Election year politics prompted dueling moves Wednesday by Senate Democrats and House Republicans to quickly pass bills to give final approval to the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
The Dec. 6 runoff between vulnerable Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and her GOP challenger, Rep. Bill Cassidy, drove leaders in both chambers to consider votes on approval legislation. The House is to vote on Thursday, with the Senate to take up a bill by Landrieu next Tuesday.
NEW YORK (AP) — The average price of gasoline will be below $3 a gallon in 2015, the Energy Department predicted Wednesday. If the sharply lower estimate holds true, U.S. consumers will save $61 billion on gas compared with this year.
Economists say lower gasoline prices act like a tax cut, leaving more money for consumers to spend on other things. Consumer spending is 70 percent of the U.S. economy.
Brent crude for December dipped below $80 a barrel for the first time since 2010 before closing at $80.38 a barrel - still a four-year low. West Texas Intermediate prices fell 76 cents to end the day at $77.18 a barrel, Bloomberg reports.
OPEC in a monthly report said that Saudi Arabia led the group's production declines last month, falling 69,900 barrels a day to 9.6 million, a seven-month low. Overall, the group's production fell to a three-month low of 30.25 million barrels a day, Bloomberg reports.
OPEC projected that 2015 demand for its oil will be a million barrels a day lower than the cartel's current output level, because increased shale oil production in the U.S. will continue to squeeze its market share, Reuters reports.
A new survey from the Pew Research Center found that 59 percent of Americans support the Keystone XL pipeline, down seven points from March of last year. Additionally, the poll found more Americans oppose hydraulic fracturing than support it by a 47-41 margin, a near flip from the March 2013 numbers, National Journal reports.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., on Wednesday called on the Senate to bring up her bill as soon as Thursday to approve the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, as Republicans in the House moved to do the same with a new bill by her re-election opponent.
On the Senate floor, Landrieu said she would by late afternoon attempt to call up the approval bill by her and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., under a request for unanimous consent to proceed. That tactic requires that no other senators object.
House Republican leaders, at the same time, announced a vote as soon as Thursday on an approval bill by Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La.
Landrieu faces a runoff election on Dec. 6 against Cassidy, who has been leading in polls.
She said her and Hoeven's bill has the support of the 60 senators, including all current Senate Republicans, needed to overcome a filibuster.
"We can do this. Se, se puede. We can do this, we can pass the Keystone pipeline," she said.
U.S crude prices racked up their first weekly gain since September, as news that China cut interest rates to boost its economy raised expectations of increased oil demand in the future. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery was up 66 cents to finish Friday’s Nymex session at $76.51 a barrel, while in London Brent jumped $1.03 to settle at $80.36, Bloomberg reports.
Royal Dutch Shell, Hess Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. are among major oil companies with new drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico, a number in deep water, although a continued decline in oil prices could slow development, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Phillips 66 Partners and Paradigm Energy Partners will join forces to construct the 76-mile Sacagawea Pipeline and a 710-acre rail terminal aimed at transporting Bakken crude from North Dakota more effectively, FuelFix reports.
Customers will see substantially higher energy prices as a result of the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule to curb carbon emissions from existing power plants, according to a study commissioned by coal company Peabody Energy and conducted by Energy Ventures Analysis, which offers a state-by-state breakdown of costs, the San Antonio Business Journal reports.
Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., is expected to carry the flag for environmental issues -- fighting climate change, in particular -- as he becomes his party’s ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee in the next Congress, E&E reports.
No matter the winners in significant battleground states in the 2014 elections, voters there support the fight against climate change, the Sierra Club said, citing statistics from a poll conducted by Hart Research Associates, The Hill reports.
Most Americans believe poorer, less developed parts of the world will bear the brunt of climate change, rather than the U.S., according to a survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute and the American Academy of Religion, E&E reports.
The world spent less money -- $331 billion -- on fighting climate change in 2013, the second year in a row the figure dropped, according to a study from the Climate Policy Initiative, which attributed the fall in part to the lower cost of solar energy, Reuters reports.
Only 3.87 billion cubic meters of natural gas heading to Europe from Russia moved through pipelines in Ukraine in October, a little over half of the amount transiting in the year-ago period, Platts reports.