Today’s Climate: August 18, 2010

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Gulf Surface Cleaner, But Questions Lurk Far Below (AP)

Researchers are warning that the Gulf spill is a bigger mess than the government claims and that a lot of crude is lurking deep below the surface, some of it settling perhaps in a critical undersea canyon off the Florida Panhandle.

BP to Stop Handling Most Gulf Claims (CNN)

BP has picked Wednesday as the deadline for accepting claims from people and businesses affected by the Gulf disaster. After that, the oil giant will direct people to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, led by attorney Kenneth Feinberg.

GOP Candidates Knock Global Warming (Politico)

Republicans running for the House, Senate and governor’s mansions have gotten bolder in stating their doubts over the well-established link between man-made greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.

Gore Calls for Major Protests on Climate Inaction (The Hill)

In a post on his personal blog headlined "The Movement We Need," AL Gore is calling for major rallies to protest congressional inaction on climate change.

Oil Group, Climate Bill Supporters Clash in Summer Campaigns (Greenwire)

The oil and natural gas industry’s biggest influence group will launch a major lobbying campaign next month, staging rallies and running advertisements tying the sector to job creation and opposing tax changes and tougher drilling regulations.

Law Requires Illinois Utilities to Buy Solar Power (AP)

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a law requiring utilities to purchase a half-percent of solar power by June 2012 and six percent by 2015.

Coal Plants Emitting Less SO2, NOx This Year, EPA Says (Greenwire)

Coal-fired power plants have continued to cut their soot- and smog-forming emissions this year, according to newly released estimates from the EPA.

New Coal SEC Disclosures: Massey Hit with $4Mln in Safety Fines in 2nd Quarter of 2010 (Coal Tattoo)

Massey Energy "racked up, by a wide margin, the highest number of mine safety transgressions among U.S. public coal producers during the second quarter," according to an analysis of the latest SEC filings by SNL Energy.

Costs Mount for Enbridge on Spill, 2007 Blast (Reuters)

Enbridge Inc’s struggles mounted on Tuesday as its U.S. affiliate said the oil spill that fouled a Michigan river system could cost as much as $400 million and regulators slapped it with a $2.4 million fine for a deadly 2007 explosion in Minnesota.

Wind Power Plans for Taiwan-Held Islets Near China (AFP)

Taiwan’s Penghu group of islands plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to expand their wind power capacities, an official said Wednesday.

China to Proceed Slowly on Cap and Trade (Carbon Positive)

China has confirmed domestic emissions trading measures are under consideration to help rein in the nation’s soaring carbon output. But it appears any embrace of cap and trade in its next five-year plan from 2011 will be cautious and modest.

Two China New Energy Firms Eye $2 billion in IPOs (Reuters)

China Huaneng Group Corp and Datang Corp, the country’s top power producers, plan to float shares of their renewable energy units in Hong Kong in offerings that could raise over $2 billion.

Gevo IPO Expected to Raise $80M-$100M (Earth2Tech)

Next-gen biofuel developer Gevo inspired chatter in the greentech world last week when it filed its S-1, planning to raise up to $150 million in an IPO.

First Geothermal Plant in UK Gets Green Light (Renewable Energy World)

The UK’s Cornwall Council has given the go-ahead for the country’s first utility-scale geothermal power plant near Redruth. The plant will have capacities of 55 MW of renewable heat energy and 10 MW of electricity when it becomes fully operational in 2013.

Three-Fourths of U.K. Companies Haven’t Yet Measured Carbon Footprints (Bloomberg)

Some 26% of companies currently measure greenhouse gas output, with 38% planning to begin within five years, the Carbon Trust said today in a survey of 200 finance directors at firms employing more than 500 people.

Industrial Nations Divide on Future World Bank Anti-Carbon Policy (ClimateWire)

From Norway to New Delhi, leaders are struggling to define the World Bank’s role in eradicating energy poverty while keeping a lid on carbon emissions.

Australia’s Gillard Holds Slim Election Lead (Reuters)

Australian PM Julia Gillard goes into the final days of a tight election campaign with a slender 3-point lead in polls, pointing to a narrow win for the ruling Labor Party in a vote set to be determined by key marginal seats.

Groups File Brief Supporting U.Va. in Case Against Cuccinelli (Washington Post)

Four groups have filed an amicus brief asking a judge to set aside a demand from Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli for documents related to the research of a global warming expert once employed by the University of Virginia.

Opinion: Obama Follows Nixon On Oil Spills (Wall Street Journal)

Like our current president, Nixon too presided over a major offshore oil blowout — the three million gallon Santa Barbara spill of 1969. And, like Obama, Nixon responded by whipping up anti-oil sentiment and passing a sweeping moratorium on drilling.