Policy

Administration climate plans threatened by pump price drop

Source: 
National Journal

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.

Papal visit to heat up climate debate

Source: 
The Hill

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.

Obama takes in parade after reaching deals in India

NEW DELHI (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday took in a grand display of Indian military hardware, marching bands and elaborately dressed camels, becoming the first American leader to be honored as chief guest at India's annual Republic Day festivities.

The crowd erupted in cheers as Obama, along with first lady Michelle Obama, emerged from his armored limousine and took his place on the rain-soaked parade route in the capital of New Delhi. The parade was the centerpiece of Obama's three-day visit to India, which is aimed at strengthening a relationship between the world's largest democracies that has at times been fraught with tension and suspicion.

'Racing Extinction' documentary a call to save the planet

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — It's not too late to save the planet, but documentarian Louis Psihoyos says the time is now.

The filmmaker behind 2009's Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove" returns to the natural environment for his latest film, "Racing Extinction," which premiered Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival.

Coal production drops in China for 1st time in 14 years

BEIJING (AP) — China recorded its first drop in coal production since 2000 last year, as the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter pulls back on its use of the fossil fuel and switches to cleaner energy sources.

According to the country's national coal association, China produced 3.5 billion tons of coal in the first 11 months of 2014, 2.1 percent less than the same period in 2013. The association estimates the drop for the entire year will reach 2.5 percent.

Federal permit approved on SunZia transmission line

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A proposed $2 billion transmission line that would carry electricity generated by renewable resources in New Mexico and Arizona to markets across the West is one step closer to being in service after clearing its final federal hurdle.

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was joined Saturday by members of New Mexico's congressional delegation and other federal officials to announce the government's approval of the SunZia project.

Oil

US works to ease Caribbean dependence on Venezuelan oil

MIAMI (AP) — A decade-long addiction to oil subsidized by Venezuela may be coming to an end for several Caribbean nations, with a nudge from the United States.

Fears that falling oil prices could knock the wheels off the already wobbly economy of oil-dependent Venezuela have sparked apparent interest in alternatives to Petrocaribe, a trade program created by the late President Hugo Chavez that has kept the region dependent on the South American country for energy.

Oil

Fueled by oil, agriculture sector welcomes low diesel prices

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The recent plunge in fuel prices has been a welcome relief across the agricultural sector, helping ease the pain of low grain prices for growers and boosting profits for cattle ranchers.

"Every movement we make in farming takes fuel," Kansas cattle rancher and hay grower Randy Cree said.

Oil

Breached pipeline that spilled oil lies exposed on riverbed

GLENDIVE, Mont. (AP) — Sonar indicates part of an underground pipeline that spilled almost 40,000 gallons of oil into Montana's Yellowstone River and fouled a local water supply is exposed on the riverbed.

The pipeline is exposed for about 50 feet near where the breach occurred Jan. 17, according to a news release from public agencies involved with the response.

Japan logs record trade deficit in 2014 on weakening yen

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's trade deficit ballooned to a record 12.8 trillion yen ($109 billion) last year as a weakening yen pushed the cost of imports higher despite a moderate recovery in exports.

Preliminary data from the Finance Ministry released Monday showed Japan's exports rose 4.8 percent to 73.1 trillion yen ($620 billion) in 2014 while imports climbed 5.7 percent to 85.9 trillion yen ($763.7 billion). The trade deficit rose by 11.4 percent from the 11.5 trillion yen ($97.7 billion) gap in 2013.

The Japanese yen has weakened over the past year to about 117 yen to the dollar compared with about 100 yen in early 2014. That raises the value of Japan's exports in yen terms. But it also pushes up costs for imports of fuel and food.

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