WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration's approval of drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean clashes with the message President Barack Obama will deliver when he visits Alaska to emphasize the dangers of climate change, some environmental groups say.
As much as the groups praise Obama for his overall body of work — from stricter fuel-efficiency standards to regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants — they consider the approval of exploratory drilling in the Arctic a stain on his environmental legacy that will send a mixed message to other countries about the seriousness of confronting global warming.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The federal government has given Royal Dutch Shell the final permit it needs to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska's northwest coast for the first time in more than two decades.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said Monday that exploratory drilling can go ahead after the oil giant brought in a required piece of equipment to stop a possible well blowout in the Chukchi Sea.
The agency in July gave Shell permission to drill only the top sections of two wells because key safety equipment hadn't arrived.
It arrived Aug. 11, so Shell is free to drill into oil-bearing rock for the first time since 1991.
Environmental groups oppose drilling, saying industrial activity will hurt wildlife and companies haven't shown they can clean up a spill in ice-choked water.
Operators are faced with the challenge of what to do with offshore drilling rigs that have reached retirement age—numbering in the thousands over the next few years: sink them, remove them, or find another use for them in place, The New York Times reports.
An analysis published by Fitch Ratings Friday said that more offshore drillers may follow Hercules into bankruptcy protection, as their cash flows will see more pressure since backlog protections “are falling away at a fast clip,” FuelFix reports.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Two more Greenpeace protesters accused of trying to stop a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker from leaving Portland, Oregon, for an Arctic oil-drilling operation were fined $5,000 by the Coast Guard, officials said Friday.
A total of seven protesters have now been fined for interfering with the safe operations of a vessel, Petty Officer 1st Class George Degener said.
Insulated—in part because of the plunge in the ruble—from the slump in global oil prices, Russian oil giant OAO Rosneft has managed a 27 percent increase in drilling thus far in 2015, Bloomberg reports.
President Barack Obama will use a backdrop of melting Arctic ice to press his climate agenda when he visits Alaska later this month, warning that what's happening in the region is a "wake up call" for action.
Even as Obama unveiled his message, he was getting heat from both sides of the Alaska development issue. Environmental groups warned that his climate goals will be undermined if Royal Dutch Shell is allowed to continue drilling in the Arctic this summer, while one of Alaska's senators raised concern that the president plans to use the visit to spring a "surprise announcement to lock up more Alaska land."
An analysis published Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group found that hydraulic fracturing operations across California used a total of 197 unique chemicals, some of which are considered carcinogenic by regulators.
The report drew fire from drillers, who accused EWG of “fear-mongering” and highlighted the stringent regulatory system on fracking in the state.
The Environmental Protection Agency has told a federal appeals court that it has reversed its approval for Dow Chemical’s Enlist Duo while it reviews information from the company that the pesticide may be more toxic to plants than previously thought, The Hill reports.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked a deposition scheduled for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy in a lawsuit brought by coal company Murray Energy challenging EPA’s regulatory agenda, The Hill reports.
A Senate vote on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change back in 1992 may hold the key to Obama administration hopes for getting any Paris climate deal to hold up in the face of GOP opposition, National Journal reports.
Nine major corporations -- including Proctor & Gamble, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola -- have pledged up to $10 million apiece to the Closed Loop Fund, which provides low- or no-interest loans to cities and companies seeking to improve recycling infrastructure, The New York Times reports.
Oil prices were rising early Monday despite continuing concerns about oversupply and little expectation that OPEC members would be willing to change their production policy. U.S. benchmark crude jumped 32 cents to $42.03 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent gained 48 cents to $45.34, Reuters reports.
States, Native American tribes, the Treasury and conservation funds will see a cut this year in the royalty payments they receive from drilling on federal lands, with only $9.8 billion being disbursed, a decline of $3.5 billion compared to 2014, FuelFix reports.
Most of the electricity generated by rooftop solar panels isn’t counted toward renewable energy targets set in California’s new energy law signed by the governor in October, an omission that has financial consequences for panel owners and utility customers, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In a move already approved by a bankruptcy court, Energy Future Holdings Corp. subsidiary Luminant is purchasing two natural gas-fired plants from NextEra Energy’s La Frontera Ventures unit for $1.59 billion, FuelFix reports.
Global leaders have waited so long to agree on action to cut greenhouse gas emissions that moves to limit the world’s temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius may no longer be feasible, The Washington Post reports, citing scientists.
Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates told the Wall Street Journal that more than two dozen private investors are joining to put up more than $1 billion for an initiative intended to boost businesses looking to commercialize concepts generated by energy research, even as 20 governments have pledged to double their research support.