Israel has overcome the threat of drought with a strategy of recycling domestic wastewater, which now supplies around 55 percent of the water used in agriculture, as well as desalination, The New York Times reports.
SEATTLE (AP) — With Washington state experiencing the worst mountain snowpack in decades and a drought emergency declared two weeks ago, farmers, growers and wildlife managers are preparing for a tough summer as conditions are expected to worsen.
Some farmers and irrigators are forgoing watering crops and pastures for all or part of the season in exchange for lease payments from the state. Others are seeking permission to tap emergency wells or drill new ones. A large irrigation district in the Yakima River basin shut off the water for a few weeks this month to save supply for later.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma cities and counties would no longer be able to ban hydraulic fracturing — a process commonly called fracking — or other oil and gas operations within their boundaries under a bill signed into law on Friday by Gov. Mary Fallin.
Pushed hard by the oil and gas industry, but fiercely opposed by municipalities and environmental groups, the bill specifically prohibits cities or towns from banning operations such as drilling, fracking, water disposal, recovery operations or pipeline infrastructure. Fracking is the practice of high-pressure injection of water, sand and chemicals underground to free deposits of oil and gas, which has led to a boom in U.S. energy production.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The leader overseeing a massive oil cleanup along the California coast defended the initial response, saying there were workers on the ground after the spill that stained popular beaches.
The first wave of workers deployed booms in the water to corral the oil slick and placed them along the shoreline to protect ecologically sensitive habitats. Others vacuumed up oil from the site of the underground pipeline that ruptured on May 19, sending up to 101,000 gallons of crude oil down a culvert and onto the beach north of Santa Barbara. An estimated 21,000 gallons escaped into the Pacific and quickly spread.
PARIS (AP) — Climate change is a threat to international security, France's influential Environment Minister Segolene Royal warned Saturday — adopting an unusually hawkish stance as she heads to the U.S. to push for a global deal on reducing emissions at a landmark Paris conference this year.
She will have to push especially hard in Washington, but she relishes the challenge. Royal, longtime former partner of President Francois Hollande and one of France's most experienced female politicians, is playing a key role ahead of U.N. climate talks in Paris in December.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal trial is set to begin in New Orleans for a former BP executive accused of obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
David Rainey has pleaded not guilty to charges that he obstructed the investigation, and that he made false statements about his calculations of the rate at which oil was flowing from BP's Macondo well.
The Atlantic Council to host discussion on the growth of renewable energy as a feature of U.S. energy policy, featuring International Renewable Energy Agency Director General Adnan Amin, State Department Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein and Energy Department Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Assistant Secretary Mike Carr.
The Obama administration may be backing away from its insistence that future coal-burning power plants use carbon capture technology, settling instead on a requirement for ultra-supercritical technology in the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, E&E reports.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers argued that the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Rule lacks a sound scientific basis in memos made public by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Thursday, The Hill reports.
The Department of Energy has agreed to rework its proposed efficiency standards for walk-in freezers and coolers, according to the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, which says it has reached a settlement with the DOE over the issue, The Hill reports.
Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. says some other Democrats may be willing to go along with him and Sen. Angus King, I-Me., in a willingness to support legislation lifting the ban on U.S. crude exports if it also backs renewable energy such as wind and solar, E&E reports.
Despite data from the Energy Information Administration showing that U.S. crude production peaked at almost 9.7 million barrels a day in March, news of an increase in oil rig count this week piled more pressure on prices. U.S. benchmark crude slumped $1.40, or 2.9 percent, to settle at $47.12 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London, Brent dropped $1.10 to $52.26, its lowest settlement since January, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Chevron is getting nearly a third more oil and gas from its wells in the Permian Basin, and is paying less for oilfield services as well—but even so, its second quarter profits dove 90 percent on lower crude prices, FuelFix reports.
Hess has increased its production forecast for its Bakken Shale operations to up to 110,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, despite the company dropping the number of rigs it’s operating in the play, Platts reports.
Many witnesses testifying at the first Interior Department hearing on the future of the federal coal program—which was attended by Secretary Sally Jewell—said they wanted to see higher royalty rates to raise more money for U.S. taxpayers, High Country News reports.
Senior creditors for Alpha Natural Resources Inc. will loan money to the beleaguered Virginia-based coal company to help it get through bankruptcy, a filing for which could come as early as Monday, Bloomberg reports.
Although Thursday’s peak demand of 67,624 megawatts didn’t break the all-time record as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas had feared, it's been a huge week for demand, and the grid operator expects high usage throughout the summer, FuelFix reports.