WASHINGTON (AP) — Solid economic growth will help the federal budget deficit shrink this year to its lowest level since President Barack Obama took office, according to congressional estimates released Monday.
The Congressional Budget Office also projects a 14 percent drop in the number of U.S. residents without health insurance, largely because of Obama's health law.
NEW DELHI (AP) — President Barack Obama was leading a bipartisan delegation of lawmakers, senior U.S. officials and two former secretaries of state to Saudi Arabia Tuesday to pay respects to the royal family following King Abdullah's death.
Obama cut short the final day of his visit to India to make the trip, departing New Delhi Tuesday afternoon without making his planned visit to the Taj Mahal. Obama's four-hour stop in Saudi Arabia was to include a meeting with new monarch King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and a dinner with other Saudi officials.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Authorities shut down a huge trade center development near the resort city of Cancun on Monday that was conceived as a showcase for Chinese products and had previously been fined over $1 million for environmental damage.
Mexico's environmental protection agency said in a statement that the Dragon Mart Cancun project was "totally shuttered" over failure to comply with corrective measures ordered last year and the removal of vegetation related to construction. The statement said the agency determined the project was being built in a coastal ecosystem where mangrove stands are present.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The federal Department of the Interior will make additional areas of Arctic Ocean waters off-limits to drilling when it announces a new five-year offshore drilling plan, a member of the Alaska congressional delegation said Monday.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said she was briefed last week by federal officials who told her the Obama administration will permanently remove from consideration some areas that had previously been deferred from the federal leasing program.
BUCHANAN, Liberia (AP) — A failed U.S. government-backed plan to produce environmentally friendly energy in one of Africa's poorest countries was marred by insider connections and questionable planning, an Associated Press investigation found. The federal agency at the center of the deal is one of the government's biggest secrets and routinely escapes public scrutiny.
That agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, approved three loans totaling $217 million to help a company, Buchanan Renewables, convert nonproducing rubber trees into biomass chips that would help power Liberia.
A motion to wrap up amendment debate and move toward Senate passage of the Keystone XL pipeline bill failed, 53-39, on Monday.
Just four Democrats voted for the cloture motion to end debate, which required a 60-vote majority for adoption.
The motion was scheduled late Thursday by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., after Democrats sought more time to consider pending amendments, and he called successful votes to table five Democratic amendments.
The vote extends amendment debate into the coming days, with eight amendments currently pending on the Senate floor-- seven by Republicans and one Democratic -- and scores more submitted for potential votes.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP struggled for 87 days to contain the millions of gallons of crude that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, but an expert witness on Monday called its cleanup response exemplary.
"They were very prepared," said Frank Paskewich, a retired Coast Guard captain and president of Clean Gulf Associates Inc., an oil spill response cooperative.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s list of 5,500 entrants in the National Building Competition last year -– battling each other to see who can save the most energy –- is a far cry from the 14 who took part when EPA started the contest in 2010, E&E reports.
An agreement by the Environmental Protection Agency on standards for Argentinian biofuel makers to get credits in the U.S. could be a significant step toward opening the American market to imports, Reuters reports.
Ethanol stocks last week hit a two-year high of more than 20.6 million barrels, according to data from the Energy Information Administration, which said the rise came despite production inching down by 1,000 barrels a day, Platts reports.
Stung by lower oil and gasoline prices and raking in less from asset sales, Hess Corp. lost $8 million in the fourth quarter, compared to a profit of more than $1.9 billion in the period a year earlier, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Despite the Obama administration opening up the Atlantic to drilling in its proposed five-year leasing plan, major new projects are unlikely to proceed as long as oil prices remain under $50 a barrel, E&E reports.
The U.S. saw 4,850 megawatts of wind capacity added in 2014, more than four times the amount installed a year earlier, according to statistics from the trade group the American Wind Energy Association, which noted that much of the growth came in Texas, Bloomberg reports.
Releasing data on animal feeding operations to environmental groups under a Freedom of Information Act request didn’t harm the farmers involved, according to a ruling from federal Judge Ann Montgomery in Minnesota, who on Tuesday dismissed a motion for a summary judgment in the case, E&E reports.
Opower, which works with utilities to get reductions in customers’ energy use, has found that there is a drop during the Super Bowl, and in its Outlier blog presents the theory that watching TV in groups rather than as individuals is partly responsible, The Washington Post reports.
Climate modeling isn’t biased toward making links between human activity and climate change, according to a study published in the journal Nature online Wednesday, although researchers did find that studying 62-year trends – rather than 15-year periods -- gave a more accurate portrayal of mankind’s impact, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Businessman Eike Batista, on trial in Brazil for market manipulation, has quit as chairman and board member of Oleo e Gas Participacoes, which is reorganizing following its filing for bankruptcy protection in 2013, The Wall Street Journal reports.