Critics of California’s cap-and-trade policy, which is set to start charging refineries for greenhouse gas emissions on Jan. 1, claim that it will increase already high gasoline prices, while supporters say consumers are already benefitting from higher vehicle fuel efficiency the program has prompted, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The price of oil held steady on Friday on a quiet day for energy markets.
Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery edged 10 cents lower to close at $105.74 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark used to price international oils used my many U.S. refineries, rose 9 cents to close at $113.30 a barrel in London.
The price of both U.S. and international oils have slipped somewhat in recent days since reaching 10-month highs late last week, a sign investors are starting to believe that the violence in Iraq won't spread to the oil-producing south.
A measure sponsored by independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and backed by 13 Democrats would order the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to act to eliminate excessive oil speculation, the intent being to prevent spikes in gasoline prices like the recent increases triggered by fighting in Iraq, The Hill reports.
The price of oil jumped Thursday as an insurgency in Iraq raised the risk of disruptions to supplies at a time when other major oil-producing countries are already pumping near capacity. The al-Qaida-inspired group that captured two key cities in Iraq earlier this week vowed Thursday to march on to Baghdad.
One of those two cities, Mosul, lies in an area that is a major gateway for Iraqi oil. While the loss of the city has no immediate effect on oil exports, now at over 3 million barrels a day, it adds to concerns over security and the country's plans to expand oil production.
West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark U.S. oil, rose $2.13, or 2 percent, to close at $106.53 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, rose more sharply, gaining $3.07, or 2.8 percent, to $113.02 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Word that OPEC has boosted its crude output to a 14-month high sent oil prices plunging again early Friday. West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery dropped 1 percent, or 81 cents, to $80.31 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent was down 93 cents to $85.31, Bloomberg reports.
The capacity market and infrastructure improvements will be the topics of discussion at a conference between New York officials and representatives of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Nov. 5, Reuters reports.
Launching personal attacks on environmental activists and celebrity supporters should be part of the oil and gas industry strategy if it wants to fight for expanded drilling, according to advice from consultant Richard Berman as he drums up support for his "Big Green Radicals" PR campaign, The New York Times reports.
A tentative settlement Cheniere Energy has reached with shareholders over lawsuits would block executives from receiving shares authorized in February 2013 but not paid out, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, FuelFix reports.
The re-election contest for Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich. and chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is attracting last-minute money -- including some from the American Future Fund for an ad extolling his support for the Keystone XL pipeline -- as polling indicates his race against Democrat Paul Clements is a tight one, The Hill reports.
In an effort to maintain Democratic control of the Senate, environmental groups are supporting some backers of the Keystone XL pipeline –- like Michelle Nunn in Georgia and Sen. Kay Hagan in North Carolina -– as well as fracking supporter Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Robert MacLean –- now a solar power consultant after he was fired by the Department of Homeland Security for leaking information about the air marshal program -– says many federal employees, including those in the Environmental Protection Agency and the Departments of Energy and Interior, could be affected by the outcome of his lawsuit now before the U.S. Supreme Court, E&E reports.