Today’s Climate: July 21, 2010

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Relief Tunnel Should Reach Gulf Well by Weekend (AP)

Three months into the Gulf disaster, the federal government’s spill chief says a relief tunnel should finally reach BP’s broken well by the weekend, meaning the gusher could be snuffed for good within two weeks.

BP Says Hayward Has Board Backing to Stay as CEO (Reuters)

BP rejected a newspaper report on Wednesday that CEO Tony Hayward was to step down within the next 10 weeks. "He has full support from the board and will remain in place," a BP spokesman said.

With Sale of Assets, BP Bets on More Deep Wells (New York Times)

Despite the April 20 Deepwater Horizon disaster, BP has no plans to leave the Gulf of Mexico or stop drilling for oil in other deep ocean waters.

U.S. Oil Spill Could Destroy 100,000 Jobs: Experts (AFP)

The impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was thrown into sharp relief Tuesday, as U.S. data showed rising unemployment in Louisiana and experts warned the disaster could cost up to 100,000 jobs.

Obama Officials, Utility Executives Meet to Salvage Climate Bill (The Hill)

Top Obama administration officials met Tuesday with utility executives in another sign that senior Democrats are pushing to salvage a limited climate bill this year.

Utilities Won’t Agree to Carbon Limits for Power Stations, Lieberman Says (Bloomberg)

U.S. utility companies won’t agree to CO2 limits for power plants being added to energy legislation that Democrats plan to take up this month, Sen. Joseph Lieberman said.

Coal Industry Sues EPA, Corps of Engineers Over Permit Crackdown (Charleston Gazette)

Coal industry lawyers on Tuesday sued the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to try to slow down the Obama administration’s efforts to more strictly regulate mountaintop removal mining.

Mine Safety Bill Won’t Tighten Limits on Dust that Causes Deadly Black Lung Disease (Coal Tattoo)

When the House Education and Labor Committee takes up the mine safety reform bill today, one major provision will be missing: Language to tighten to legal limit for coal dust that causes deadly black lung disease.

EU Demands Closure of Loss-Making Coal Mines (Bloomberg)

The EU’s executive is demanding the closure of loss-making coal mines in Germany, Spain and Romania by October 2014, and the end to the subsidies that are keeping them alive.

Gov. Manchin to Run for Byrd’s Senate Seat (Wall Street Journal)

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat with high statewide approval ratings, announced his bid Tuesday to fill the Senate seat formerly held by the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

Report: Warmer Climate Puts Water Supplies at Risk (AP)

A new report by the NRDC says that more than 1,000 counties across the U.S. are at risk for potential water shortages by midcentury as warmer temperatures deplete supplies and demand for water rises.

Countries Pledge Global Support for Clean Energy (Reuters)

The U.S. and dozens of other countries have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars toward clean energy initiatives to help battle climate change, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on Tuesday at the first Clean Energy Ministerial.

IPCC Chief Says Grassroots Must Lead on Climate Action (The Atlantic)

Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the IPCC, said that climate action would have to bubble up from the bottom — from the "grassroots level, and the public at large" — rather than coming down from on high.

China Uses Oil-Eating Bacteria to Clean Up Spill (Reuters)

Authorities in China are using over 23 tons of oil-eating bacteria to help clean up an oil spill in the Yellow Sea caused by a pipeline explosion and fire at the weekend, state media said.

Record Year for Offshore Wind (Renewable Energy Focus)

Offshore wind is taking off in Europe with 118 new offshore wind turbines being connected to the grid in the first half of 2010, according to the European Wind Energy Association.

New York Mandates Cleaner Heating Oil (Green)

After some uncertainty, Gov. Paterson on Tuesday signed into law a bill that limits the sulfur content of No. 2 heating oil to no more than 15 parts per million starting in July 2012, down from the current range of 2,000 to 15,000 parts per million.

Vt. Legislative Panel Releases Revised Nuke Report (AP)

A panel appointed by Vermont lawmakers to examine the reliability of Vermont Yankee said Tuesday that a change in corporate culture is needed if the 38-year-old nuclear power plant is to operate past its scheduled 2012 closing.

Google Buys 114MW of Wind Power from NextEra (SustainableBusiness)

NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the wind power development unit of NextEra Energy, Inc. has entered into a power purchase agreement with the Google Energy to provide 114 MW of electricity.

Arctic Ice ‘Melting Fast,’ May Reach All-Time Low, Russia Says (Bloomberg)

Arctic sea ice is melting faster than expected and this season’s loss may match the record reached three years ago, Russia’s environmental agency said.