The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, fended off a tea party challenger on Tuesday to set up an expensive November contest against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. Grimes and McConnell won their parties' nominations as Kentucky and five other states held primary contests ahead of November's mid-term elections.
Also picking Senate nominees Tuesday were voters in Oregon, Georgia and Arkansas. Oregon Republicans were choosing a challenger to first-term Sen. Jeff Merkley, who only recently emerged as a GOP target. Georgia had a crowded GOP race that is headed to a July runoff.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — State laws governing disputes over how to handle the cleanup of environmental damage caused by drilling years ago have been reworked under a bill supported by Gov. Bobby Jindal and now headed to his desk.
Final legislative passage came Tuesday with a 27-12 Senate vote, over the objections of senators who said it was inappropriate to make the new rules retroactively apply to cover hundreds of long-running lawsuits.
Sen. Robert Adley's bill changes the complex legal process for dealing with "legacy lawsuits" that seek compensation from energy companies that leased property and are blamed for damage from the drilling, such as contamination of ground water resources.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Faith leaders are highlighting a historic church honored for energy efficiency improvements as they seek an audience with Republican Gov. John Kasich on legislation halting phase-in of Ohio's renewable energy and efficiency standards.
The House Public Utilities Committee plans a vote Wednesday on a bill pausing rollout of targets for how much renewable energy, such as solar and wind, Ohio utilities must generate by 2025.
The bill's opponents have stepped up efforts this week. They aired a television ad, released research findings and lodged protests aimed at drawing the attention of lawmakers and the governor.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The effort to get the exploration of natural gas in North Carolina using a process called fracking started next year is moving ahead at the legislature.
The Senate scheduled debate Wednesday on how rules being developed by a commission to regulate hydraulic fracturing will be handled by the General Assembly once they're finalized by year's end. The bill says the first permits could be issued starting in July 2015.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A bill that would adjust a generous tax incentive for horizontally drilled oil and gas wells and extend it to all wells drilled in Oklahoma has cleared budget committees in the House and Senate.
The measure approved on Tuesday next will be considered by the full House and Senate.
The bill would increase the tax rate on horizontal wells from 1 percent to 2 percent for the first three years of a well's production. After that, the rate would increase to the standard production tax rate of 7 percent.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed the closest thing so far this year to an infrastructure bill — a $12 billion-plus bipartisan measure authorizing 34 water projects, ranging from flood protection in California and North Dakota to deepening the Port of Savannah and widening a Texas-Louisiana waterway that services the oil industry.
The Water Resources Reform and Development Act passed Tuesday on a 412-4 vote. Lawmakers shook off criticism from conservative and watchdog groups like Heritage Action and Taxpayers for Common Sense that argued the bill should have done more to rein in wasteful government spending.
The television ad launched by opponents of an Ohio measure to freeze the state’s energy efficiency and renewable standards claims that it would threaten jobs and hike electricity bills, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell looked to vanquish a tea party challenger, and nearly a dozen candidates vied for spots on the Georgia ballot for fall elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate — highlights Tuesday night of party primaries that spread across six states.
In Arkansas, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor and his Republican challenger, Rep. Tom Cotton, ran unopposed for their party nominations, pointing toward their highly anticipated battle in November as the GOP labors to gain a majority.
Pennsylvania Democrats eager to gain control of their statehouse sorted through four contenders vying to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, who faces an uphill battle for re-election in November.
The Karl Rove-founded Republican Crossroad groups – super PAC American Crossroads and non-profit Crossroads GPS – on Tuesday kick off more than $9 million in ad campaigns in four key Senate races, starting in North Carolina where Thom Tillis is challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan, The Washington Post reports.
Committees in Colorado organizing supporters and opponents of local government control over drilling have raised more than $5 million to campaign on November ballot measures, The Denver Post reports, noting that most cash is flowing to those against, backed by the energy industry.
Higher gasoline sales may translate into a higher Renewable Fuel Standard, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy told an investors’ conference in New York, although she didn’t provide any specific figures, Bloomberg reports.
Worry that weak manufacturing data from China and Europe might slow global demand weighed on oil prices Tuesday, as did a strong dollar. WTI for October delivery plunged $3.08, or 3.2 percent, to settle at $92.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while in London Brent crude slumped $2.45 to hit a 16-month low of $100.34 a barrel, Bloomberg reports.
Republicans from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee as well as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee -- who are investigating the influence the Natural Resources Defense Council has on Environmental Protection Agency policy decisions in the wake of a New York Times story on the issue -- have written to the regulators and the environmental advocacy group demanding that they turn over documents, The Hill reports.
The first half of 2014 saw the country’s electricity prices -– averaging 12.3 cents per kilowatt hour -- increasing faster than they have for the last five years, according to statistics from the Energy Information Administration, The Hill reports.
Texas has enough generating capacity to handle autumn demand including potential emergencies, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said Tuesday, adding that preliminary projections figure the same for winter as well, barring a period of unusually high demand that also coincides with fuel shortages, Platts reports.
George P. Bush, a candidate for Texas Land Commissioner, told the Texas Tribune in an interview that he believes climate change poses a serious threat for the state, particularly from Gulf coast flooding, adding that he supports more reliance on natural gas and renewable energy for electricity.
Project on Government Oversight investigator Michael Smallberg says Department of Energy waivers allowing national lab consultants to serve on DOE’s Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories run counter to the panel's mandate from Congress, according to E&E, which provides details of the waivers revealed through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Pam Haze, who retired Friday after decades of government service, was the top career budget official at the Interior Department for the past six years, winning plaudits from both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill, E&E reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have both approved permits for the Formosa Plastics Corp. to start work on expanding its Port Comfort petrochemical facility to include a unit to convert propane to propylene, as well as an ethane cracker, a company spokesman told FuelFix.