Obama heads to Alaska facing pressures on both energy, climate

President Barack Obama embarked on a three-day tour of Alaska Monday, promising a strong focus on climate change and its effects on the Arctic region.

But he’s facing plenty of fire from both sides of the energy and climate debate, with the state’s lawmakers concerned that the trip will overlook the state’s economic and energy needs and environmental groups perturbed by his administration’s approval of Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic drilling program.

Vote tally in favor of Iran deal climbs to 30 in Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware has become the 30th senator to back the Iran nuclear deal, as momentum for the White House-backed agreement grows.

Carper's announcement Friday puts Senate Democrats closer to two crucial vote totals. Thirty-four votes are needed to uphold a presidential veto of a resolution disapproving of the agreement. Forty-one votes would allow Democrats to block the resolution from passing in the first place next month.

North Dakota Gov. Dalrymple says he won't seek re-election

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who helped lead the state through the most prosperous time in its history thanks to an oil development boom, announced Monday that he won't seek re-election in 2016.

Dalrymple, 66, told reporters at the state Capitol in Bismarck that he and his wife, Betsy, made the decision last week to spend more time with family, including their five grandchildren.

Supporters of Iran agreement feel momentum on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supporters of the Iran nuclear deal see growing momentum on their side in the Senate, raising the possibility they'll be able to block a disapproval resolution and protect President Barack Obama from having to use his veto pen.

Such an outcome — which looked all but inconceivable in the days after the deal was signed July 14, and remains a long-shot — would be a major victory for Obama, who is staking his foreign policy legacy largely on the agreement struck by the U.S., Iran, and five world powers to dismantle most of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions in sanctions relief.

Reid: Iran deal best path to stop country from getting bomb

WASHINGTON (AP) — With Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid now on board, President Barack Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran seems to be picking up the momentum it needs to survive fierce opposition from its Republican and Israeli opponents.

Reid on Sunday became the 27th and most powerful Senate Democrat to throw his support behind the president and the Iran nuclear deal, which could open the door for some of his non-committed colleagues to come aboard.

Iran deal gets a boost from NY lawmaker

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran won an important endorsement Friday from Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, who bucked opposition from fellow New York Jewish lawmakers including his home state's senior senator, Chuck Schumer.

Nadler's endorsement followed a personal appeal from Obama, who sent him a letter earlier this week defending the deal and pledging that the U.S. will continue to put economic pressure on Iran and keep military options open.

Gas tax increase gets nod from California Senate panel

San Jose Mercury News

Legislation to pay for road maintenance by increasing taxes and fees paid by motorists in California—which would raise the gasoline tax by 12 cents per gallon—has been approved by a state Senate committee, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

EPA IG finds no political interference with FOI requests

There is no evidence of political employees interfering with or delaying the fulfillment of Freedom of Information Act requests to the Environmental Protection Agency, the agency's inspector general reported Thursday.

The report was issued in response to a requested from a United States Senator, who also asked for—but did not receive—written certification from EPA's chief FOIA officer that political appointees are not involved in FOIA requests and do not cause undue delays in fulfillment of those requests or reductions in the amount of material released.

Report on Iran side deal angers GOP, House Dems claims votes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican opposition to President Barack Obama's nuclear deal is flaring over revelations of a secret side agreement involving Iranian inspections. But House Democrats are shrugging off the report and claiming they have the votes to back up Obama.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday on a previously undisclosed side deal between Iran and the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency that would allow Tehran to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms.

California board moves up meeting to review green jobs measure

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A citizens board tasked with overseeing projects funded by a California ballot measure intended to generate clean-energy jobs will move up its first meeting to early September, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon said Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Democrat's announcement came after The Associated Press reported Monday that the board has never met and had not planned to meet until October or November.


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