Energy & Environment Correspondent
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Jul 27, 2012

Petition to waive ethanol mandate could come next week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – At least one of four states hoping to ease requirements on adding grain-based ethanol to gasoline is expected to petition the federal government as soon as Monday, as the worst drought in 50 years threatens higher corn prices and lowers margins for livestock producers.

Governors from states that may petition the Environmental Protection Agency to waive the mandate known as the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, include Republicans Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Dave Heineman of Nebraska, Rick Perry of Texas, and Democrat Mike Beebe of Arkansas, an ethanol industry source said.

Jul 25, 2012

U.S. EPA finds remaining water safe in famous fracking town

WASHINGTON, July 25 (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency is discontinuing water deliveries to four
homes in a rural Pennsylvania town that attracted national
attention after residents complained that natural gas drilling
polluted wells.

Further testing showed no reason for further action, the EPA
said on Wednesday.

The EPA had been delivering water since January to four
homes in Dimock, Pennsylvania where the agency did a second
round of water sampling after residents and local regulators
submitted data that suggested water at the homes could be

Jul 20, 2012

EPA to review mercury rule on new power plants

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. environmental regulator said on Friday it will review recently finalized limits on mercury emissions on new coal-fired power plants in a process that could ease the rules for companies building five new projects.

The Environmental Protection Agency finalized the first-ever rules on mercury pollution from coal plants late last year.

Jul 19, 2012

Analysis: Why the U.S. ethanol mandate is drought-resistant

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – At first glance, it would seem like a golden moment for critics of the U.S. law that requires more and more corn to be made into ethanol every year.

The worst U.S. drought in half a century has fueled a 50 percent surge in corn prices to a record of more than $8 a bushel, heightening fears of a food crisis. Even as the crop wilts, the farm economy has rarely looked healthier thanks to high property prices, widespread accessibility to insurance and a four-year commodity boom.

Jul 11, 2012

Romney campaign hits Obama admin’s delay of LNG exports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A representative for Mitt Romney on Wednesday criticized Obama administration delays on whether to allow more natural gas exports, but stopped short of saying the former Massachusetts governor would speed the process should he become president.

The Obama administration, which must approve exports of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, to all but a handful of countries with free trade agreements, has approved one terminal for exports, Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass.

Jul 3, 2012

U.S. capital’s arbor ardor unabated despite outage outrage

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Power utilities and regulators alike blame downed trees as the main culprit for power outages across the U.S. capital region this week, but the area’s love affair with a green canopy shows no signs of abating.

Nearly a million people in the Washington area remained without power and baked in searing heat on Tuesday after a brief but violent windstorm known as a “derecho” hit the region Friday night.

Jun 28, 2012

US grants Iran sanctions exceptions to China

WASHINGTON, June 28 (Reuters) – The United States gave China
a six-month reprieve from Iran financial sanctions on Thursday,
avoiding a diplomatic spat with a country whose support it needs
to try to quell violence in Syria and rein in Tehran’s nuclear

With Thursday’s decision to grant exceptions to China, which
buys up to a fifth of Iran’s oil exports, and Singapore, which
buys Iranian fuel oil, the Obama administration has now spared
all 20 of Iran’s major oil buyers from its unilateral sanctions.

Jun 28, 2012

Exclusive: U.S. expected to grant Iran sanction exceptions to China

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is expected to extend exceptions on Iran sanctions to China and Singapore, perhaps as early as Thursday, two U.S. government sources said.

“There should be an announcement today,” on China, Iran’s top buyer of crude, and Singapore which buys fuel oil from the OPEC member, said one of the sources.

Jun 27, 2012

Falling oil prices put Iran over U.S. sanctions barrel

WASHINGTON, June 27 (Reuters) – For most of this year, the
threat of tough U.S. sanctions on Iran, the world’s
third-largest oil exporter, helped push crude oil prices higher
and higher, adding a menacing headwind for struggling global

But in the past few weeks, a combination of higher output
from Iran’s rival Saudi Arabia and economic troubles in China
and Europe have pushed oil prices down 25
percent, putting the threat of sanctions back squarely on Iran.

Jun 19, 2012

Asarco, citing DOJ probe of EPA, wants settlement voided

WASHINGTON, June 19 (Reuters) – An Arizona mining company
has asked a federal court to void a $220 million settlement with
the Environmental Protection Agency, saying it found the Justice
Department was conducting an criminal investigation of the
agency over the case.

Asarco, a unit of Grupo Mexico, has long
accused the EPA of concealing records that would clear the
company from claims it polluted thousands of properties with
lead near Omaha, Nebraska, where it operated a smelter for more
than 50 years. Asarco says that lead paint from houses caused
the pollution, not the plant.

    • 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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