WASHINGTON (AP) — A retired Coast Guard admiral was named Wednesday as the first U.S. special representative for Arctic issues, overseeing American policy in the icy region that is becoming a global focus for economic opportunities and security concerns.
In a statement, Secretary of State John Kerry said retired Adm. Robert J. Papp has broad foreign policy experience and a "passion" for the Arctic that makes him the ideal diplomat to advance U.S. interests in the region.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Rising gasoline costs pushed up the prices U.S. companies receive for their goods and services in June, but overall inflation remains tame.
The Labor Department said Wednesday that the producer price index, which measures the cost of goods and services before they reach the consumer, rose 0.4 percent last month. The increase follows a 0.2 percent decrease in May.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Residents of modest neighborhoods near three of the largest oil refineries in California called on the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday to crack down on plant emissions, saying the pollution is choking their children and endangering their health.
The residents of the oil-rich Wilmington area of Los Angeles were among a dozen speakers to address an EPA hearing about a proposed rule requiring stricter emission controls and monitoring standards for refineries.
Oil prices rose Wednesday on a large drain in U.S. oil inventories and a slight improvement in economic growth in China.
Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery rose $1.24 to close at $101.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Tuesday, the Nymex contract dipped below $100 per barrel for the first time since May.
Oil production is recovering more quickly than expected, with the country producing a five-month high of 600,000 barrels per day; however, that figure is less than half of the country's normal output of 1.6 million barrels per day, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Energy market analysts at GasBuddy projected that falling crude prices could push the average price of a gallon of gasoline down by 10 to 20 cents, adding to price drops that have brought the average below $3.60 per gallon, FuelFix reports.
Oil prices rose Wednesday after China reported a slight improvement in economic growth for the second quarter that allayed fears its slowdown was continuing.
Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery was up 62 cents at $100.58 a barrel at 0720 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 95 cents to $99.96 on Tuesday. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, gained 41 cents to $107.29 on the ICE exchange in London.
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — China on Wednesday moved an oil rig out of waters claimed by Hanoi after two months of drilling that triggered a near-breakdown in ties between the neighbors and led to deadly protests in Vietnam.
Withdrawing the rig from near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea reduces the immediate risk of a naval standoff but will do little to mend relations between the two countries. Beijing made it clear it was shifting the billion-dollar rig because it had completed its work, not because of the criticism of its actions.
PUERTO ASIS, Colombia (AP) — Colombian officials say an oil spill caused by rebels in the country's southwest may not have been as big as originally thought nor has it caused significant environmental damage.
Army commander Gen. Jaime Lasprilla says oil did not get into the Guamuez River after the incident last week in the Puerto Asis municipality, about 515 miles (830 kilometers) southwest of Bogota. Some creeks were contaminated.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have reportedly reached agreement on a temporary fix for the highway funding crisis, so that is likely to be one of the accomplishments for lawmakers during a busy week ahead of their summer recess, National Journal reports.
Easing overseas demand, an oversupply of crude and weaker refining margins are combining to keep the pressure on crude prices despite ongoing turmoil in Gaza and Ukraine Monday, Reuters reports, noting that U.S. benchmark crude fell 68 cents to $101.41 a barrel, while Brent crude dropped 66 cents to $107.73.
Republicans used their weekly broadcast to attack President Obama’s climate policy, which they say amounts to a “war on coal.” This week the address was delivered by Rep. Steve Daines of Montana, who is challenging incumbent Democrat Sen. John Walsh for his seat, The Hill reports.
Despite ongoing concerns from the farming community – where her outreach efforts have had mixed success -- and continuing opposition from Republicans, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy is refusing to back down from WOTUS, or Waters of the United States, the EPA’s proposed rule outlining which bodies of water it has jurisdiction over, National Journal reports.
The decision about lifting the ban on crude exports should rest on what’s good for the overall economy, not just what’s good for refiners, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, told Platts Energy Week on Sunday.
The fight against a charge Rocky Mountain Power wants to impose on net metering customers is generating strong feelings in Utah and attracting attention from elsewhere around the country, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Although Commerce Department moves to slap duties on Chinese solar products are preliminary, they have already triggered an increase in prices and appear to have helped companies like SolarCity and SolarWorld, The New York Times reports.
International efforts to control emissions ahead of the next round of climate talks have been hit hard by Australia repealing its pioneering carbon tax, which has left Europe isolated in its efforts, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Russia will overcome any economic difficulties caused by Western sanctions over Ukraine, but also won’t respond with “hysterics” that descend into tit-for-tat impositions of retaliatory measures, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists Monday, Reuters reports.