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Feb 26, 2014

State Department acted properly on Keystone -U.S. report

WASHINGTON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department
acted properly in its choice of an outside contractor to review
the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the agency’s inspector general
said on Wednesday, clearing it of accusations by
environmentalists there was undue influence by the pipeline’s

TransCanada Corp had recommended four companies to
the State Department to do an environmental review, including
Environmental Resources Management, Inc, or ERM, but did not
tell the department it had previously worked with the company.

Feb 21, 2014

Nebraska ruling could grant Obama breathing space on Keystone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Nebraska judge’s ruling on the Keystone XL pipeline could let President Barack Obama delay his final decision on the project until after mid-term elections and avoid political damage, analysts say.

The Nebraska ruling on Wednesday put the controversial project in legal limbo and likely delayed the state’s decision on the pipeline until later this year.

Feb 11, 2014

U.S. approves exports from Sempra’s Cameron LNG terminal

WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (Reuters) – The U.S. Energy Department on
Tuesday approved exports from Sempra Energy’s Cameron
liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Louisiana as the Obama
administration moves forward with its goal of expanding the
global market for the fuel.

The conditional approval of exports from the terminal to
countries with which the United States does not have free trade
agreements, such as India and Japan, was the sixth approval by
the department since 2011, and the first since mid-November.

Feb 4, 2014

Republicans push Obama administration on upping natural gas exports

WASHINGTON, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Republican lawmakers urged the
Obama administration on Tuesday to approve more ports for
exporting surging supplies of natural gas, saying that
fuel-thirsty countries could look to other producers if
Washington does not act this year.

U.S. Representatives Fred Upton and Ed Whitfield, two
Republicans, introduced a report that said the window of
opportunity for U.S. natural gas exports will not remain open

Jan 31, 2014

White House releases plan to make Arctic shipping safer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As Arctic ice melts away, opening the way for greater oil development and mining, the White House outlined a plan on Thursday to promote safety and security in the region by building ports, improving forecasts of sea ice, and developing shipping rules.

With warmer temperatures leaving Arctic sea passages open for longer periods of the year, billions of barrels of oil could be tapped beyond what is already being produced in the region. A loss of seasonal ice could also allow greater exploitation of precious minerals considered abundant in the Arctic.

Jan 23, 2014

U.S. may lower 2013 target for cellulosic ethanol

WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – The U.S. environmental
regulator informed oil industry groups on Thursday that it will
reconsider the 2013 target for advanced ethanol made from
grasses, trees and crop waste as producers struggle to make
enough of the fuel.

Oil industry groups had petitioned the Environmental
Protection Agency, or EPA, last year to lower the target because
oil refiners would be required to buy millions of dollars worth
of credits if cellulosic was unavailable.

Jan 14, 2014

No sign yet Iran sanctions bill will come to U.S. Senate vote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made clear on Tuesday he has no immediate plan to allow a vote on a bill that would slap new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, even as backers promised to keep up their efforts to win more support.

Fifty-nine of the 100 senators – including 16 of President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats – support the bill, despite Obama’s warning that its passage could jeopardize delicate international negotiations to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

Jan 14, 2014

Republican senator urges Obama to lift U.S. crude export ban

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Lisa Murkowski on Tuesday urged President Barack Obama to lift a ban on exporting U.S.-produced crude oil, stepping up pressure on the administration to allow producers involved in the domestic energy boom to gain access to global markets.

“Lifting the ban will help create jobs, boost the economy and keep our production at record levels,” Murkowski, from Alaska and the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said in a letter to Obama.

Jan 14, 2014

Iran deal progress dampens push for new U.S. sanctions bill

WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is
more likely to win his battle with the U.S. Congress to keep new
sanctions on Iran at bay now that world powers and Tehran have
made a new advance in talks to curb the Islamic Republic’s
nuclear program.

Despite strong support for the bill in the Senate, analysts,
lawmakers and congressional aides said on Monday that the
agreement to begin implementing a nuclear deal on Jan. 20 makes
it harder for sanctions hawks to attract more backers.

Jan 10, 2014

U.S. sanctions bill Iran nuclear talks ‘insurance policy’: Senator

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Democratic U.S. senator leading the charge to pass new sanctions on Iran despite objections from the Obama administration said on Friday the measure is a “diplomatic insurance policy” to push Tehran to comply with agreements to curtail its nuclear program.

Fifty-nine senators – 16 of them Democrats – of the 100 in the chamber were co-sponsoring the bill, despite the White House’s insistence that it could imperil delicate international negotiations with the Islamic Republic.

    • 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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