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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dominion Resources has filed papers with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, asking for a start to the review process for the proposed 550-mile natural gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline, The Associated Press reports.
Federal agencies have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent compared to levels in 2008, according to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, but they also remain vulnerable to the effects of climate change in different ways, National Journal reports.
As part of their fight to become the top-ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey and Rep Anna Eshoo of California have raised and distributed more than $1.2 million to their colleagues during this election cycle, National Journal reports.
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are working on a technique using lasers that would more accurately measure greenhouse gas concentrations, E&E reports.
News of production increases in the U.S. and among OPEC members weighed on oil prices Friday. West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery finished the Nymex session down 58 cents to $80.54 a barrel, a drop of 12 percent over the whole of October, while in London Brent lost 38 cents to settle at $85.86, Bloomberg reports.
Increased demand is leading SolarWorld Americas to spend $10 million expanding its solar modules plant, and the company announced it will be hiring 200 additional workers as well, The New York Times reports.
To encourage the development of advanced nuclear reactors – anticipated to be more efficient – the Department of Energy is spending $13 million to help major companies including AREVA, GE Hitachi and Westinghouse in their research of the technology, The Hill reports.