E2 Round-up: Oil spill another hurdle for climate bill, officials may set fire to slick to minimize damage, EPA lists the evidence for global warming

“I have been an advocate of climate change legislation, but I’m going to have a real problem if we have drilling as I’ve heard it,” Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) told the NYT.

* Coast Guard considers controlled burns to ease threat from oil spill

Officials meanwhile are considering setting fire to the giant oil slick in hopes of minimizing the environmental damage.

The slick has grown to the size of Jamaica, reports the Wall Street Journal, and as of yesterday was about 20 miles off the coast of Louisiana.

Burning the oil isn’t “an optimal solution,” because it creates an air pollution problem. But officials contend it’s better than allowing the oil to hit the beaches and marshes that line the Gulf Coast, which will likely happen by this weekend if weather patterns hold, the WSJ reports.

* EPA report lists evidence for global warming

Prospects for climate change legislation in the Senate remain “under a cloud,” says the Baltimore Sun’s B’More Green blog, but the EPA continues its push to lower greenhouse gases through regulation.

The Sun lays out a few of the key points of an EPA report on leading indicators of global warming.

  • Seven of the 10 warmest years on record in the continental US have occurred since 1990;
  • Sea level rise has doubled its pace over the long term average since 1993;
  • Six of the 10 most active hurricane seasons have occurred since the mid-1990s.
  • Eight of the top 10 years for "extreme one-day precipitation events" (aka deluges or blizzards) have occurrred since 1990.

Meanwhile, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said the climate bill he and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., have been working on is not dead just because Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, has withdrawn his support the measure.