White House urging US CEOs to avoid Russian forum

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top executives at major United States companies are reconsidering or withdrawing their participation in a Russian international economic forum amid requests from the Obama administration in the face of the growing crisis in Ukraine.

Some executives have been pressed to cancel their attendance direct appeals from officials such as Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama.

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, held this year from May 22-24, is an annual affair prized by Russian President Vladimir Putin as validation of his country's economic influence.

G-7 to seek new sources of energy, energy security: Ministers


With the Ukraine crisis threatening supplies of Russian gas, G-7 countries will look to improve natural gas infrastructure, increase their use of renewable energy and make more efforts to save energy, according to German Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, while U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz  said participants at a meeting in Rome Tuesday agreed “energy security is a collective issue,” Bloomberg reports.

Maine: Cutler urges renewable energy, rebuilding of DEP

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler rolled out a plan Tuesday to encourage renewable energy generation, cut carbon dioxide emissions and provide financial support to projects that can help lower homeowners' energy costs.

Cutler, who's seeking to unseat Republican Gov. Paul LePage in November, pledged that if elected he would implement an energy policy focusing on the future by creating incentives for the development of onshore and offshore wind, solar power and others renewable sources.

Fed climate report called 'tremendous undertaking'

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new federal report is the most exhaustive and perhaps even easiest-to-read look at what global warming will to do the United States, say experts who strongly support it.

The report, required by federal law, is "the most comprehensive assessment ever done on how climate is affecting the United States," said University of Illinois climate scientist Donald Wuebbles, a study author. White House counselor John Podesta called it authoritative and "a tremendous undertaking."

EPA accused of blocking independent investigations

WASHINGTON (AP) — A unit run by President Barack Obama's political staff inside the Environmental Protection Agency operates illegally as a "rogue law enforcement agency" that has blocked independent investigations by the EPA's inspector general for years, a top investigator says.

The assistant EPA inspector general for investigations, Patrick Sullivan, was expected to testify Wednesday before a House oversight committee about the activities of the EPA's little-known Office of Homeland Security. The office is overseen by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy's chief of staff, and the inspector general's office is accusing it of impeding independent investigations into employee misconduct, computer security and external threats, including compelling employees involved in cases to sign non-disclosure agreements.

House Energy and Commerce business meeting on North American Energy Infrastructure Act

Washington, May 7, 2014, 4:00 pm

House Energy and Commerce Committee business meeting on H.R.3301, North American Energy Infrastructure Act, and other bills. Opening statements only; meeting continues Thursday 10 a.m. 

House Energy and Commerce business meeting on North American Energy Infrastructure Act, Day 2

Washington, May 8, 2014, 10:00 am

House Energy and Commerce Committee business meeting on H.R.3301, North American Energy Infrastructure Act, and other bills. Continued from Wednesday.

Senate begins energy debate

The Senate voted Tuesday to begin debate on an energy efficiency bill, even as Majority Leader Harry Reid predicted the bill will stall because of Republican amendment demands.

The 79-20 vote to take up the voluntary efficiency incentives bill by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, easily cleared the 60-vote margin needed to proceed. A group of 24 Republicans voted with Democrats in support of the motion.

The vote came after Reid, D-Nev., said the bill was threatened by Republican demands for non-efficiency amendments. Those include votes on approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, limits on carbon emissions regulation and faster approval of liquefied natural gas exports, among others.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., responded that Republicans were not trying to kill the bill and were merely seeking up to five energy-related amendments. 

Keystone XL backer Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said after the vote that talks will continue between leaders to determine if an amendment deal can be reached this week.

House panel hearing Wed. on alleged EPA obstruction

The Hill

A House Oversight committee hearing Wednesday will look into allegations that Environmental Protection Agency employees obstructed some of the investigations of the Office of Inspector General in the wake of the John Beale case, The Hill reports.

Electricity consumer safeguards OK'd by Conn. lawmakers

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Responding to hundreds of complaints from irate consumers about sharply higher prices and deceptive marketing, Connecticut lawmakers have passed protections promising more transparency from electricity suppliers.

The Connecticut House on Monday joined the Senate to unanimously approve consumer protections promising more transparent billing and marketing by electricity suppliers. Lawmakers in the House passed the measure, 145-0, after it passed in the Senate last week, 36-0.

"I certainly went in so infuriated," Rep. Lonnie Reed, House chairwoman of the Energy and Technology Committee, said at the start of a three-hour debate.


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