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US-ENVIRONMENT Summary

Sep 14, 2011, 12:36 a.m.

Release of key BP oil spill probe expected soon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The results of a pivotal federal U.S. probe of last year's massive BP oil spill could be released as early as Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the matter. The final report from U.S. Coast Guard and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) investigators has been heavily anticipated by investors eager for clues on possible legal ramifications BP and its partners may face from the drilling disaster.

Australia adds opt-in rule for polluters in CO2 scheme

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Big fuel users such as airlines, miners and rail transport firms may opt-in to Australia's carbon pricing scheme to help manage their carbon costs, the government said on Wednesday. The rule change, included in a suite of carbon pricing laws introduced into the lower house of parliament on Tuesday, was made at the request of major companies such as Qantas to improve risk management.

Summer Arctic sea ice melt at or near record

LONDON (Reuters) - Arctic sea ice this summer melted to a record low extent or will come a close second, two different research institutes said on Tuesday, confirming a trend which could yield an ice-free summer within a decade. The five biggest melts in a 32-year satellite record have all happened in the past five years, likely a result of both manmade climate change and natural weather patterns.

Chevron confirms Gulf of Mexico oil leak

(Reuters) - A leak from a shallow water crude oil pipeline in the Main Pass Area of the Gulf of Mexico has led Chevron to shut down its offshore Louisiana Main Pass pipeline network, the company said on Tuesday. Chevron has also shut its Cypress line, the company said.

China's Sichuan may face worst power woes in 10 years

BEIJING (Reuters) - Southwest China's Sichuan province is likely to face the worst power shortage in 10 years in the coming winter-spring season due to rising demand, weak hydropower generation and insufficient coal stockpiles, the local grid operator said. Peak electricity shortfalls may amount to about 20 percent of demand, Sichuan Electric Power Corp said in reports on its website (http://www.sc.sgcc.com.cn).

Perry sidelines critic of Texas nuclear waste site

(Reuters) - Texas Governor Rick Perry has sidelined a state commissioner opposed to expanding the scope of a nuclear-waste landfill while appointing a new board to oversee a project owned by one of his biggest political donors. Perry, who tops the list of candidates seeking the Republican nomination to run for U.S. president, has said his appointments are based on experience. A spokeswoman said the new makeup of the commission reflected its "evolving needs."

Europe's oceans changing at unprecedented rate: report

LONDON (Reuters) - Europe's seas are changing at an unprecedented rate as ice sheets melt, temperatures rise and marine life migrates due to climate change, a report by the Climate Change and European Marine Ecosystem Research (CLAMER) project warned. Scientists examined a mass of EU-funded research on the impacts of climate change on Europe's marine environment and identified the gaps and priorities for future work.

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