In 2005, the USS America aircraft carrier was towed out to sea on her final voyage. Hundreds of miles (kilometers) off the Atlantic coast, U.S. Navy personnel blasted the 40-year-old warship with missiles and bombs until it sank.
The massive Kitty-Hawk class carrier — more than three football fields long — came to rest in the briny depths about 300 nautical miles (550 kilometers) southeast of Norfolk, Virginia.
Target practice is now how the Navy gets rid of most of its old ships, an Associated Press review of Navy records for the past dozen years has found. And they wind up at the bottom of the ocean, bringing with them amounts of toxic waste that are only estimated.
If there’s one accomplishment President Obama can take credit for during his first term in office, it’s expanding the size and reach of the federal government. While this may be good for government bureaucrats, the policies and regulations imposed by the Obama Administration are hurting American businesses and impeding economic recovery. Instead of focusing on creating new jobs, the administration has instead allowed the federal government to insert itself in places it’s never been and doesn’t belong.
One prime example of this, which has largely flown under the radar, is the President’s new plan to zone and regulate our oceans. Done unilaterally through Executive Order, the President’s National Ocean Policy will change how all federal agencies regulate activities impacting the ocean and Great Lake ecosystems. Without clear statutory authority, it sets up a new level of top-down federal bureaucracy with authority over the way inland, ocean and coastal activities are managed.
This has the potential to inflict damage across a spectrum of sectors including agriculture, fishing, construction, manufacturing, mining, oil and natural gas, renewable energy, and marine commerce, among others. These industries currently support tens of millions of jobs and contribute trillions of dollars to the U.S. economy.
The sharp decline in oil prices is starting to take a toll on U.S. oil boom towns, forcing energy companies to cut staff and benefits, pressing businesses to temper plans for growth and limiting royalty payments for landowners, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Though 50 million smart meters have been installed in homes nationwide, U.S. energy consumers aren't moving to change consumption habits, a phenomenon The Washington Post suggests is linked to a lack of real-time access to data related to energy efficiency and financial savings.
Saudi Arabia's new King Salman bin Abdulaziz has already made several changes to his government, shuffling his cabinet and cutting some government bodies, but he has retained Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, a central figure in OPEC's decision to maintain production targets, Dow Jones Business News reports.
Venezuela, reliant on oil sales to generate enough income to import necessary supplies, is experiencing stricter rationing than usual, with falling oil prices building on high inflation and recession to make basic goods even more scarce, The New York Times reports.
Offshore wind energy development on the Eastern Seaboard is struggling as energy companies appear unwilling to invest, evidenced by Thursday's federal auction of leases off the coast of Massachusetts that drew just two bidders at around $1.50 an acre, The New York Times reports.
Assisted by improved relations with the Kurdish regional government, Iraq passed a $105 billion budget based on a $56 per barrel oil price, a move Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi sees as a sign of good will as Baghdad and Kurdish forces continue to fight the Islamic State group, Reuters reports.
A new study published in the British journal "Nature Climate Change" suggests that increases in global temperatures will result in more frequent and intense La Niña climate patterns, a development that could lead to more hurricanes in the Atlantic and droughts in the Southwest United States, USA Today reports.
Data from American Wind Energy Association show that wind energy developersadded 4,850 megawatts in new capacity last year, a strong increase from new 2013 installations, bringing total wind generation capacity to 65,875 MW, Platts reports
The Department of Energy would manage if Congress were to impose a time limit on its reviews of LNG export applications, Assistant Secretary Christopher Smith told Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, at a hearing Thursday, The Hill reports.
Calling the proposal unrealistic and asking that its implementation be delayed, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. and chair of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, warned that Obama administration moves targeting DOT-111 tank cars have the potential to disrupt the U.S. rail network, USA Today reports.