The ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday said she cannot yet support President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, putting a question mark over his potential confirmation.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said at the confirmation hearing for former Colorado electricity regulator Ron Binz that she was concerned about his past statements on the role of regulators and about how he would lead FERC. "At this point I am not convinced that your views are compatible with FERC's mission," she said.
Climate change and the future of coal have become priority issues in the Virginia gubernatorial race between Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe, with outside groups making heavy ad investments on both issues, ABC News reports.
President Barack Obama's regulatory and climate agendas take center stage in Washington this week with hearings on Capitol Hill and the planned release of his revised proposal to limit carbon emissions from new coal-fired power plants.
First up will be a hearing scheduled Tuesday in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on three nominees, including his pick to chair the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The Environmental Protection Agency is set to follow, no later than Friday, with the release of the power plants proposal.
Proposals to tighten safety standards for crude carried by rail were published in the Federal Register Friday by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, kicking off a period for public comment that will run for 60 days, The Hill reports.
Environmental groups have submitted a petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, charging an Environmental Protection Agency rule that sets a new deadline for states to submit plans to reduce fine particle pollution violates the Clean Air Act and asking for a review, E&E reports.
With a glut in the Atlantic basin and weaker demand, crude oil Friday dropped to its lowest settlements in months in New York and London despite continued crises in the Middle East and Ukraine. U.S. benchmark crude for September delivery finished the week more than 4 percent lower, falling 29 cents to close at $97.88 a barrel on the Nymex, its lowest settlement since February, while Brent crude tumbled $1.18 to $104.84, Reuters reports.
Although Libyan ports and oilfields have been reopening, sending oil prices tumbling globally, analysts warn that the worst violence to wrack the country since its 2011 civil war shows little sign of abating and the oil industry there remains at risk, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The three West Coast governors, all Democrats -- Jerry Brown of California, Jay Inslee of Washington and John Kitzhaber of Oregon -- have sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, expressing their opposition to including any oil or gas lease sales from their area in her department’s updated plan for the Outer Continental Shelf, The Associated Press reports.
Opening up more areas to offshore drilling -- including parts of the Pacific -- would generate around $160 billion over a period of less than 20 years, according to more than 160 Republican Congressmen who sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell about her department’s updated plan for the Outer Continental Shelf, The Hill reports.
The latest round of sanctions against Russia over its policy in Ukraine, which would require permits for exporting oil technology to Moscow, poses a problem for Exxon Mobil, which has plans to drill for oil in partnership with state-owned Rosneft in the Arctic and elsewhere, National Journal reports.
The cost of battery technology will have to come down by more than half, but Tesla Motors chief Elon Musk – speaking to investors during a week when he announced partnership with Panasonic to build a battery gigafactory -- is confident that will happen and electric vehicles will achieve price parity with those running on gasoline within 10 years, E&E reports.
Kinder Morgan affiliate El Paso Natural Gas Co. has already begun engineering work on $529 million worth of upgrades to its pipeline system in the Southwest which will enable it to deliver promised natural gas to Mexico, agreed in a 21-year deal signed with the country’s electricity commission, FuelFix reports.
The BNSF Railway is some 811,000 short tons behind on coal deliveries to the Sherco power plant northwest of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy has told the Surface Transportation Board, warning that if the plant runs out of coal it will stop producing electricity, Platts reports.