WASHINGTON, Nov 16 (Reuters) – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven
Chu has said it may take similar skills to navigate Washington
politics as it does to make advances in physics research, a
field in which he won a Nobel Prize in 1997.
“You have to keep your wits about you, you have to
dispassionately analyze what’s the best path to go forward,”
Chu said this month at a Washington Post energy conference.
“Breakthroughs will happen, setbacks will happen. You use those
breakthroughs to work around those setbacks to go forward.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Energy and financial companies caught up in a scheme involving fraudulent renewable energy credits could now face civil fines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA has issued 24 notices of violation to more than a dozen companies, including units of Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil and Morgan Stanley, for the use of invalid renewable identification numbers, or RINs, according to the EPA website.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal energy panel on Thursday warned that rigorous action must be taken if government and industry hope to prevent major environmental damage and subdue the public backlash against the U.S. shale gas boom.
Charged with helping to guide the future of U.S. shale gas development, the Energy Department subcommittee expressed disappointment that more had not been done on the 20 recommendations laid out in August in its initial report on the practice.
WASHINGTON, Nov 9 (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency on Wednesday said it has reached a deal with
green groups to finalize more than 40 overdue state plans aimed
at lowering haze in national parks and wilderness areas.
The agreement settles a lawsuit brought against the agency
in August and lays out a schedule for the EPA to evaluate state
haze plans over the next year. In cases where EPA does not
approve a state proposal, the agency will have to develop a
WASHINGTON, Nov 8 (Reuters) – The Obama administration will
allow “robust oil and gas development” in the Gulf of Mexico
starting in 2012, but will hold off on letting drillers into
Arctic waters until more is known about spill response
preparedness, according to a proposed five-year plan unveiled
The Outer Continental Shelf leasing plan includes 15
potential lease sales over 2012-2017, including 12 in the Gulf
of Mexico and three off the coast of Alaska.
WASHINGTON, Nov 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department’s
inspector general has opened a “special review” of the
department’s handling of permitting for the Canada-to-Texas
Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, which could delay the final
decision on the line into 2012 or later.
Howard Geisel, the State Department’s inspector general,
said in a memo sent to Senator Bernie Sanders that the review
will determine to what extent the department and all other
parties involved complied with federal laws and regulations
relating to the permitting process on TransCanada Corp’s proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Interior Department plans to issue a proposal soon forcing companies to reveal the chemicals they use in the so-called fracking drilling process on federal lands, as the Obama administration responds to public safety concerns over the shale exploration boom.
David Hayes, deputy secretary at the Interior Department, told a federal shale gas advisory panel on Monday that the department hopes to issue disclosure rules for hydraulic fracturing on federal lands in “a couple of months.” It plans to finalize the guidelines about 12 months after that.
WASHINGTON, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Environmental groups on
Friday called for a probe of the U.S. State Department’s review
of the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline, citing possible
conflicts of interest and improper behavior by the department.
The groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council
and Sierra Club, asked the department’s inspector general to
look into allegations that department officials coached the
pipeline’s owner TransCanada and that the top lobbyist
for the pipeline had inappropriate access to the department.
WASHINGTON, Oct 26 (Reuters) – BP passed its final
hurdle to returning to the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico on
Wednesday, receiving its first permit to drill a new well since
its role in the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement approved
the permit after backing BP’s exploration plan last week.
WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – U.S. regulators on Friday
approved BP’s new exploration plan, moving the
company closer to drilling new wells in the lucrative deep
waters of the Gulf of Mexico a year and a half after the
biggest offshore oil disaster in U.S. history.
BP will still need to get permits before it begins any
drilling outlined in the plan, which is the company’s first to
be approved since an explosion killed 11 workers and ruptured
its Macondo well, spewing millions of barrels of oil into the
Gulf of Mexico last year.