Policy

Public skeptical about claims crude exports could lower pump prices

Source: 
FuelFix

Some experts and analysts may conclude that lifting the ban on crude exports would end up lowering gasoline prices, but a University of New Hampshire poll found that 85 percent of those surveyed said the U.S. should keep a lid on crude exports if it prevents an increase in gasoline prices, FuelFix reports.

Ford recalls hybrid SUVs to fix stalling problem

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling about 74,000 older-model gas-electric hybrid SUVs in the U.S. and Canada to fix a stalling problem.

The recall covers Ford Escapes from the 2005 through 2008 model years and Mercury Mariners from 2006 through 2008.

Influence game: Chemical trade tries to shape regs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The powerful chemical industry is putting its lobbying muscle behind legislation that would establish standards for chemicals used in products from household goods to cellphones and plastic water bottles — but also make it tougher for states to enact their own regulations.

Many states already have acted on their own — and that's what's gotten the industry's attention.

US sanctions target key Russia oil, gas sectors

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States hit Russia on Friday with a new round of economic sanctions, levying penalties on Russia's largest bank and expanding financing restrictions on major energy and defense companies.

The sanctions were imposed in coordination with the European Union, which unveiled its own package of penalties hours earlier. Officials said the parallel penalties are aimed at punishing Russia for deepening its provocations in Ukraine, including sending forces and weaponry across the border.

A prime target of the new sanctions is Sberbank of Russia, the country's largest financial institution. The bank accounts for approximately a quarter of Russian banking assets and a third of its banking capital, according to the Obama administration.

The U.S. was also prohibiting U.S. entities from exporting goods services or technology to help Russian energy companies with the exploration of production of potentially lucrative oil projects. The sanctioned Russian companies include Gazprom, the world's largest extractor of natural gas, and Rosneft, an oil company owned by the Russian government.

The penalties could impact major U.S. companies that have partnered with key players in Russia's energy industry.

Latest Russia sanctions could hurt Exxon

Source: 
The Wall Street Journal

Exxon Mobil, which signed a deal two years ago to drill for oil in the Arctic jointly with Russia’s state-owned Rosneft, could have its plans scuppered by the latest round of sanctions imposed as a result of the Ukraine conflict, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Murkowski, Young push for more US Arctic action in response to Russia

Source: 
National Journal

An apparent Russian military buildup in the Arctic has Sen. Lisa Murkowski concerned, and she and fellow Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young have been pressing the Obama administration to pay more attention to the region, National Journal reports.

Obama declares Napa earthquake major disaster

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in California on Thursday because of last month's Napa Valley earthquake, releasing emergency federal funding for the state.

The White House announced the move in a statement nine days after Gov. Jerry Brown sent a letter to Obama requesting the declaration. Brown declared a state of emergency for California shortly after the magnitude-6.0 earthquake on Aug. 24.

The White House didn't say how much money may be available, but a preliminary assessment by the governor's office found $87 million in earthquake costs that could be eligible for federal reimbursement.

EU sanctions hit Russian oil majors, lawmakers

BRUSSELS (AP) — New European Union sanctions against Russia announced Friday toughen financial penalties on the country's banks, arms manufacturers and its biggest oil company, Rosneft, to punish Moscow for what the West sees as efforts to destabilize Ukraine.

The United States was also expected to announce more sanctions Friday.

The EU measures, which were made official after a preliminary agreement Thursday, broaden the scope of penalties imposed in July. They increase restrictions to Europe's capital markets, which further limits the targeted Russian companies' ability to raise money, for example. They now also apply to major oil and defense companies, not only banks.

Office of Sen. Wyden

Wyden turns again to energy tax 'parity'

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. is wading back into the debate over energy tax breaks, a controversial thicket that pits renewable energy and biofuels advocates -- and President Barack Obama -- against conservatives and the oil lobby.

Wyden, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said Thursday he will use a hearing next week to press for ways that comprehensive tax reform could level the incentives for renewables and fossil fuels.

Despite economic fears, EU sanctions Russia again

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Thursday slapped more sanctions on Russia for helping separatists destabilize Ukraine, limiting Russia's access to its financial market, hitting the country's vital oil industry, curbing high-tech exports and targeting more officials with travel bans and asset freezes.

Many EU members had been loath to increase the sanctions against Russia for fear of jeopardizing their close trade relationships with Moscow. But a compromise struck in a video conference call with top EU leaders broke a deadlock that had paralyzed the 28-nation bloc from taking tougher action over the past ten days.

Under the compromise hashed out by leaders including Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Francois Hollande, the sanctions could be reversed within weeks if the cease-fire in eastern Ukraine holds.

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