WASHINGTON, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell’s
bid to drill in the Arctic this summer took another
step forward on Friday when the U.S. Interior Department
approved its oil spill response plan for the Chukchi Sea.
Shell’s response plan would allow the company to rapidly
contain a massive spill in the challenging Arctic environment,
the department said.
WASHINGTON, Feb 16 (Reuters) – The U.S. Energy
Department will not make a decision on future liquefied natural
gas exports until it has weighed the potential consequences of
sending U.S. gas abroad, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on
Chu said there was concern that exporting the nation’s
surplus natural gas could lead to higher prices, but that had to
be balanced against the economic benefits of increasing the U.S.
WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (Reuters) – U.S. environmental
regulators are investigating possible violations of federal
pollution laws at natural gas operations in a Pennsylvania
county that is in the midst of a shale gas drilling boom.
The Environmental Protection Agency conducted inspections at
well pads and compressor stations in Washington County,
Pennsylvania, in late September and early October, agency
spokeswoman Bonnie Smith said.
, Feb 9 (Reuters) – U.S. regulators
on Thursday approved plans to build the first new
nuclear power plant in more than 30 years in spite of objections
of the panel’s chairman who cited safety concerns stemming from
Japan’s disastrous 2011 Fukushima disaster.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted 4-1 to allow
Atlanta-based Southern Co to build and operate two new
nuclear power reactors at its existing Vogtle nuclear power
plant in Georgia. The units will cost Southern and partners
about $14 billion and enter service as soon as 2016 and 2017.
WASHINGTON, Feb 7 (Reuters) – The Sierra Club is
challenging plans to export liquefied natural gas from Maryland,
continuing its fight against the gas industry’s push to sell the
nation’s abundant shale gas abroad.
The group filed a formal objection with the Energy
Department against Dominion’s Cove Point export project,
arguing that exports of liquefied natural gas would raise prices
for consumers and expand use of “destructive” drilling
techniques to extract shale gas.
WASHINGTON, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Republican
lawmakers hope to move one step closer next week to linking
a measure approving the controversial Canada-to-Texas Keystone
XL oil pipeline to a highway funding bill.
The House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee
will vote on Tuesday on a bill that would transfer permitting
authority over TransCanada’s planned pipeline to the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and direct the commission
to approve the project within 30 days.
WASHINGTON, Feb 3 (Reuters) – The U.S. government will
require natural gas drillers to disclose which chemicals they
use in hydraulic fracturing on public lands, according to draft
rules crafted by the Interior Department.
President Barack Obama pledged in the State of the Union
address last week that the government would develop a road map
for responsible natural gas production and roll out new rules to
ensure drillers protect the environment.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats unveiled legislation on Friday that would block export of any oil transported by the Keystone XL pipeline, as they challenged claims that the delayed project would boost U.S. energy security.
TransCanada’s $7 billion Keystone pipeline has become a political lightning rod this election year, with Republicans arguing that the pipeline will provide a critical link to Canada’s vast oil sands crude and lessen U.S. dependence on oil from more hostile regimes.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Foreign companies that trade oil with Iran should be banned from buying oil from U.S. emergency reserves, a group of 17 U.S. senators said on Thursday, unveiling a bill that would build on a raft of new sanctions that aim to constrict Tehran’s oil revenues.
The bill was sparked by concerns from lawmakers about sales of oil from the U.S. strategic petroleum reserve to Vitol and Trafigura last year, part of an international draw-down of emergency stockpiles after unrest in Libya sent oil prices soaring.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Republican on the Senate energy committee on Thursday acknowledged passing legislation to boost domestic energy production will be a tough task this year, even as Republicans maneuver to keep the focus on energy issues ahead of the November elections.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, however, said she was hopeful that Congress would make some progress on opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, to drilling this year.