Policy

Oil

Stopping deadly oil train fires: New rules planned

WASHINGTON (AP) — Responding to a series of fiery train crashes, the government proposed rules Wednesday that would phase out tens of thousands of older tank cars that carry increasing quantities of crude oil and other highly flammable liquids through America's towns and cities.

But many details were put off until later as regulators struggle to balance safety against the economic benefits of a fracking boom that has sharply increased U.S. oil production. Among the issues: What type of tank cars will replace those being phased out, how fast will they be allowed to travel and what kind of braking systems will they need?

Senate agrees on $11B highway funding measure

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate agreed Wednesday on an $11 billion measure to temporarily fix a multibillion-dollar shortfall in federal highway and transit programs, setting up a vote next week on several alternatives.

But senators will likely end up simply adopting a measure that passed the GOP-controlled House by a sweeping bipartisan vote last week, which would send it directly to President Barack Obama for his signature.

EU seeks energy efficiency to ease Russia gas link

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's executive is proposing legislation to curb the energy use of households and firms by almost one third by 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower its dependence on gas imports, particularly those from Russia.

The Commission proposed Wednesday to increase energy efficiency by 30 percent, an upward revision of its earlier target of 20 percent by 2020.

John Kerry flies to Tel Aviv despite FAA ban

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The top U.S. diplomat defied a Federal Aviation Administration ban and flew into Israel's main airport Wednesday in a sign of sheer will to achieve a cease-fire agreement in the warring Gaza Strip despite little evidence of progress in ongoing negotiations.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry planned to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during what appeared to be a crucial day in the flailing talks. U.S. officials have downplayed expectations for an immediate, lasting truce between Israel and the Hamas militant group that controls Gaza. At the least, Kerry's mission Wednesday sought to define the limits of what each side would accept in a potential cease-fire.

Australian guilty in $41M biodiesel scam in Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A 64-year-old Australian man has pleaded guilty to charges in federal court in Nevada for his role in a scheme to bilk a U.S. biodiesel fuel program out of more than $41 million.

Nathan Stoliar pleaded guilty in Las Vegas Tuesday to two counts of wire fraud and one count each of conspiracy, conspiracy to engage in money laundering and making false statements under the Clean Air Act.

Florida utilities seek to back away from efficiency programs

Source: 
The News Service of Florida

Major electricity providers -- including Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy -- have been presenting testimony to the Florida Public Service Commission this week in support of their request to cut back on energy efficiency programs, a move opposed by conservationists, The News Service of Florida reports.

Texas residents turning away from treated wastewater

Source: 
Reuters

The city of Wichita Falls is mixing treated wastewater with lake water to guarantee a continued flow into the taps of residents, but they are turning up their noses at the idea of drinking it, Reuters reports.

DOD ops impacted by climate change, Pentagon official tells Congress

Source: 
The Hill

A full range of Defense Department operations -– from planning to training and infrastructure -– are affected by climate change, which officials are trying to counter with a pro-active approach to the situation, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Daniel Chiu told lawmakers at a hearing Tuesday.

New LNG export plan could cause more delays: API

Source: 
FuelFix

Changes the Department of Energy is proposing to the way LNG export permits are handled will cause more delays and “regulatory uncertainty,” according to comments the American Petroleum Institute filed with DOE, FuelFix reports.

Obama attributes wildfires to climate change

SEATTLE (AP) — President Barack Obama says a wildfire that has burned nearly 400 square miles in the north-central part of Washington state, along with blazes in other Western areas, can be attributed to climate change.

Obama, speaking at a fundraiser Tuesday, offered federal help to deal with Washington's wildfire, the largest in the state's history.

He said Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Craig Fugate had authorized an emergency declaration to ensure electrical power.

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