DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — On the road in a tour bus this week, the U.S. transportation secretary is spreading some bad news: The government's Highway Trust Fund is nearly broke. If allowed to run dry, that could set back or shut down projects across the country, force widespread layoffs of construction workers and delay needed repairs and improvements.
Anthony Foxx kicked off an eight-state bus trip in Ohio to whip up public support for congressional approval of legislation to keep federal transportation aid flowing to states for another four years, and possibly longer. But Congress will have to act fast. The trust fund — the source of much of the aid — is forecast to essentially run dry sometime before the end of the federal fiscal year Sept. 30, and possibly as early as late August.
Railroads, used to operating under exclusively federal jurisdiction, are coming under increasing pressure to provide more information as they carry crude oil, and will face new rules forcing them to do so this summer, The New York Times reports.
Since taking the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Mary Landrieu has said she will use the post to address issues in her home state of Louisiana, particularly jobs and revenue from oil and gas development.
On Tuesday, she made that plan abundantly clear in her first re-election ad. The ad proclaims that as chair "she holds the most powerful position in the Senate for the people of Louisiana."
KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (AP) — In the first Ukrainian military action against a pro-Russian uprising in the east, government forces said they repelled an attack Tuesday by about 30 gunmen at a small airport. The clash came hours after Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, had announced an "anti-terrorist operation" against the armed, pro-Russian insurgents who had seized control of numerous buildings in at least nine cities in Ukraine's restive east.
The central government has so far been unable to rein in the insurgents, who it says are being stirred up by paid operatives from Russia. The insurgents are demanding broader autonomy and closer ties with Russia, and, complicating the political landscape, many local security forces have switched to their side.
The United States on Tuesday gave its tacit support to Ukrainian military action against pro-Russian militia. This is not the preferred option, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, but the Ukrainian government has to respond to what he said was an untenable situation.
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — A Wyoming-based trucking company working in North Dakota could face fines of $2 million or more for operating without a license and illegally dumping saltwater, a byproduct of oil production, two North Dakota state agencies said Tuesday.
"Companies should take notice that they need to understand what is required if they are going to do business in this state," said Dave Glatt, the environmental health section chief at the Health Department, in a statement. "If they fail to comply, they may be fined."
By visiting Taiwan, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy is breaking a promise the U.S. made to China, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said at a briefing, adding that Beijing has lodged a protest, Reuters reports.
The latest U.S. greenhouse gas inventory shows domestic carbon emissions fell in 2012 to the lowest levels since 1994, driven by reduced energy consumption and increased use of natural gas for electricity generation.
The Environmental Protection Agency, which runs the inventory, said Tuesday that energy efficiency and a relatively warm winter also contributed to the drop of 3.4 percent in U.S. emissions compared to 2011.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's emission standards for mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants.
In its ruling, the court rejected state and industry challenges to rules designed to clean up chromium, arsenic, acid gases, nickel, cadmium as well as mercury and other dangerous toxins.
The standards are the first federal mercury controls for power plants.
Oil continues to wash up on some Louisiana beaches four years after the Deepwater Horizon sinking sent oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and a number of area residents remain angry and resentful despite BP paying out billions of dollars in compensation, Reuters reports.
Environmental Protection Administrator and Boston native Gina McCarthy and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will throw out the first pitches at the Red Sox game Tuesday, to mark Earth Day, The Hill reports.
A subsidiary of American Energy Partners, the company run by shale pioneer Aubrey McClendon, is renting seven rigs from his former firm Chesapeake Energy to drill for gas in the Utica Shale, Bloomberg reports.
The total U.S. rig count for the week remained at 1,831, according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc., which said that oil rigs declined while gas and miscellaneous rigs increased, Bloomberg reports.
Vermont Yankee owner Entergy has applied to scrap the 10-mile emergency planning zone around it, because of the nuclear plant's closing by year's end, raising concerns from citizen groups, The Recorder reports.
Critics complain that proposals to increase security of the nation’s power grid, drafted by the industry in the wake of an attack on a California substation last year, won’t do enough to stop anyone intent on sabotage, The Wall Street Journal reports.