MIAMI (AP) — A decade-long addiction to oil subsidized by Venezuela may be coming to an end for several Caribbean nations, with a nudge from the United States.
Fears that falling oil prices could knock the wheels off the already wobbly economy of oil-dependent Venezuela have sparked apparent interest in alternatives to Petrocaribe, a trade program created by the late President Hugo Chavez that has kept the region dependent on the South American country for energy.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The recent plunge in fuel prices has been a welcome relief across the agricultural sector, helping ease the pain of low grain prices for growers and boosting profits for cattle ranchers.
"Every movement we make in farming takes fuel," Kansas cattle rancher and hay grower Randy Cree said.
GLENDIVE, Mont. (AP) — Sonar indicates part of an underground pipeline that spilled almost 40,000 gallons of oil into Montana's Yellowstone River and fouled a local water supply is exposed on the riverbed.
The pipeline is exposed for about 50 feet near where the breach occurred Jan. 17, according to a news release from public agencies involved with the response.
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's trade deficit ballooned to a record 12.8 trillion yen ($109 billion) last year as a weakening yen pushed the cost of imports higher despite a moderate recovery in exports.
Preliminary data from the Finance Ministry released Monday showed Japan's exports rose 4.8 percent to 73.1 trillion yen ($620 billion) in 2014 while imports climbed 5.7 percent to 85.9 trillion yen ($763.7 billion). The trade deficit rose by 11.4 percent from the 11.5 trillion yen ($97.7 billion) gap in 2013.
The Japanese yen has weakened over the past year to about 117 yen to the dollar compared with about 100 yen in early 2014. That raises the value of Japan's exports in yen terms. But it also pushes up costs for imports of fuel and food.
The Obama administration's recommendation to Congress that it designate 12.3 million acres in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness is likely to go nowhere with the Republican majorities in the House and Senate, which ran into quick condemnation by committee chairs on Sunday.
But Congress must still act if it wants to stop the Interior Department from going ahead with plans to manage the acres as wilderness, according to an aide to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. She holds two influential positions over Interior Department policy and spending, and pledged Sunday, with the Alaska congressional delegation, to "hit back as hard as we can."
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia's new monarch inherits the throne at a moment when the oil-rich kingdom is being buffeted by a plunge in the value of its most valuable commodity, growing challenges by activists at home and deepening turmoil on its borders that stands to benefit rival Iran.
Those who know King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud note the 79-year-old's diplomatic skills, honed over nearly five decades as governor of the capital, Riyadh. Those abilities will be put to the test as he positions his country to confront a collapsing Yemen on its southern frontier and threats from the extremist Islamic State group to the north in Iraq.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's environmental chief says water testing has shown that saltwater contamination from a massive pipeline spill reached the Missouri River. But he says officials don't expect harm to wildlife or drinking water supplies.
Dave Glatt said Friday that given the size of the river and volume of water, the contaminants quickly diluted.
HONOLULU (AP) _ Officials are surveying the ocean and shoreline for signs of spilled oil after a towing vessel sank off Oahu.
Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer Melissa McKenzie said Friday that crews are looking for oil from the air and along the shoreline. The Coast Guard is working with lifeguards along potentially affected coasts.
Oil was mixed Friday, with an estimate of a stockpile build in Cushing sending West Texas Intermediate crude down 49 cents to $45.83 a barrel on the Nymex, while the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah pushed Brent 47 cents higher to $48.99, Reuters reports.
Oil prices surged 8.3 percent in Friday trading as rig data suggested a slowdown in shale oil development, with Brent crude rising $3.86 to $52.99 a barrel and U.S. crude climbing $3.71 to settle at $48.24 a barrel, Reuters reports.
A survey conducted by Reuters reports that OPEC output rose by 130,000 barrels per day in January as Angola boosted exports and Persian Gulf producers kept steady or increased output, a signal that some members plan to stay the course on maintaining output despite low oil prices.
Despite the collapse of crude oil prices last year, the latest Commerce Department report of gross domestic output showed outlays for new oil rigs and wells rose 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, even as equipment spending across all U.S. businesses fell, Bloomberg reports.
Chevron CEO John Watson, after his company reported lower profits and announced budget cuts, voiced optimism for long-term industry prospects, saying the price of oil will have to rise above $50 per barrel to support new exploration to meet energy needs, FuelFix reports.
A new poll conducted by The New York Times, Stanford University and Resources for the Future suggests that more than two-thirds of Americans, including 48 percent of Republicans, say they consider themselves more likely to support a candidate who supports action to combat climate change.
The National Biodiesel Board in a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency voiced frustration with the agency's delayed implementation of biodiesel mandates, saying the slow movement has caused some producers to reduce staff and forced others into bankruptcy, The Hill reports.
A survey of economists by Bloomberg projects that many of the world's largest crude oil exporters like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar could see budget surpluses take hits and slip into deficits as global oil prices remain low.
Chevron, after posting a 30 percent decrease in earnings from the previous year in the fourth quarter 2014, abandoned plans to explore for shale gas in Poland, dealing a blow to efforts to develop hydraulic fracturing and shale drilling industries in Europe, The New York Times reports.
In an interview with E&E, Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., vice chairwoman of the Natural Resources Committee and leader of a new Interior and EPA oversight panel, discusses her familiarity with development and ranching issues in western states and her plans to limit Obama administration regulations on public land use.