Today’s Climate: May 19, 2010

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U.S. Doubts Global Emission Targets in Climate Deal (AFP)

U.S climate negotiator Todd Stern said Tuesday it was politically unrealistic for the next treaty to impose global targets on emission cuts, amid deep divisions between rich and developing nations. 

UN Climate Chief Faces Widening Rich-Poor Split (Reuters)

Incoming UN climate chief Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica inherits a widening split between rich and poor nations over how to slow climate change, with almost no chance of a treaty in 2010, analysts say.

Salazar: Gov’t Failed to Assure Drilling Safety (AP)

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar conceded Tuesday that the U.S. government failed to hold the oil industry accountable and ensure safety in offshore oil drilling. 

Obama Breaks with His Party on Issue of Oil Spill Liability Caps (The Hill)

The Obama administration broke away from Senate Democrats on Tuesday when it echoed a Republican argument against raising liability claims on oil companies.

Fishing Ban Widens as Oil Spill Spreads in Gulf (Reuters)

In a sign of the widening environmental impact of the BP oil spill, the U.S. nearly doubled a no-fishing zone in waters seen affected by the oil gushing from the blown well, extending it to 19% of U.S. waters in the Gulf.

Va. Offshore Drilling Hits Snag (AP) 

Most of Virginia’s coastal waters the government wants to use for oil and gas exploration would interfere significantly with military operations, the Defense Department said in yet another major road block for offshore drilling.

Shell Seeks to Drill in Arctic Seas This Summer (Guardian) 

Shell yesterday pushed ahead with plans to drill in the Arctic Sea this summer, defying calls for a moratorium on offshore exploration in the pristine wilderness following the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

Senate Climate Bill Stuck in Limbo for Now (Reuters) 

The compromise climate change proposal unveiled last week in the Senate is in legislative limbo, its fate apparently uncertain until at least next month.

Refiners See Carbon Costs as Much as $42.3 Billion (Bloomberg)

U.S. refiners and other fuel providers would pay as much as $42.3 billion for pollution rights in the first year of the proposed Senate measure to limit U.S. greenhouse gases, the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association said.

WWF Emerges as Leading Lobbyist on Senate Climate Bill (Greenwire)

WWF, an environmental group that made its name battling on behalf of pandas, polar bears and pelicans, now is fighting for what it fears is a politically imperiled species: U.S. climate legislation that has a global perspective. 

White House Pledges $536 Million to Clean Up Old GM Sites (Detroit News)

The White House has announced a $536 million plan to clean up 90 former General Motors sites in 14 states, calling it "the largest environmental and economic development effort for former manufacturing sites in our nation’s history."

Narrow Reelections on Board of Coal Mine Operator Massey Energy (Washington Post)

Three directors were narrowly reelected to the board of coal mine operator Massey Energy on Tuesday, in a proxy battle launched by investors looking to change leaders after an explosion killed 29 workers at a company mine in West Virginia six weeks ago.

Britain Could Be Big Marine Energy Exporter by 2050 (Reuters)

Britain could generate the equivalent of 1 billion barrels of oil a year and become a net exporter of electricity using just a third of its marine energy potential, according to a new report.

‘Tainted’ Credits Pull Down UN Carbon Price: Energy Markets (Bloomberg)

Emission traders’ most-profitable credits, linked to greenhouse gases considered more harmful than carbon dioxide, are dragging the UN carbon market to its biggest discount in a year.  

Japan’s Solar Cell Market More Than Tripled in 2009 (AFP)

Japan’s solar cell market more than tripled in the year to March, as government incentives spurred households to purchase the climate-friendly technology, industry data showed Tuesday.