WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans' resounding victory gives them an opportunity to push legislation that's been bottled up in the Democratic Senate, from targeting elements of President Barack Obama's health care law to constructing the Keystone XL oil pipeline to rolling back environmental regulations.
Democrats suffered an electoral drubbing in Tuesday's midterms, and Republicans regained control of the Senate and widely expanded their majority in the House. In command in both chambers in January, Republicans maintained that they have to show they can govern or else voters will show them the door.
The plan by Senate Republicans to pass a Keystone XL pipeline approval bill will put Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska onto the national stage, a role that she has been preparing to take on for more than a year.
Murkowski is in line to become the next chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee under the new GOP majority. The post will take on additional importance with incoming Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell's vow to pass bills to advance the U.S. fossil energy boom and pressure the Obama administration over its environmental regulations.
Approval of the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline and spending language to shut down carbon regulations will be among bills the new Republican majority will send to President Barack Obama next year, Sen. Mitch McConnell said Wednesday, in a move to fulfill two top campaign promises.
Obama sidestepped the threat of the Keystone bill getting to his desk, however. Asked at a news conference if he would veto an approval bill, Obama said only that he won't intervene in the ongoing State Department review of TransCanada's permit application.
The North American Electric Reliability Corp. is urging the Environmental Protection Agency to put off implementing its rule limiting carbon emissions from existing power plants because it doesn’t provide enough time to replace coal-fired generation that would be forced offline, Bloomberg reports.
PARIS (AP) — Three men in their 20s have been arrested in possession of a drone near a French nuclear reactor, the first such arrests since a spate of mysterious drone overflights of reactors began in early October.
There have been at least 15 sightings of drones over nuclear reactors around France, raising security concerns in a country heavily dependent on atomic energy for electricity. The zone around nuclear plants is off limits.
President Barack Obama said Wednesday he won't shortcut the ongoing State Department review of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline project, minutes after incoming Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said it would be among energy bills he would attempt to pass.
"There's an independent process, it's moving forward, and I'm going to let that process play out," Obama said at his post-election press conference. "I'm just going to gather up the facts."
Obama said he will still evaluate the project on a number of factors, including its impact on global warming and the outcome of a court case in Nebraska. He did not say, however, whether he would veto an approval bill sent to him by congressional Republicans.
McConnell, R-Ky., earlier Wednesday included the estimated $8 billion project in energy bills he said the new Senate Republican majority will send to Obama in the next Congress.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court will decide how lawsuits related to earthquakes should be handled, agreeing to take on an appeal from Sandra Lada, who says she was injured in 2011 in a quake she blames on two oil companies operating disposal wells, the Tulsa World reports.
Increased fuel efficiency standards, a major component of President Obama’s plan to fight climate change that he touted in last week's State of the Union address, could be threatened by continued low gasoline prices that encourage consumers to return to buying gas guzzling vehicles, National Journal reports.
Newly elected Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, has talked about spending cuts and hinted at possible new taxes to fill the gaping hole left in the state’s budget by the collapse of oil prices, but a Republican-controlled legislature filled with allies of Sean Parnell, the man he defeated in the November election, may make getting approval for his policy changes difficult, if not impossible, The New York Times reports.
The assurances of Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman that he would maintain the country’s course regarding oil saw an easing in prices early Monday. West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery dropped 49 cents to $45.10 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent fell 63 cents to $48.16, Reuters reports.
CEO G. Steven Farris is retiring at Apache Corp. -- although regulatory filings indicate he will receive his $1.75 million base salary and other payments over the next three years – and is being replaced by company veteran John Christmann, while former BP executive Stephen Riney will be CFO, FuelFix reports.
The president of Solar Vision has told WOSU public radio that his business has been affected by the state’s move to freeze renewable energy targets, something that the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Clean Energy Initiative had predicted would happen.
Technological advances combined with new financial incentives will give a big boost to energy storage in the coming years, an essential element as renewable energy makes up a growing share of the nation’s power supply, NBC reports.
A planned visit by Pope Francis to the U.S. in the autumn, just months after he’s expected to issue an encyclical galvanizing Catholics to take steps against climate change, will likely intensify discussion on the issue, The Hill reports.