House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hearing, "EPA vs. American Mining Jobs: The Obama Administration’s Regulatory Assault on the Economy." West Virginia Coal Association Senior Vice President Chris Hamilton, Alaska Department of Natural Resources Deputy Commissioner Edmond Fogels among witnesses.
The head of a key coal trade group sought to persuade the Obama administration to slowly phase in carbon capture requirements for new coal-fired power plants, and plans to continue making that argument.
"We put forward standards. I don't believe that you should just be against things, I think you need to have solutions," Robert "Mike" Duncan, president on the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, told the Platts Energy Week television show on Sunday.
One of big question marks under President Barack Obama's climate plan is the amount of carbon that must be cut from power plants to reach his goal of reducing emissions 17 percent by 2020.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy has contended that actual emissions reductions will be worked out with the states in advance of a proposal by next June. But one clue to the magnitude of the challenge was included in the Climate Action Report issued by the State Department on Thursday.
The report said Obama's target could be reached through overall annual energy sector carbon cuts from 8 percent to 12 percent by 2020, on top of reductions already expected from current regulations.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy will make the case often in the coming months that proposed new power plant carbon regulations don't represent a war on coal, because no new coal plants were going to be built anyway.
Her critics accuse her of ignoring the cost of complying with EPA's mercury rule that will make old coal plants too expensive to upgrade. But what gives McCarthy confidence is the natural gas boom that President Barack Obama has embraced _ and must continue to encourage _ if he is to achieve his greenhouse gas reduction goals.
China's once-massive demand for coal appears to be waning as the nation looks to cut pollution and switch power sources, forcing some mining firms worldwide to look into more marketable commodities, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on Wednesday became the first Democrat to announce his opposition to President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Manchin, an advocate for coal-fired power, said the day before that he was troubled by the testimony of former Colorado utility regulator Ron Binz during his Senate Energy and Natural Resources confirmation hearing. In a statement declaring he would vote against his confirmation, Manchin said he has "grave concerns" about how Binz would chair FERC, a move that adds new uncertainty to the nominee's confirmation chances.
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.
The growth of global carbon emissions slowed in 2013 -– although the total of 35.3 billion tons did set a record -- and the rate of increase tailed off despite an uptick in economic activity, says a report from the European Commission’s Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research, or EDGAR, according to E&E.
Many residents and officials in the southern tier area of New York state, which borders Pennsylvania, reacted with shock and despair to the news that the state government has rejected fracking, The New York Times reports.
H.R. 5705, sponsored by Rep. Robert Latta, R-Ohio, which calls for for more training about propane pricing and new data to be used by the Commerce Department in calculating prices, has been signed into law by President Obama, Platts reports.
During the week ending Dec. 13, the Association of American Railroads found that more than 119,000 carloads of coal were shipped in the U.S., an increase of nearly 8 percent on the period a year ago and the most in more than three months, Platts reports, noting that network congestion appears to be easing.
Oil rose in early trading Friday following a steep plunge the day before, but prices were losing momentum by midday in Europe. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery was 68 cents higher to $54.79 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex ahead of the contract expiring, while in London February Brent was up 1.2 percent to $60, Bloomberg reports.
Even as Halliburton prepares to take over rival oilfield services company Baker Hughes, CEO Dave Lesar, in an email to employees, said “2015 is going to be a tough year,” and warned of “reductions to our structure,” FuelFix reports.
The International Energy Agency – in a review of American energy strategy -- notes that the U.S. is operating many older nuclear power plants, and the government lacks a clear plan for the nuclear sector generally going forward, a problem that extends to carbon capture technology and renewable energy as well, The Hill reports.
Environmental activists marched to the governor’s office in Minnesota Thursday demanding he take action, following the decision by the Public Utilities Commission to stand behind its approval for expansion of Enbridge’s Line 67, commonly known as the Alberta Clipper pipeline, which would bring up to 800,000 barrels a day of oil sands crude across the Canadian border, Forum News Service reports.
In the wake of recent rainstorms, the portion of California under exceptional drought conditions dropped from 55 percent to 32 percent, according to figures made public by the U.S. Drought Monitor Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports.