Today’s Climate: July 19, 2010

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Admiral Allen Expresses Concern about Seeps and Pressure Near BP Well (Oil Drum)

Admiral Allen has sent a letter to BP about seeps which have been detected "a distance from the well," telling the oil giant that it needs to develop a plan for opening the choke valve as quickly as possible without damaging the well.

Early Look at Ecological Toll Is Alarming, Scientists Say (Wall Street Journal)

With the gushing oil at least somewhat halted, the toll on one of the most valuable and precarious ecosystems in the U.S. is starting to emerge, including thousands of dead birds and harm to crucial fisheries, such as shrimp and clams.

BP Puts Gulf Oil Spill Cost at Nearly $4 Billion (AP)

BP says that the cost of dealing with the Gulf spill has now reached nearly $4 billion. So far, it has made payments totaling $207 million to settle individual claims for damages along the southern coast of the U.S, the firm said on Monday.

Obama to Launch Ocean Initiative (Los Angeles Times)

Pres. Obama on Monday is set to create a national stewardship policy for America’s oceans and Great Lakes, including a type of zoning that could dramatically rebalance the way government regulates offshore drilling, fishing and other marine activities.

Republicans Oppose Broad U.S. Energy Bill: McConnell (Reuters)

Republicans "are happy" to consider legislation tied to the BP Plc oil spill but will not support a U.S. energy bill that includes climate regulations, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday.

GOP Sees Path to Control of Senate (Wall Street Journal)

Democrats for the first time are acknowledging that Republicans could retake the Senate this November if everything falls into place for the GOP, less than two years after Democrats held a daunting 60-seat majority.

UN CO2 Regulators Juggle Conflicts of Interest in Debate on HFC-23 Projects (Bloomberg)

The Clean Development Mechanism executive board will soon decide how to regulate projects that destroy hydrofluorocarbon-23, a potent greenhouse gas. But a watchdog group is urigng several members to abstain from the vote due to conflicts of interest.

Nations to Seek Clean Energy Cooperation (AFP)

Energy ministers or senior officials from 21 nations are gathering in Washington, D.C. Monday for a two-day meeting aimed at finding ways to work together on clean energy amid an impasse in drafting a new climate change treaty.

UK: Business Group Calls for Global Aviation Emissions Trading Scheme (BusinessGreen)

The Confederation of British Industry will today issue a new report voicing concern at government plans to impose a new per-plane tax on flights in and out of the UK, arguing that the most effective means of curbing aviation emissions is through a global cap-and-trade scheme.

UK Urged to Invest More in Low-Carbon Technologies (Guardian)

The UK was today warned by the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) that it should invest more in the development of low-carbon technologies if it is to achieve ambitious targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

China Oil Spill Operation Following Pipeline Blast (AFP)

Authorities have launched an ocean clean-up operation after an oil pipeline explosion and fire spilled 1,500 tonnes of crude into the Yellow Sea, state media said Monday.

Solar in for Healthy Q2, Fears About 2011 Remain (Reuters)

Strong sales of modules in Germany, the world’s No.1 solar market, are set to boost revenues for the sector elite’s in the second quarter but won’t allay fears about weaker 2011 demand as incentives wane.

Clock Running Out for Solar Firms (San Francisco Business Times)

A U.S. federal grant program that has propped up the solar industry through the recession to the tune of $3 billion is set to expire, and the industry is once again scrambling for a Congressional fix.

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