Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz went to North Dakota over the weekend to talk about energy infrastructure and tour oil and gas fields, but got hit with renewed calls for the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and allow crude oil exports.
"Here we are, using the transportation of energy as a way to control the fuel source, and that needs to end," Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said Friday about the opposition to the Keystone project, during an Energy Department forum on its Quadrennial Energy Review in Bismarck.
The oil industry's major trade group will push this fall against tougher ozone air pollution limits under consideration by the Obama administration, officials told reporters Friday.
The American Petroleum Institute's regulatory affairs director, Howard Feldman, said the economy is still too fragile to tighten ozone standards below current levels, which API argues are not yet being reached.
Legal experts consulted by E&E think two lawsuits filed against the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants – one by Murray Energy and one by 12 states – are unlikely to succeed.
Lisa Feldt will serve as the Environmental Protection Agency’s acting deputy administrator, filling in for the departing Bob Perciasepe, EPA announced Thursday, while Ken Kopocis, waiting for Senate confirmation to be water chief since 2011, will become deputy assistant administrator in that office, The Hill reports.
John Norris announced Thursday his resignation from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a move that opens the door for President Barack Obama to nominate another Democrat to take the post.
In a statement posted and then briefly taken off the FERC web site before being restored, Norris said he submitted his resignation to President Barack Obama earlier in the day, effective Aug. 20.
He is to become the minister-counselor of the Agriculture Department's Office of Agricultural Affairs in Rome. Norris said in his statement that he was taking advantage of "a tremendous opportunity to continue in public service" with the USDA.
An announcement is expected this week that John Norris will depart the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission before his term expires in June, 2017, sources told SNL Financial, which reports that the Obama administration will replace him with Colette Honorable, chair of the Arkansas Public Service Commission.
The Obama administration has more to do to convince farmers and ranchers that the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule to clarify the reach of the Clean Water Act over rural streams and wetlands won't mean new restrictions, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday.
The intent of the rule, known as Waters of the U.S., is to give farm country more certainty about the scope of what's covered under the Clean Water Act, Vilsack told reporters, but he acknowledged that concern is running high. "Obviously there is still work to be done in terms of educating people about that intent, because that's not how it's been interpreted," he said.
The campaign to fight fracking at the local level suffered a blow in Colorado Monday, as Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper announced a compromise with Rep. Jared Polis to pull support from two measures headed to the November ballot, Bloomberg reports.
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.