Energy & Environment Correspondent
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Jul 30, 2015

U.S. Senate energy panel votes to lift oil export ban

WASHINGTON, July 30 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Energy
Committee on Thursday narrowly passed a bill to lift a 40-year
old ban on the export of crude oil, but the measure faces an
uphill battle in getting passed by the full Senate.

The bill to allow the United States to export oil and boost
state revenue-sharing for offshore oil and gas drilling passed
along party lines by a vote of 12-10.

Jul 29, 2015

House Speaker Boehner supports ending U.S. oil export ban

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday expressed for the first time his support for repealing the 40-year-old ban on domestic crude oil exports, a move that could breathe new life into a bill in his chamber.

“Until recently our nation’s energy policy was rooted in a scarcity mindset that went back to the 1970s,” Boehner, a Republican, told reporters. “But now America is experiencing an energy boom and our policy needs to follow suit.”

Jul 29, 2015

Boehner adds weight to effort to end U.S. oil export ban, but Democrats needed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Speaker of the House John Boehner’s call for an end to the U.S. oil export ban is the latest sign of increased momentum for repealing the 40-year-old restriction, joining a drumbeat of similar appeals ranging from industry groups to Republican candidates for president.

But reversing the law still faces one significant hurdle: lining up enough support from congressional Democrats.

Jul 22, 2015

U.S. says Shell is not yet allowed to drill in Arctic oil zone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Interior Department on
Wednesday granted Royal Dutch Shell its final two
permits to explore for oil in the Arctic this summer, but said
the company cannot drill into the oil zone until the required
emergency equipment arrives to the region.

The department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental
Enforcement (BSEE) conditionally granted Shell permits for oil
exploration in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska.

Jul 22, 2015

U.S. emergency oil reserve tempts Congress at the wrong time

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle figured this month they had hit on a clever way to fund everything from new drug programs to highway maintenance: sell off part of America’s strategic oil reserves, a supply cushion that no longer needs to be so large.

The notion, embedded in a House of Representatives bill that passed earlier in July and in a Senate transportation bill proposed on Tuesday, has met with criticism from energy experts and economists, many calling it the right idea, but the wrong time.

Jul 17, 2015

Exclusive: Obama energy adviser Patron leaves White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top energy adviser to President Barack Obama who specialized on oil policy has left the White House, three sources said on Friday.

    Michelle Billig Patron, who served as special assistant on energy to President Barack Obama and as a senior director at the National Security Council since April 2013, left the White House about two weeks ago, the sources said. She had worked previously at PIRA Energy Group, the Department of Energy and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

Jul 14, 2015

Greens urge U.S. to refuse Shell’s final Arctic drilling permits

WASHINGTON, July 14 (Reuters) – Environmental groups on
Tuesday urged the U.S. government not to grant Royal Dutch Shell
final permits for Arctic oil exploration after an
icebreaker with safety equipment to cap wells was put out of

Ten groups, including Oceana, Greenpeace, and the Sierra
Club, said in a letter that under Shell’s exploration plans, the
U.S. Interior Department cannot allow it to begin exploring for
oil in the Chukchi Sea off northern Alaska while the icebreaker,
the Fennica, is unavailable.

Jul 13, 2015

Shell’s damaged Arctic drilling support ship heads to Oregon

By Timothy Gardner

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell PLC said on Monday an icebreaker crucial to planned Arctic oil drilling will be sent to Portland, Oregon to repair a gash in its hull, but the issue is not expected to delay the beginning of drilling off Alaska later in July.

Shell crew on the Fennica icebreaker last week found the 39-inch (1 meter) gash in the hull, likely caused by an uncharted shoal. Voyage time between Portland and southern Alaska should not delay the company’s plans to begin drilling off northern Alaska in the Chukchi Sea later this month, Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said.

Jul 9, 2015

U.S. crude exports would help Europe, Czech Republic says

WASHINGTON, July 9 (Reuters) – Lifting the U.S. ban on oil
exports would bolster energy security in Europe by allowing
countries to find alternative sources, the Czech Republic
ambassador to the United States told lawmakers considering a
bill to do away with the trade restriction.

“The larger the number of stable democracies among the
world’s exporters, the more robust the energy security of the
Czech Republic and the European Union will be,” Petr Gandalovic,
the ambassador told the panel the House subcommittee on Energy
and Power on Thursday.

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.

    • 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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