Energy & Environment Correspondent
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Jul 7, 2015

U.S. government outlines solar power boost for the poor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House took steps this week to boost the installation of solar power and other renewable energy in federally subsidized housing and increase the number of jobs in the industry for poor people.

The U.S. administration has set a goal of installing 300 megawatts of solar and other renewable energy in affordable housing by 2020, tripling a goal President Barack Obama set in 2013 that has already been surpassed.

Jul 6, 2015

Republican climate advocate makes big 2016 campaign gift

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Republican entrepreneur seeking to push his party to fight climate change and support clean energy said on Sunday he has given his first big campaign gift to Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.

Jay Faison, an audio tech executive who this year set up Clearpath, a foundation dedicated to explaining to Republicans the science behind climate change and business opportunities to fight carbon emissions, said he had given $500,000 to Ayotte, who was elected to the Senate in 2010.

Jun 30, 2015

U.S. walrus protections hit Shell’s Arctic drilling plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration dealt a setback to Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic oil exploration plans on Tuesday, saying established walrus and polar bear protections prevent the company from drilling with two rigs simultaneously at a close range, as it had planned.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued Shell a permit on Tuesday which emphasized that under federal wildlife protections issued in 2013, companies must maintain a 15 mile (24 km) buffer between two rigs drilling simultaneously.

Jun 30, 2015

U.S. refiners’ group wants wide debate on oil exports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. oil refining industry’s association is not opposed to lifting the country’s 40-year-old ban on crude exports as long as the move is part of a bigger effort to lower barriers to trade, the group’s new head said on Tuesday.

“We’re not opposed to lifting the export ban, but we would like to think there could be a broader discussion,” about all trade barriers in petroleum markets, Chet Thompson, president of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), told reporters.

Jun 30, 2015

Shell says could begin Arctic oil exploration off Alaska in late July

SEATTLE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell could begin drilling for oil in the Arctic off Alaska as early as the third week in July, when it expects sea ice to begin clearing, a spokesman said on Monday.

The Polar Pioneer drilling rig arrived in Dutch Harbor, in Unalaska, off mainland Alaska, early on Saturday morning and will remain there until ice begins clearing over the area in the Chukchi Sea where the company plans to drill through late September, spokesman Curtis Smith said.

Jun 23, 2015

Shell’s Arctic plan counters U.S. walrus protections -green groups

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Green groups urged the U.S.
Department of Interior on Tuesday to revoke the agency’s
conditional approval of Royal Dutch Shell’s 2015 Arctic oil
exploration plan, saying it runs counter to established
protections for walruses.

A 2013 rule implemented by the Fish and Wildlife Service, a
bureau of the Interior Department, prevents energy companies
from exploring for oil simultaneously at wells in the Chukchi
Sea off Alaska that are within 15 miles (24 km) of each other.

Jun 16, 2015

White House secures $4 billion in investments for clean energy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House has secured more than $4 billion to boost clean energy and fight climate change from foundations, institutional investors and philanthropies, doubling a goal set in February, administration officials said.

Vice President Joe Biden told a conference on clean energy at the White House on Tuesday that a “staggering” number of long-term jobs can be created in the sector “if we make the investments.”

Jun 15, 2015

Dozens of U.S. companies bet on nuclear power revolution: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon’s top arms provider and firms partly funded by Silicon Valley billionaires Bill Gates and Paul Allen are among dozens of companies collectively betting more than $1.3 billion that a new wave of nuclear power can be a force to fight climate change.

Advanced nuclear power plants, which will employ techniques such as using fuels other than uranium and coolants other than water, have attracted private investments from more than 40 companies from Florida to Washington state, the Third Way think tank says in the first report specifying the number of firms and total money invested in the technologies.

Jun 9, 2015

Republican pours money into U.S. climate, clean energy foundation

WASHINGTON, June 8 (Reuters) – A Republican businessman said
on Monday he is pouring millions of dollars into a foundation
that sees opportunities where the majority of his fellow party
members do not: easing climate change and speeding the country’s
transition to clean energy.

Jay Faison of Charlotte, North Carolina, has given $165
million to Clearpath, his foundation dedicated to explaining to
centrist Republicans climate science and business opportunities
in solar and other forms of green energy. In addition, he is
giving $10 million to a related political nonprofit to raise
additional funds.

Jun 4, 2015

U.S. EPA finds no ‘widespread risk’ to drinking water from fracking

WASHINGTON, June 4 (Reuters) – Fracking has not led to
widespread, systemic pollution of drinking water, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday in a
long-awaited study, though it warned that certain drilling
activities could pose potential risks.

The study, five years in the making, found some drinking
water vulnerabilities to hydraulic fracturing, such as where
supplies were scarce and where fracturing took place directly
into underground drinking water sources, but overall saw little
impact from the drilling technique.

    • About Timothy

      "I cover U.S. energy and environment policy and climate change. Moved to DC in late 2009 after a decade in New York. Author of "Diminishing Resources:Oil," which is one in a series of books for young adults."
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