MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker said Monday he would shift most of the responsibilities of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to state-based regulators, leaving the EPA to serve as an "umbrella organization" that would resolve disputes between them.
Like many Republicans, the Wisconsin governor is a vocal critic of the agency charged with enforcing the nation's laws against pollution. While Walker said he would not eliminate the EPA if elected president, he would shift its powers and resources to state environmental agencies such as Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources.
The oil and biofuels industries were united Monday in expressing their distaste for the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed three-year Renewable Fuel Standard, though on the final day to submit public comment, they presented starkly different visions of the ideal final blending requirements.
The oil and refining sectors criticized the agency's current proposals for 2014, 2015 and 2016, predicting that the consequences of the new blending levels would include flooding the market with ethanol, breaking the E10 “blend wall,” and unintended damage to vehicle engines.
With the August recess fast approaching, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is set to devote its schedule to marking up a newly introduced bipartisan energy reform bill this week.
The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, introduced by Chairman Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and ranking member Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., last week, is the culmination of the committee’s work so far this Congress. The panel held several hearings and considered more than 100 pieces of legislation.
President Barack Obama on Thursday named Victoria Wassmer, an assistant administrator for finance and management at the Federal Aviation Administration, to serve as Under Secretary for Management and Performance in the Department of Energy.
Wassmer, if confirmed by the Senate, would lead the office that the Energy Department says “functions as the Chief Operating Officer,” tasked with overseeing staff, information technology, procurement and facilities management.
The Environmental Protection Agency is set to unveil rules to limit methane emissions from the oil and gas sector this summer, but the agency is getting a head start with a voluntary program that would help producers scale back the potent greenhouse gas.
The Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program, proposed on Thursday, would build upon existing voluntary programs aimed at cutting methane by allowing new mechanisms for oil and gas companies to make commitments and track progress.
Industry voiced cautious interest, although environmental groups expressed doubts about the plan's effectiveness, calling instead for strong regulations to achieve methane reductions.
A pair of House Republican subcommittee chairmen on Thursday made sharp calls for an end to the Renewable Fuel Standard, calling the Environmental Protection Agency's biofuels blending program a “complex and outdated mandate.”
At a Thursday hearing of their House Science, Space and Technology subcommittees, Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, chairman of the energy panel, and Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., chairman of the oversight panel, drove home a point that the program—adopted by Congress in 2005—no longer reflects current market conditions and is driving energy and environmental problems.
A federal judge has granted a motion giving the Obama administration more time to provide information about drilling rules on federal land, delaying until at least September any possibility of the rules taking effect, FuelFix reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency needs to improve its oversight of whether diesel fuel is used in hydraulic fracturing, and decide whether to require the disclosure of chemicals used in the oil and gas extraction process, the agency's internal watchdog says.
The inspector general's report Thursday drew measured praise from some environmental groups and a cautious reception from industry, but was blasted by a prominent Republican chairman on Capitol Hill.
A 30-second television ad highlighting the importance of energy development in Alaska is running in markets throughout the state ahead of President Obama’s visit set for Monday, paid for by the Arctic Slope Regional Corp., which hold North Slope drilling rights and represents around 12,000 native Alaskans, FuelFix reports.
Delivering the keynote address at an energy expo in Tulsa Wednesday, Gov. Mary Fallin, R-Okla., called for a strong national energy policy that includes construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and the lifting of the U.S. ban on crude exports, the Tulsa World reports.
Seven groups – including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Integrity Project -- gave notice Wednesday that they intend to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to update the regulations that govern the handling of drilling waste, E&E reports.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers have been turning up the volume in their attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency’s potential moves to lower ozone limits in the atmosphere, National Journal reports.
Smaller drilling companies around the world are putting exploration plans on hold as they take steps to cut costs in the face of falling oil prices, which could mean a big drop in future discoveries of deposits, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The Energy Information Administration says U.S. ethanol production has dropped to May levels at 952,000 barrels a day, although stockpiles increased for a second straight week to 18.628 million barrels, Platts reports.
Gains in global stock markets alongside a pipeline shutdown in Nigeria sent oil prices soaring Thursday. U.S. benchmark crude jumped $2.93 a barrel to $41.55 on the Nymex, while in London Brent rose $3 a barrel to $46.32, The Financial Times reports.
If the Bureau of Land Management imposed new rules that cut down on natural gas venting and flaring on federal lands, taxpayers could get millions more in royalty payments, according to ads being run by the Western Values Project and Taxpayers for Common Sense, The Hill reports.
NASA is warning that ocean levels may rise three feet or more by the end of the century, with scientists attributing the change to melting glaciers, melting ice sheets and ocean expansion due to climate change, the Los Angeles Times reports.