Today’s Climate: July 29, 2009

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Federal Court Approves Gulf of Mexico Oil Drilling Plan (Reuters)

In a big win for oil companies, a U.S. appeals court said it will allow the Interior Department to move forward with oil and natural gas leasing plans for the Gulf of Mexico created by the Bush administration.

US-China Talks End With Smiles, No Progress on Climate (Los Angeles Times)

U.S. and Chinese officials ended two days of high-level talks in Washington still at loggerheads on climate action. Among the unresolved issues, Beijing contends that the U.S. should share its green technology if it truly cares about limiting climate change.

Carbon Tariffs Out of Favor in EU Amid Fears of Trade War (EurActiv)

Fearing a green trade war, a majority of European countries are reluctant to pick up on the current debates in France and the U.S. about carbon tariffs designed to fend off competition from countries which have not committed to reducing emissions.

Energy Firms Spring for State Regulators’ Far-Flung Trips (Sacramento Bee)

State officials who lead California’s war on global warming often travel abroad on trips supported by the major greenhouse gas polluters they regulate, and industry lobbyists and executives routinely join them.

Funding Woes Stifling Green Technology, Companies Tell Congress (Reuters)

Officials from companies involved in solar and carbon capture technologies told Congress their biggest challenge to creating new green technologies was financing, not science.

Michigan Aims for Greener Economy with 30% RES by 2025 (Detroit Free Press)

Michigan lawmakers want to turn the state into a renewable energy leader with a series of proposals including tripling the renewable electricity standard to 30% by 2025.

DOE Close to Awarding Stimulus Bucks for Batteries (Earth2Tech)

More than 100 companies have lined up for the so-called Electric Drive Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative’s $2.4 billion, which is set to be divided into just 32 to 35 or so grants.

USEC Finds Commercial Viability Matters for DOE Loans (Washington Post)

USEC lashed out at President Obama after the Energy Department turned down the company’s request for $2 billion in loan guarantees for a new uranium enrichment project meant to serve nuclear reactors.

Canada Green Power Stocks Fall on Surprise Decision (Reuters)

Shares in a bunch of Canadian green energy companies slumped after a surprise regulatory decision created uncertainty about the future of dozens of clean power projects being developed in British Columbia.

CO2 at Heart of Ga. Power Plant Dispute (Constitutional Accountability Center)

The central question in this case is whether the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program established under the Clean Air Act requires a BACT review for CO2.

BP Chief: We’re Still Looking at Clean Energy (Guardian)

BP CEO Tony Hayward says the company is concentrating its clean energy work on four areas: biofuels, chiefly in Brazil; CCS in the U.S. and Abu Dhabi; solar power – where manufacturing has been shifted to India and China; and wind, in the U.S.

U.S. Wind Installations Keep On Coming (Wall Street Journal)

Mark Twain famously complained that rumors of his death were greatly exaggerated. The same could be said of the U.S. wind-power industry, which is ahead of its 2008 pace.

Shell Pipeline Leak Causes Huge Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill (Reuters)

Shell and the U.S. Coast Guard rushed to contain one of the largest U.S. oil spills in years, 1,400 barrels of crude oil that leaked into the Gulf of Mexico from a pipeline.

Farm Lobby Divided Over Climate Bill (Politico)

Cracks are emerging within the powerful farm lobby, as the agriculture community debates the climate and energy bill: “Splits over farm policy are becoming deeper and more intense and more passionately fought."

UK Wind Power Opposition a Blow to Climate Strategy (Guardian)

Europe’s largest onshore wind farm project has been thrown into doubt after the British conservation group RSPB and official government agencies lodged formal objections to the 150-turbine plan on Shetland’s main island.