TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A freshwater channel that separates Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas is a premier Midwestern tourist attraction and a photographer's delight, offering spectacular vistas of two Great Lakes, several islands and one of the world's longest suspension bridges.
But nowadays the Straits of Mackinac is drawing attention for something that is out of sight and usually out of mind, and which some consider a symbol of the dangers lurking in the nation's sprawling web of buried oil and natural gas pipelines.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday finalized its planned Tier 3 rule to cut sulfur in gasoline. EPA said the rule would lower air pollution health risks from automobiles, but the oil industry contended the rule would raise consumer costs more than expected.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the rule, which goes into effect in 2017, will add less than 1 cent to the price of a gallon of gas at the pump. It will also add $72 to the price of a new car by 2025, about half of what EPA projected in its proposed rule.
The rule will go into place in tandem with higher federal mileage standards that raise auto efficiency to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2022. It was supported by the auto industry, which wanted a single national standard for gasoline to use in meeting the mileage mandate.
The oil industry had sought to stop or delay the rules, but EPA turned away those appeals. A representative of the American Petroleum Institute said the rule will provide minimal health improvements over sulfur limits already in place and raise gasoline prices up to 9 cents per gallon.
McCarthy told reporters that the industry's cost estimate was based on the proposed rule before taking into account provisions EPA included in the final version to address industry concerns.
The Environmental Protection Agency's new rule lowering the sulfur content in vehicle fuel, to be unveiled today, will increase the price of gasoline, but The New York Times reports that supporters and opponents of the measure disagree on how much.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's daily oil exports surged to 2.8 million barrels per day in February, some half million barrels more than in the previous month, as international oil companies developed fields and export infrastructure, a senior official said on Saturday.
The increase is crucial for Iraq, which sits atop the world's fourth largest proven reserves of conventional crude but has been struggling to rebuild the sector after years of war, sanctions, neglect and more recently, sabotage. Oil revenues make up nearly 95 percent of its budget.
Oil prices jumped by more than a dollar per barrel Monday as Russia's military advance into Ukraine raised fears of economic sanctions against one of the world's major energy producers. Natural gas prices also surged at the prospect of a decrease in global supplies.
Benchmark U.S. crude for April delivery was up $1.54 to $104.13 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 19 cents on Friday to close at $102.59. Brent crude, which is used to set prices for international varieties of crude, gained $1.62 to $110.69 on the ICE exchange in London.
Markets were responding as thousands of Russian troops solidified control over Crimea in the Ukraine. The U.S. warned Sunday that Moscow could face economic penalties unless it retreats.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Police arrested hundreds of people who strapped themselves to the White House fence on Sunday to protest the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The protesters were mostly college students who participated in a peaceful march that began at Georgetown University and ended outside the White House. They chanted "climate justice now" and carried signs such as "don't tarnish the Earth" in their efforts to convince President Barack Obama to reject the proposed Canada-to-Texas pipeline. They say it will contribute to global warming.
NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil rose slightly Friday and finished the month with a gain of 5 percent.
Benchmark U.S. crude for April delivery rose 19 cents to close at $102.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For all of February, oil gained $5.10 a barrel. U.S. refineries needed crude oil to make heating oil and diesel as frigid and stormy weather boosted demand.
Brent crude, which is used to set prices for international varieties of crude, rose 11 cents to $109.07 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
The problems in Ukraine are unlikely to trigger faster action by the Obama administration on natural gas exports, a White House spokesman appeared to indicate Friday, as he noted that supplies in Europe are at higher-than-normal levels because of the mild winter there, according to Reuters.
Public Service Enterprise Group plans to spend $12 billion over five years on capital projects to improve reliability, hoping to increase the earnings of its utility business, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Weather-related rail bottlenecks in Chicago are causing higher prices and lower supplies of ethanol on the East coast, while Midwest plants are cutting production because of a shortage of rail cars, an industry representative told a U.S. Surface Transportation Board panel, Platts reports.
Investors will challenge corporations during the upcoming proxy season to make more environmental commitments, according to nonprofit Ceres, which has compiled a list of resolutions up for votes, E&E reports.
Saying President Obama's proposed "climate resilience fund" will help communities prepare better for severe weather might win it bipartisan support, according to Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, National Journal reports.