Today’s Climate: June 26-27, 2010

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1st Lawsuit Filed Over Cape Cod Wind Farm Plans (AP)

Environmental groups on Friday filed the first legal challenge to a wind farm off Cape Cod since federal agencies gave final approval to the project, alleging that the 130 turbines planned for Nantucket Sound will endanger migratory birds and whales.

Senate Democrats Poised to Start Energy Bill (Los Angeles Times)

Senate Democrats will begin crafting a sweeping new energy bill this week that could include a more modest cap on emissions for the utility sector only.

Oil Investor Judge in Drilling Case Sells Stocks (AP)

The Louisiana federal judge who struck down a six-month ban on deepwater oil drilling has sold many of his energy investments, a financial disclosure report released Friday reveals.

U.S. Asks Appeals Court to Stay Order on Drilling (Bloomberg)

The U.S. asked a federal appeals court in New Orleans to delay enforcement of a judge’s June 22 order lifting a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling.

Offshore Drilling Loses Some Support (Houston Chronicle)

The most recent Pew Research Center nationwide poll taken June 16-20 showed that 52% of Americans surveyed oppose increased offshore drilling, a 14% point increase from last month.

Drilling Protesters Join Hands on Oiled Fla. Beach (AP)

Hundreds of people including Florida’s governor joined hands on an oil-stained strip of beach in the Florida Panhandle as part of an international demonstration against offshore drilling Saturday.

New U.S. Oil Rigs Face Inspections, Fines in Proposed Law (Reuters)

New U.S. oil rigs and wells would face strict new design and inspection rules under a draft law circulated by a key House committee on Friday.

Denmark May Tighten North Sea Drilling Rules After BP Gulf of Mexico Spill (Bloomberg)

Denmark may tighten North Sea oil drilling regulations in the wake of the BP oil spill, Danish Climate and Energy Minister Lykke Friis said.

Little Spent on Oil Spill Cleanup Technology (AP)

While oil companies have spent billions of dollars to drill deeper and farther out to sea, relatively little money and research have gone into finding improved ways to respond to oil spills in deepsea conditions.

EPA Lags on Setting Some Air Standards, Report Finds (New York Times)

The EPA is 10 years behind schedule in setting guidelines for a host of toxic air pollutants, according to a report from the agency’s inspector general.

Scientists Question EPA Estimates Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (RedOrbit)

The approach the EPA uses to estimate greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural anaerobic lagoons that treat manure contains errors and may underestimate methane emissions by up to 65%, according to scientists from the University of Missouri.

MSHA: Underground Probe Starts in W.Va. (AP)

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration says investigators are beginning their underground search for clues to the nation’s worst coal mine explosion in 40 years.

For Climate Relief, U.S. Will Turn to Gas (Nature)

If the U.S. — and by extension the world — has a hope of shifting to a low-carbon future, that shift will almost certainly involve burning a vast volume of natural gas, according to an assessment by MIT researchers.

G8 Leaders Take Heat for Failing to Act on Global Warming (Toronto Sun)

Canadian PM Stephen Harper closed a two-day G8 summit in Huntsville, Ont., by declaring climate change a top priority for the world’s richest countries but insisting a legally binding pact must be pursued through the UN process.

Sea Energy Could Generate Billions in Exports, Council Told (The Irish Times)

Wave and tidal energy could supply a significant share of the future electricity needs of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, the British-Irish Council (BIC) has heard.

Google Eyes More Home Energy Jobs for PowerMeter (CNET News)

Google’s PowerMeter is a straightforward application for monitoring home electricity at this point, but the company expects to stretch its features toward managing an array of energy loads in the home, according to an executive.

Climate Change Scientists Turn Up the Heat in Alaska (Science Daily)

Scientists at the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are planning a large-scale, long-term ecosystem experiment to test the effects of global warming on the icy layers of arctic permafrost.