Policy

Fear rises in stock market as Dow drops 400 points

Fear is spreading in the stock market.

A monthlong drop in U.S. stocks intensified in afternoon trading Wednesday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 400 points and putting the index on track for its biggest loss in more than a year.

The drop was fueled by investor fears that Europe could slip into recession. Worrisome economic news in the U.S. also drove Wednesday's selling.

Budget deficit drops to $483B, lowest since 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) — The deficit for the just completed 2014 budget year was $483 billion, the lowest of President Barack Obama's six years in office, the government reported Wednesday.

It's the lowest since 2008 and, when measured against the size of the economy, is below the average deficits of the past 40 years. The deficit equaled 2.8 percent of gross domestic product, which is the economy's total output of goods and services.

State Department Photo

Stern: U.S. won't seek binding carbon cuts in climate talks

The U.S. wants a new United Nations climate deal next year that allows countries to set their own climate emissions cuts, State Department climate envoy Todd Stern said Tuesday, in his most expansive comments yet on the upcoming negotiations.

Stern's speech at Yale University largely confirmed reports that the Obama administration will back the so-called "name and shame" plan suggested by New Zealand that stresses voluntary commitments, combined with mandatory reporting and transparency.

Such a plan would also take the administration off the hook to submit a final deal to the Senate, where it would face substantial opposition.

Interior IG busy, but few investigations shown to public

Source: 
E&E

Documents obtained by E&E through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that the Interior Department's inspector general finalized 457 investigations in 2013, but only three were released to the public.

Poneman headed to Harvard as fellow at science center

Source: 
The Hill

Former Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman announced Tuesday that he would join Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs as a senior fellow, The Hill reports.

EnergyGuardian photo

Pioneer's Sheffield: shale output nearing US refiner limits

Pioneer Natural Resources Chief Executive Scott Sheffield, whose firm is one of two to get a federal green light to export lightly-processed oil condensates, on Tuesday called on the Commerce Department to approve all pending export applications.

Such an approval would push back by up to 18 months the coming problem of domestic light crude production exceeding U.S. refining capacity, he said at a forum hosted by the Aspen Institute in Washington.

Court hears water dispute between Kansas, Nebraska

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday considered how to resolve a long-running legal fight between Kansas and Nebraska over the use of water from the Republican River.

The justices appeared to agree with recommendations of a special master who found that Nebraska should pay $3.7 million in damages to Kansas for using more than its legal share of the river's water in 2005 and 2006.

Analysis: Iran nuclear talks extension possible

VIENNA (AP) — With differences still unresolved and the deadline for a deal nearing, Iran and the U.S. have a choice to make: Extend nuclear talks for a second time or face the risk of renewed confrontation and armed conflict.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets Wednesday in Vienna with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to try and advance the talks and meet the target date of Nov. 24. But with less than six weeks left until Nov. 24, there may be no alternative to prolonging them.

Ailing global economy could lead Fed to delay hike

WASHINGTON (AP) — Just as the U.S. job market has finally strengthened, the Federal Reserve now confronts a new worry: A sputtering global economy that's spooked investors across the world.

The economic slump could spill into the United States, potentially weakening job growth and keeping inflation well below the Fed's target rate. Such fear has led some analysts to suggest that the Fed might wait until deep into next year to start raising interest rates — and then raise them more gradually than expected.

US, Russia vow stronger cooperation on many issues

PARIS (AP) — The United States and Russia are vowing to cooperate more closely on a broad array of global security matters even as they remain deeply at odds over the crisis in Ukraine.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met for more than three hours in Paris Tuesday. Kerry emphasized afterward that the two countries would work closer together on fighting the Islamist extremists in the Middle East, dealing with Iran and North Korea's nuclear programs and other issues. He said Russia has agreed to begin intelligence sharing with the U.S. on the Islamic State.

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