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Updated: 1 year 48 weeks ago

EPA at the Supreme Court, round two

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 08:00
As the White House prepares to unveil a new rule to cut carbon-dioxide emissions from existing coal- and gas-fired power plants, the Supreme Court is preparing to rule on the scope of federal power to protect the environment.

White House touts energy policies as rules loom

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 15:27

WASHINGTON (AP) — Setting the stage for upcoming restrictions on coal-fired power plants, the Obama administration is making a concerted effort to cast its energy policy as an economic success that is creating jobs, securing the nation against international upheavals and shifting energy use to cleaner sources.

Texas retail gas prices rise by a penny this week

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 12:37
Retail gasoline prices across Texas increased by a penny this week, bringing the average price at the pump to $3.46 a gallon. AAA Texas said Thursday the statewide average is 6 cents more than this time ...

The EPA's New Carbon Regulations Could Cut Coal Plant Emissions by 20%

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 07:26

The latest details to emerge from President Obama's impending executive action on climate change are dramatic. According to a report in the New York Times, a new regulation proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency will cut coal plant emissions by up to 20 percent, and will allow states to use cap-and-trade regulations to meet that national limit.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the EPA will finalize the rule by mid-2015, and states will be expected to come up with a plan to implement the rule by the next year. People familiar with the rule say that it will set a national limit on carbon pollution from coal plants, but that it will allow each state to come up with its own plan to cut emissions based on a menu of options that include adding wind and solar power, energy-efficiency technology and creating or joining state cap-and-trade programs.

California Senate passes bill to boost response to oil train spills

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 20:14

By Rory Carroll SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California's Senate approved a bill on Wednesday to tap the state's $30 million a year oil spill fund to tackle any oil train derailments, as growing output in landlocked states leads to increased crude delivery to coastal refineries. The bill dovetails with Governor Jerry Brown's January budget proposals calling for an additional $6.7 million for the oil spill fund and 38 new jobs to enhance the state's ability to prepare and respond to spills. "California is seeing a huge shift in the way we import oil, and we need to address the new and unique hazards of crude-by-rail transportation," said California Senate Democrat Fran Pavley, the bill's author. "While we opposed some of the specific provisions of the bill we recognize it is necessary to change the current prevention and response program to reflect the increase role that rail is playing in crude transport," said Tupper Hull, spokesman for the Western States Petroleum Association which represents west coast oil refineries.

Exxon CEO: Sanctions not hurting Russia operations

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 15:41

The CEO of Exxon Mobil says U.S. sanctions against Russian officials are having no effect on his company's activities there. Rex Tillerson also says that he is skeptical of sanctions and has discussed ...

Chevron shareholders reject independent chairman

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:20

By Ernest Scheyder MIDLAND Texas (Reuters) - Shareholders of Chevron Corp , the second-largest U.S. oil company, rejected a proposal on Wednesday to split the roles of chairman and chief executive, both currently held by John Watson. The vote casts further doubt on the long-running campaign by shareholder activists to force large U.S. corporations to separate the positions, which they say would support greater oversight and transparency. Similar proposals have been rejected by shareholders at JPMorgan , Exxon Mobil and other corporations in the past year, further consolidating power among top leaders. While shareholder activists have convinced some companies to separate the roles - with Bank of America Corp perhaps the only major success story - the broader trend indicates the campaign for greater oversight could be slipping.

EPA gives brownfields grants to W. Pennsylvania

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:17
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a total of $1 million in grants for brownfields environmental cleanup work in three western Pennsylvania counties. The EPA says in a Wednesday release ...

Ill. House panel approves nuclear power resolution

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:16
Illinois lawmakers have advanced a plan urging environmental agencies to adopt nuclear power-friendly rules following financial struggles at major state energy provider, Exelon Corp. A House committee ...

Rising gas prices boost Connecticut electric costs

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:15
Energy markets are defying Connecticut officials who have made driving down electricity prices a top priority. State regulators announced on Friday their approval of an 8 percent increase in electric generation ...

Angola LNG shutdown to last until mid-2015

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 10:30
By Oleg Vukmanovic MILAN (Reuters) - The Angola liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project is expected to resume production in mid-2015, a spokesman for the Chevron-led venture said, after a rupture on a flare line forced a shutdown last month. Last month a major rupture on a flare line triggered a facility-wide shutdown. "Following investigation into the incident that took place at the plant in Soyo on 10 April 2014, Angola LNG will pull forward a planned shutdown to allow its contractor Bechtel to both correct items from the incident and - in parallel - address plant capacity issues," the spokesman said. Reuters reported last week that Angola LNG had approached shipbrokers to lease out its entire tanker fleet, signalling a prolonged inability of the plant to produce fuel for export.

