BEIJING (AP) — China's new leader Xi Jinping will confer with President Barack Obama next month in California, months earlier than expected, as both sides seek to stem a drift in relations, troubled by issues from cyberspying to North Korea.
President Barack Obama pledged in his State of the Union Address that if Congress did not act to confront climate change, he would. Months into his second term, neither side is taking the lead despite renewed warnings that time is running out to stave off the worst impacts.
There is a sports analogy that describes their wait-and-see approach. It's called passing the ball around.
Atmospheric carbon hit the symbolic 400 parts per million level with little reaction from lawmakers, who have shown scant interest in bills to prompt carbon emissions cuts. Meanwhile, Obama's own climate agenda remains at best a work in progress as the White House deals with other issues.
Senate Democrats this week will try to get three of President Barack Obama's Cabinet appointees past Republican delaying tactics, including his picks to lead the Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Action on both of those nominations could come as soon as Thursday. That day Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Barbara Boxer will try for a second time to send to the full Senate the nomination of EPA administrator nominee Gina McCarthy. Republicans blocked a committee vote last week.
Energy will be on President Barack Obama's agenda when he meets Thursday with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, broadening their discussion beyond immigration and security, but he is not likely to make any major new proposals, according to White House aides.
Obama's first trip to Mexico since Pena Nieto's election comes as the administration has started to work with Congress to put the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement into law.
President Barack Obama bluntly urged Congress on Monday to restore spending cuts affecting scientific and climate research, saying the reductions hamper efforts to address "severe economic and security and environmental challenges."
"We will continue to pursue advances in science and engineering, in infrastructure and innovation, in education and environmental protection, especially science-based initiatives to help us minimize and adapt to global threats like climate change," Obama said in a speech to the National Academy of Sciences.
Members of Congress return this week to their states and districts at a time when gas prices normally rise in advance of the summer driving season. But this year is different, as pump prices have declined a bit.
For consumers, that's good news. Falling gas prices have one other impact: there is scant pressure felt by politicians to make energy more affordable, a situation that is not likely to change in the next few weeks.
Senators from both parties on Thursday cast doubt on President Barack Obama's proposed $2 billion alternative vehicle research trust fund, questioning whether the money would be taken from other conservation programs.
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said during a budget hearing that the proposal to steer offshore oil revenues to Obama's proposed Energy Security Trust Fund must be based on expanded drilling in new Outer Continental Shelf areas.
Democrats, at the same time, expressed fears that the fund would siphon money from existing uses, including the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
President Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed a $3.8 trillion federal spending blueprint that seeks to cut billions of dollars in tax incentives for oil and gas companies while boosting clean energy research.
The 2014 budget plan includes Obama's renewed call for Congress to close incentives worth $44 billion over 10 years, a goal that has failed to advance in past years because of opposition from Republicans and oil-state Democrats. It was quickly criticized by the oil industry and congressional Republicans.
Some industry leaders are concerned that shifting opinions and increased legislative action on hydraulic fracturing could hinder their chances to develop Colorado's energy resources, Bloomberg reports.
Dominion Resources Inc. told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last week that it had removed all nuclear fuel from the reactor at the shuttered Kewaunee Nuclear Plant, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reports.
A Colorado bill to establish a renewable energy mandate for cooperatives has faced a lawsuit and an advertising campaign over whether the bill would incentivize state renewable energy, The Gazette reports.