at its refineries, a senior official at the U.S. Labor Department said.

Interior Secretary, Other Officials to Be Questioned by Congress (Los Angeles Times)

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is due to appear at back-to-back Senate hearings Tuesday, first before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and then before the Environment and Public Works Committee, as lawmakers step up their investigation of the spill.

Deep Sea Oil Plumes, Dispersants Endanger Reefs (AP)

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has already spewed plumes over ecologically sensitive reefs, part of a stalled marine sanctuary proposal that would have restrict drilling in a large swath of the northern part of the vital waterway.

Experts Debate Diverting Mississippi to Fight Oil Spill (AFP)

Trying to keep the spreading oil at bay, authorities have diverted the Mississippi River into dozens of canals. But fishermen and ecologists are concerned an environmental disaster could be in the offing.

Tar Sands Oil Extraction Spreading Rapidly, Report Warns (Guardian)

Soaring crude prices and a growing shortage of drilling sites have encouraged the energy industry to look at a series of tar sands deposits threatening vulnerable environment and communities in places such as Jordan, Morocco as well as the U.S., Friends of the Earth says in a new report.

UK’s New "Green" Government Says To Cut Its CO2 10% (Reuters)

Britain’s central government will cut its emissions of climate-warming carbon by 10% in the next 12 months, while speeding up the wider move to a low-carbon economy, the new UK Prime Minister David Cameron said.

India Not to Accept Any Pact that Erodes Bali Climate Plan (The Hindu)

As UN members meet in Bonn this month to discuss climate strategy, India has said it will not accept any pact that "erodes" the differentiation between rich and developing nations set forth in the Bali Action Plan.

Fridge-Sized Nuclear Reactors to Tap $135 Billion Power Market (Bloomberg)

New Mexico-based Hyperion Power Generation Inc. is developing miniature atomic-energy plants that would supply a small factory or town too remote for connection to a traditional utility transmission grid.

Company Plans Manufacturing Plant for Solar Cells (AP)

Amonix, Inc., a California company, is planning to build a $20 million factory to make concentrated photovoltaic solar equipment in the Las Vegas area.

Russia Riot Police Deployed in Coal Town as Blasts Spark Unrest (Bloomberg)

About 200 Russian riot police were deployed in a Siberian coal town to quell protests over pay and working conditions sparked by one of the deadliest coal mine accidents since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Coal India in Mine Talks with Massey, Sinar Mas (Reuters)

Coal India, the world’s largest coal producer, is in talks with U.S.-based Massey Energy and Indonesia’s Sinar Mas to buy equity in coal mines or form joint ventures for mining, a source involved in the process, said on Friday.