Today’s Climate: May 20, 2010

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U.S. Science Body Urges Action on Climate (New York Times)

In its most comprehensive study so far, the National Research Council, the nation’s leading scientific body, declared on Wednesday that climate change is a reality and is driven mostly by human activity, chiefly the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

States Spend Billions Importing Coal: Report (SustainableBusiness)

Economies in three dozen states are collectively hemorrhaging tens of billions of dollars annually on imported coal to generate electricity, according to a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Pew Survey: 32% of U.S. Public Views Climate Change as Important Priority for Congress (Green Car Congress)

While majorities of the U.S. public view taking action on jobs (81%) and energy policy (67%) as important priorities for Congress, only 32% say it is very important for Congress to address climate change in the coming months, according to a new poll.

Louisiana Shore Sees Heavy Oil as BP Prepares Plug (Reuters)

Heavy oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill threatened Louisiana marshlands on Thursday after washing ashore for the first time since a BP-operated rig exploded a month ago.

Salazar: Abolish Energy Agency, Divide in 3 Parts (AP)

The Obama administration moved on Wednesday to abolish the agency that oversees offshore drilling and replace it with three separate entities. The name Minerals Management Service would no longer exist, a spokeswoman said.

BP Bows to Demands from Congress and Scientists for Live Feed of Oil Leak (Guardian)

BP bowed to demands from scientists and members of Congress yesterday and said it would post a live video feed of the gusher of oil on the ocean floor.

Oil’s Arrival in Loop Current Has Fla. On Edge (AP)

An outer edge of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill has reached a powerful current that could take it to Florida and beyond, according to government scientists.

Greenpeace Activists Scale BP’s London Headquarters in Oil Protest (Press Association)

Two activists scaled the BP building in London and hoisted a flag depicting the multinational’s logo smothered in oil, in protest to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

U.S., Mexico Seek Oil Moratorium Near Gulf Border (Bloomberg)

The U.S. and Mexico are seeking a moratorium on oil production near the Western Gap of the Gulf of Mexico, where the two nations share a maritime border.

Clean Air Act Settlement Will Close Ohio Power Plant (Greenwire)

American Municipal Power, a nonprofit Ohio utility, has agreed to retire a coal plant as part of a settlement resolving alleged violations of federal clean air laws, the Obama administration announced.

U.S. Brings Green Power Execs to Red China (Reuters)

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke began three days of meetings in Beijing on Thursday to push open doors for American clean energy companies looking to cash in on China’s fast-growing renewables market.

Transportation Lobby Girds for Assault on Kerry-Lieberman Climate Bill (Greenwire)

Transportation’s old guard is aggressively opposing the latest Senate climate proposal, arguing it diverts much-needed cash from the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

2010 on Track to Be Hottest Ever: U.S. Climate Data (Reuters)

This year is on track to be the hottest ever after data published by America’s climate agency this week showed record global temperatures in April and the first four months of 2010.

Global Warming Affects Lake Tanganyika’s Unique Ecosystem (The Hindu)

Surface waters in east Africa’s Lake Tanganyika, the second-oldest and second-deepest lake in the world, are currently warmer than at any time in the previous 1,500 years, according to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Greek Crisis and Euro Fall Snare Clean-Energy Stocks (Bloomberg)

As Europe grapples with the fallout from Greece’s economic woes, at least one unexpected corner of the economy is suffering: renewable energy companies.

Saudi Eyes Big Jump in Renewable Output by 2020 (Reuters)

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia believes renewable sources could account for up to 10% of its power output by 2020 with prices coming down and a regulatory framework in place, an executive from state oil giant Saudi Aramco said.

The Next Google-Microsoft Rivalry: Electric Vehicles? (Earth2Tech)

Google and Microsoft have been competing on the desktop and web browser for years — is their rivalry spilling over into the new landscape of the connected and electric car?