Energy & Environment Correspondent
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Nov 15, 2013

Obama administration proposes cutting 2014 biofuel mandate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration proposed on Friday to slash federal requirements for U.S. biofuel use in 2014, partially bowing to pressure from the petroleum industry and attempting to prevent a projected fuel crunch next year.

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed to cut overall use of renewable fuels – made mostly from U.S. corn and to a lesser extent from soybeans, grasses, crop waste and Brazilian sugar cane – to a range of 15 billion to 15.52 billion gallons.

Nov 14, 2013

U.S. lawmakers question Obama’s plea for Iran sanctions pause

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior U.S. lawmakers expressed sharp frustration with the Obama administration’s call to delay new sanctions against Iran on Wednesday, underscoring the difficult sales job the Democratic president has as he pursues a rapprochement with Tehran.

Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and other top officials visited Capitol Hill to warn senators that implementing the new measures could scuttle delicate talks between Iran and world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Nov 13, 2013

Kerry warns that new U.S. sanctions could torpedo Iran talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – If the Congress imposes new sanctions against Iran, it could scuttle ongoing international negotiations aimed at curbing Tehran’s suspected nuclear weapons work, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.

“The risk is that if Congress were to unilaterally move to raise sanctions it could break faith in those negotiations and actually stop them and break them apart,” Kerry told reporters before a meeting with U.S. senators on the matter.

Nov 8, 2013

White House says criticism of Iran nuclear deal premature

NEW ORLEANS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Friday that Israeli and Saudi criticism of a deal taking shape with Iran to curb its nuclear program was premature, as unease about the plan grew among U.S. lawmakers and Middle Eastern allies.

“There is no deal, but there is an opportunity here for a possible diplomatic solution, and that is exactly what the president is pursuing,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters traveling with President Barack Obama on Air Force One to New Orleans.

Oct 29, 2013

U.S. senators seek to cut Iran’s oil sales in half – again

WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Fresh U.S. sanctions over
Iran’s disputed nuclear program being debated behind closed
doors in the Senate aim to slash the country’s oil sales in half
within a year of the plan being signed into law, an influential
senator said this week.

Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, told a meeting of the American Israel
Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in New York on Monday that a
package of sanctions ready to move in his chamber has a goal of
cutting Iran’s current oil exports to no more than 500,000
barrels per day.

Oct 25, 2013

Kerry, Lew to brief U.S. senators on Iran nuclear talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will hold a briefing on Thursday on the status of nuclear talks with Iran for members of a U.S. Senate committee considering tough new sanctions on Tehran, Senate aides said on Friday.

President Barack Obama’s administration has been pushing the Senate Banking Committee to hold off on the new sanctions in order to give negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program a chance.

Oct 24, 2013

White House to push Senate to delay new Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House will host a meeting of aides to Senate committee leaders on Thursday seeking to persuade lawmakers to hold off on a package of tough new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, a senior Senate aide said.

The White House will press for another delay on a sanctions bill that had been expected to come to a vote in the Senate Banking Committee last month, but was held back after appeals from President Barack Obama’s administration to let negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program get under way.

Oct 16, 2013

Any U.S. sanctions relief on Iran likely to start slowly

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Any easing by Washington of sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran taking steps to scale back its nuclear program is likely to be fleeting and symbolic, with any moves for bigger concessions likely to be blocked by Congress.

At talks in Geneva on the nuclear program with six world powers on Tuesday, Iran’s negotiators presented a proposal on defusing a decade-old standoff. But both sides said it was too early to talk of a breakthrough.

Oct 16, 2013

Continental would be open to Keystone XL shipping more US oil

WASHINGTON, Oct 15 (Reuters) – The company leading the U.S.
oil boom in the Bakken oilfields in North Dakota said it would
be open to talks with the Keystone XL pipeline project on it
carrying a greater amount of domestic U.S. oil instead of
Canadian crude.

TransCanada Corp, the Alberta-based company that wants to
build the 800,000 barrels per day Keystone XL pipeline to help
link Canada’s oil sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast, has
said the line would take only about 100,000 bpd of oil from the
Bakken oil fields.

Oct 10, 2013

U.S. government shutdown could delay Keystone XL pipeline decision

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government shutdown is making it harder for the State Department to review the Keystone XL pipeline permit process, a State Department official said on Thursday, which could delay President Barack Obama’s decision on the project.

The State Department – which is in charge of the pipeline permit process because Keystone XL would cross the national border – had been expected to issue a final environmental review in mid-October for TransCanada Corp’s pipeline that would help link Canada’s oil sands to refineries in Texas.

    • 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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