French court annuls wind power decree, ending legal saga

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 10:29
By Michel Rose PARIS (Reuters) - France's highest administrative court on Wednesday annulled the decree setting wind power feed-in tariffs, marking the end of a complex legal procedure that has stifled investment in the French onshore wind sector. The French government has already prepared a new decree, which was cleared by the European Commission in March and will replace the one that has now been annulled. "With this very swift decision (I) expect to end a long period of uncertainty that had destabilised the sector." Pressure group Vent de Colere (Wind of Anger) had seized on the previous government's failure to notify the EU that the original decree subsidising onshore wind power production was state aid. Wind power capacity reached a total of 8,140 MW at the end of 2013, with growth in the sector slowing for the fourth year in a row, with only 630 MW of new capacity added last year, from a high of 1,247 MW in 2009.

U.S. industry gears up to fight Obama's climate rules

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 23:40

By Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - This summer is likely to see a series of attacks by industry opponents of a U.S. plan to curb carbon emissions from power plants in a bid to stir voter anger ahead of elections in November, when voters in states such as Kentucky and West Virginia may determine whether Democrats keep control of the Senate. On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose new rules to crack down on power plant emissions, part of President Barack Obama's efforts to combat global climate change. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will release a report Wednesday analyzing the effect the yet-to-be-announced regulations will have on the economy. "We fully expect that whatever comes out will be overly stringent, and will be something that is not good for American consumers or businesses," said Laura Sheehan, spokeswoman for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.

Angry mothers meet U.S. EPA over concerns with Roundup herbicide

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 14:13

A group of mothers, scientists and environmentalists met with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulators on Tuesday over concerns that residues of Roundup, the world's most popular herbicide, had been found in breast milk. The meeting near Washington D.C., followed a five-day phone call blitz of EPA offices by a group called "Moms Across America" demanding that the EPA pay attention to their demands for a recall of Roundup. And now they've found it in breast milk," said Zen Honeycutt, founder of Moms Across America. We want this toxic treadmill of chemical cocktails in our food to stop." Roundup is an herbicide developed and sold by Monsanto Co. since the 1970s, and used in agriculture and home lawns and gardens.

Court sides with EPA on not setting new standard

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 11:36
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency was justified in not establishing a new air quality standard for acid rain. The EPA decided in 2012 after a lengthy rulemaking ...

Rhode Island gas prices up a penny

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 10:42
The price of a gallon of gasoline in Rhode Island has ticked up a penny in the past week. AAA Southern New England says Tuesday that self-serve, regular is now $3.70 per gallon, a nickel above the national ...

EU needs to re-invent itself after poll shock, analysts say

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 09:49

One senior European diplomat went so far as to say the results reflected a malaise far more serious than the economic crisis that had rocked the eurozone and led to unpopular austerity measures, fuelling resentment against Brussels. "We have lost the sense of the utility of Europe," the source said. "What Europe needs is less of petty regulation," said Klaus-Dieter Sohn, an expert at the Centre for European Policy think-tank based in the German city of Freiburg. "What we urgently need is to start discussions on what we expect from Europe and the next European Commission," he said, adding that these should cover thorny issues such as energy policy, the free circulation of goods and people and the unemployment spiral.

Massachusetts gas prices unchanged

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 09:28
The cost of a gallon of gasoline in Massachusetts remains unchanged. AAA Southern New England reports Tuesday that self-serve, regular is selling for an average of $3.65 per gallon, the same as last week. ...

Court sides with EPA for not setting new standard

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 09:18
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency was justified in not establishing a new air quality standard for acid rain.

Angry mothers meet EPA over concerns with Roundup herbicide

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 09:03
Questions about Roundup, the world's most popular herbicide, are on the agenda at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday when regulators meet with a group of mothers, scientists, environmentalists and others who say they are worried about Roundup residues found in breast milk. The meeting near Washington D.C., follows a five-day phone call blitz of EPA offices by a group called "Moms Across America" demanding that the EPA pay attention to their demands for a recall of Roundup. And now they've found it in breast milk," said Zen Honeycutt, founder of Moms Across America. We want this toxic treadmill of chemical cocktails in our food to stop." Roundup is a herbicide developed and sold by Monsanto Co. since the 1970s, and used in agriculture and home lawns and gardens.