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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Trying to phase out old DOT-111 tank cars within two years, as proposed in new Department of Transportation regulations, could trigger a shortage and hurt oil and ethanol production, industry officials warned, Platts reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency, ahead of four public hearings set for next week on its proposed rule to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants, says it has already received 300,000 comments on the regulation, The Hill reports.
Texas and Oklahoma -- states that are home to some of the biggest critics of President Obama’s climate policy – would have the most to gain from his administration’s proposed carbon rule because of the boost it would provide the natural gas industry, according to a study being released Thursday by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Rhodium Group, The New York Times reports.
Canada’s Talisman Energy has confirmed that it’s in talks to sell some of its assets to Spain’s Repsol, which analysts speculate may include interests in Marcellus Shale and Eagle Ford Shale, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., says the latest measure he’s introduced to speed Energy Department consideration of LNG export permits –- which would require action within 45 days of a preliminary application being filed with the Federal Energy regulatory Commission -– is a good compromise on the issue, The Hill reports.
Carbon capture should begin at the Kemper County Energy Facility in the fall, and operations at the coal-fired plant are on track for a May start date, according to officials of Southern Co. subsidiary Mississippi Power, E&E reports.
The installation in Texas of a massive transmission system for wind energy, which can handle up to 18,000 megawatts, has encouraged development of clusters of wind farms in its competitive renewable energy zones, The New York Times reports.
Renewable energy advocates attending a public meeting Wednesday asked the Utah Public Service Commission to reject an application from Rocky Mountain Power to charge customers with solar panels an extra fee, the Deseret News reports.
Staff and former members of the Chemical Safety Board continue to paint a picture of an agency in turmoil even as Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso maintains the CSB is getting its workload under control, National Journal reports.