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.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday it will develop rules for the booming shale gas industry to dispose of its wastewater, which has been linked to polluted surface water.
The move is one of several that signal the Obama administration plans to push ahead with regulating whatever aspects of shale gas production fall under its authority.
Oct 17 (Reuters) – Kinder Morgan Inc’s planned
purchase of El Paso Corp to create the largest U.S.
natural gas pipeline network will receive a close look from
U.S. regulators, who may require substantial pipeline
The $21 billion merger will almost certainly receive heavy
scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission, which traditionally
reviews large natural gas pipeline mergers, according to
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – BP will be allowed to participate in an upcoming U.S. offshore oil and gas lease sale despite its role in the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, a top government regulator said on Thursday.
Michael Bromwich, head of the newly formed Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, said his agency determined that it would not be appropriate to ban BP from obtaining new leases to drill offshore.