Today’s Climate: May 24, 2010

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BP Prepares ‘Top Kill’ to Halt Oil Leak as Costs Accelerate (Bloomberg)

BP will try to plug an underwater oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico by pumping heavy drilling fluids into a damaged well in the next few days, as the cleanup costs of the month-long spill accelerate.

BP Capturing Less Oil than Expected from Spill (AFP)

BP said Monday it was capturing far less crude than expected from the huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which had so far cost the company $760 million.

Angry Salazar Threatens to Push BP Aside in Oil Spill Containment Effort (The Hill)

Interior Secretary Salazar on Sunday stepped up his criticism of BP over its failure to stop the Gulf Coast oil spill and threatened to remove the company from its lead role in the containment effort.

Bad Cement Jobs Plague Offshore Rigs (AP)

The tricky process of sealing an offshore oil well with cement — suspected as a major contributor to the Gulf of Mexico disaster — has failed dozens of times in the past, according to an AP investigation.

Despite Obama’s Moratorium, Drilling Projects Move Ahead (New York Times)

Since Pres. Obama announced a moratorium on new permits for offshore wells and a halt to a type of environmental waiver that was given to the Deepwater Horizon rig, at least seven new drilling permits and five waivers have been granted, according to records.

Brazile Calls Obama’s Oil Spill Response ‘Not Tough Enough’ (The Hill)

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile attacked the Obama administration’s response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill Sunday, becoming the second Democratic heavyweight in recent days to call for a firmer White House hand with oil giant BP.

Chamber Attempts to Put Number on Energy Security (Wall Street Journal)

The U.S. economy will face increasing risks in coming years from higher overall energy prices, bottlenecks in electricity transmission and higher oil costs, according to a new study to be rolled out this week by the Chamber of Commerce.

Nature Conservancy Faces Potential Backlash from Ties with BP (Washington Post)

The Nature Conservancy faces a potential backlash as its supporters learn the group has given BP a seat on its International Leadership Council and has
accepted nearly $10 million in cash and land contributions from the oil giant over the years.

Duke Scouts China’s Energy Options as U.S. Climate Bill Stalls (Bloomberg)

Duke Energy is scouting for new clean-energy technologies in China after Pres. Obama’s bid to pass U.S. legislation curbing carbon emissions stalled, the company’s chief technology officer said.

UK to Miss Key 2020 Renewable, Emissions Targets: Report (Reuters)

Britain looks set to miss a European renewable energy target and its goal of a 34% cut in emissions by 2020, as emissions decline more slowly, a report by Cambridge Econometrics said on Monday.

UK: Climate Change Concern Declines in Poll (Guardian)

Popular concern in the UK about climate change has declined significantly — from 80% in 2006 to 62% today — following this year’s harsh winter and rows over statistics on global warming, a survey has found.

Climate Protest Mounted at Manchester Airport (BBC News)

Climate protesters cut through a perimeter fence at Manchester Airport and chained themselves to the wheels of a plane on Monday to demonstrate against the extension of the World Freight Terminal, suspending flights for 20 minutes.

Australia: Scientist Measure CO2 Impact on Coral (AAP)

Queensland scientists hope a first-of-its-kind underwater lab on the Great Barrier Reef will help them understand how growing seawater acidity caused by carbon emissions will affect coral survival.

Foreigners Vie to Upgrade China Grid (Wall Street Journal)

China’s plan to upgrade its electricity network has sparked intense competition among GE, Siemens AG and other foreign companies seeking a foothold in what will soon be one of the world’s biggest markets for advanced power transmission and distribution systems.

Postal Service Turns to GridPoint to Cut Energy Use (Washington Post)

The U.S. Postal Service has tapped Arlington-based GridPoint to help the agency reduce its energy use by supplying a technology designed to centrally manage energy consumption from remote locations.

Chinese Green Car Buyers to Get Rebates (Reuters)

China will award buyers of green cars with subsidies of up to $8,789 each, the Shanghai Securities News said on Monday, as it steps up efforts to cut emissions in the world’s biggest auto market.