Today’s Climate: June 22, 2010

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Climate Bill Backers Enter Critical Week (Reuters)

With time running out for the U.S. Senate to debate complicated and controversial climate legislation, key players will huddle this week to try to come up with a plan for passing an energy/environment bill this year.

White House, Lieberman Considering Utility-Only Bill (ClimateWire)

The Obama administration and a key player in Senate climate negotiations would consider a bill that caps greenhouse gas emissions from just the electric utility sector, which may face better political odds than an effort to cap emissions across the economy.

Oil Firms Challenge U.S. Deepwater Drilling Ban (Reuters)

Oil services companies were waiting on Tuesday to see if their legal bid would succeed in overturning a six-month ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf as more fishing areas were closed in response to the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

EPA Pushes Congress to Revive Superfund Tax on Oil, Chemical Companies (The Hill)

The Obama administration on Monday launched a new push for reinstatement of lapsed taxes on oil companies and chemical makers used to fund cleanups of hazardous waste sites through the federal Superfund program.

Energy Secretary Says ‘Top Kill’ Should Have Been Tried Earlier (Los Angeles Times)

Engineers working to plug BP’s oil gusher should have acted sooner to attempt the so-called top kill method to overpower and seal the well to boost its chances for success, Energy Secretary Chu said.

Senators Ask Obama to Bring On the Navy (The Times-Picayune)

Two senators wrote a letter to Pres. Obama on Sunday arguing it’s time to bring in the Navy to attack the two-month-old scourge of oil menacing the Gulf of Mexico.

BP, Transocean Tap a Well of Washington Lobbyists and Consultants (Washington Post)

Companies involved in the Gulf spill are hiring a bevy of high-priced Washington lobbyists and consultants to help them weather the crisis, as investigations heat up and calls for policy changes intensify.

Poll Finds Deep Concern About Energy and Economy (New York Times)

Overwhelmingly, Americans think the nation needs a fundamental overhaul of its energy policies, and most expect alternative forms to replace oil as a major source within 25 years.

Environmentalists Say Red Sea Oil Spill Continuing (AP)

Environmental activists said Monday that an oil spill off the coast of Egypt’s Red Sea is continuing even after the government said it had been contained, leaving turtles and sea birds covered in oil.

Study Questions Credentials of Climate Skeptics (CanWest News)

The hundreds of academics who sign warnings for politicians to delay climate action do not have the same expertise as those who say human activity is causing global warming, says a new study to be released today in the Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of Scientists.

G20 Should Focus on Green Measures for Growth: U.N. (IANS)

G20 nations should focus on environment-friendly measures to promote global economic recovery, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in an open letter. The remarks come five days before G20 leaders are scheduled to meet in Canada.

EU CO2 Offset Limits from 2013 Harm Investment: Deutsche (Reuters)

European Commission plans to restrict certain U.N.-backed carbon offsets from 2013 could slow the pace and scale of new investments and increase costs under the EU’s emissions trading scheme, Deutsche Bank said.

Australia’s Government To Amend Renewable Energy Target (Dow Jones)

Australia’s government on Tuesday announced further changes to its renewable energy target designed to cope with a poential oversupply of renewable energy certificates and provide greater investment certainty for large projects such as wind farms.

UN May Complete Review of Awarding HFC Credits by August (Bloomberg)

The UN may complete by August its review on the awarding of carbon credits for the emission of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), a greenhouse gases more damaging than carbon dioxide, an official said.

PG&E, Sunrun Create $100M Home Solar Financing Fund (SustainableBusiness)

A subsidiary of PG&E Corporation and SunRun Inc., a provider of home solar financing, announced a $100 million tax equity project financing agreement to fund SunRun’s installation of 3,500 new home solar installations across the U.S.

UN Watchdog Backs Egypt Nuclear Power Plant Plans (Reuters)

The U.N. nuclear watchdog is ready to cooperate with plans to build nuclear power plants in Egypt, which is now working on locations for construction, the head of the U.N. body said on Tuesday.

Lithium Find Means Little for Mythical Shortfall (Greenwire)

Experts say new lithium finds are largely irrelevant to advanced battery production, as concerns over a shortage of the material are overblown.

EU States Give 14 More Years to Dirty Coal Plants (Reuters)

Coal-fired power plant operators can avoid having to cut the emissions that cause acid rain if they promise to shut down altogether by 2024, EU countries agreed late last week, disappointing environmentalists.

Rainforest Slaughter Continues in Madagascar Despite "Ban" on Timber Exports (Mongabay)

New eyewitness reports indicate continued logging of Madagascar’s Masoala National Park for rosewood despite a government "moratorium" on logging and timber exports.

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