Today’s Climate: June 19-20, 2010

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Court Freezes Bids to Return Greenhouse Gas ‘Endangerment’ Finding to EPA (Greenwire)

A panel of federal judges in Washington, D.C., has set aside 17 challenges that seek to force U.S. EPA to review its scientific finding that greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare.

US Rig Count Increases by 12 (AP)

The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 12 this week to 1,539. A year ago at this time, the rig count stood at 899.

Battered BP Boss Hands Over Oil Spill Duties (AFP)

Embattled BP boss Tony Hayward has handed off the daily management of the Gulf oil spill to another top BP official, Bob Dudley, an American, as the energy firm was assailed by its partner Anadarko for "reckless" conduct.

Anadarko Says BP Should Pay After Being Reckless (Bloomberg)

Anadarko Petroleum, the Texas oil company that owns 25% of the damaged well pouring crude into the Gulf, said BP should pay the costs from the spill because it acted recklessly and unsafely at the drilling site.

Obama Spill Panel Big on Policy, Not Engineering (AP)

The panel appointed by Pres. Obama to investigate the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is short on technical expertise but long on talking publicly about "America’s addiction to oil."

BP Restarts Drillship System after 10-Hour Lapse (Reuters)

BP restarted one of its oil-capture systems at the gushing leak in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday after a 10-hour shutdown to fix a problem on a piece of fire-prevention equipment.

Emanuel Open to Limited Climate Bill (Politico)

Pres. Obama’s chief of staff opened the door on Friday for a limited Senate climate bill that focuses on capping greenhouse gases from power plants.

Sierra Club to Fight Southern Co Coal Project (Reuters)

The Sierra Club has appealed a state utility commission vote that allows a Southern Co. utility to build an expensive, 582-MW advanced coal plant.

Wal-Mart Takes on Cape Wind (Cape Cod Times)

The power pact for energy from the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm has garnered scrutiny from green groups, renewable energy developers and businesses, including Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer.

Major Climate Decisions May Come from Ozone Treaty (AP)

Governments moved closer Friday to curbing the use of chemicals commonly used as coolants in refrigerators, air conditioners, hair spray and other household items in what some say would be among their biggest climate decisions ever.

APEC Agrees to Promote Nuclear Power: Reports (AFP)

Asia-Pacific ministers and officials agreed Saturday to promote renewable sources and nuclear power in a bid to maintain energy security and cut greenhouse gas emissions in the region.

Scientists Probe Climate Memories in Vanishing Glacier (Reuters)

Scientists have begun drilling ice cores at a shrinking tropical glacier in Indonesia to collect data on climate change, and hope their findings could lead to better predictions about crucial monsoon rains.

Spanish Government Looking at Limiting Operating Hours of PV Plants (PV Tech)

Spain is considering a plan to limit operating hours of PV plants as a way to cut significant payment handouts to solar power plant owners and investors.

Taiwan Feed-In Tariff Attracts 170 Projects Since May (Wall Street Journal)

A Taiwanese government official said Saturday the country’s feed-in tariff program, which requires utilities to purchase renewable power at a premium, has attracted 170 projects so far, representing a total capacity of about 70 megawatts.

Environment Worries to Lift Electric Car Sales: Report (Reuters)

Global sales of electric vehicles are set to rise this year due to worries about security of oil supply, the environment and fuel costs, UK consultancy J.D. Power said.