Today’s Climate: July 30, 2010

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EPA Says Michigan Spill Appears Contained (Reuters)

Oil spilled from a pipeline in Michigan does not present a threat to the Great Lakes and the spill has been contained on a river about 50 miles inland from Lake Michigan, federal officials said on Thursday.

Company at Center of Mich. Oil Cited for Problems (AP)

Enbridge, the Canadian company at the center of the oil spill in Michigan, has a history of pipeline problems, including leaks, an explosion and dozens of regulatory violations.

Reid Eyes Likely Wednesday Test Vote on Disputed Oil Spill Bill (The Hill)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is setting up what’s likely to be the only vote on Democratic oil spill response and energy legislation Wednesday before it is shelved until at least September.

U.S. House Set To Vote On Offshore-Drilling Overhaul (Wall Street Journal)

The U.S. House is set to vote Friday on remaking the entire offshore drilling system, setting up a fight over how far the government should go in removing support for the industry and instituting new safeguards following the Gulf oil spill.

BP Runs Final Well Casing (Upstream)

BP has begun to lay the final casing string in the first relief well and could move up planned kill operations, the head of the U.S. response said Thursday.

BP Lawsuits Over Oil Spill Take Center Stage (Reuters)

More than 2,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico shoreline, a panel of U.S. judges heard arguments from lawyers on Thursday on how piles of oil spill-related lawsuits against BP should be merged.

W.Va. Senators Unveil Mine Safety Bill (The Hill)

West Virginia Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D) and Carte Goodwin (D) on Thursday introduced legislation designed to protect the nation’s miners from the very companies they work for.

Canadian Oil Sands Profits Jump Amid Green Battle (Reuters)

Four of Canada’s biggest oil sands companies posted higher profits on Thursday, on stronger oil prices, as controversy builds over the environmental costs of tapping North America’s biggest crude reserves.

Safety Fears Raised at French Reactor (New York Times)

Anti-nuclear activists are seeking to halt construction of France’s latest nuclear plant at Flamanville, on the Normandy coast, arguing that changes introduced to solve problems with the reactor’s fuel pellet cladding have invalidated the plant’s original building permit.

UN Ends Kyoto CO2 Offset Drought Ahead of Key Meeting (Reuters)

The UN climate secretariat on Thursday issued 228,400 Kyoto Protocol carbon offsets to three Asian clean energy projects, ending a two-week issuance drought but failing to reassure concerned investors.

First Solar Earnings: A Mixed Bag (Earth2Tech)

First Solar, the solar stock bellwether, announced quarterly earnings with sales that topped expectations and a raised earnings guidance for the year, but at the same time saw a drop in profits for the quarter and a lowered revenue guidance for the year.

Heat Damage to Russia Crop Past Worst, Official Says (Reuters)

Russia’s worst drought for decades is set to drag on for at least the next 7 days in some areas but further serious damage to grain crops is not expected, a senior government weather forecaster said on Thursday.