Energy & Environment Correspondent
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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
ambitions.

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
economies.

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.

Jun 15, 2012

U.S. proposes tighter rules on soot pollution

WASHINGTON, June 15 (Reuters) – The Obama administration
proposed stricter standards to control harmful soot from heavy
industry on Friday, a move expected to save lives but which drew
criticism from Republicans and industry worried the costs of
compliance will hurt the economy.

Under a court order, the Environmental Protection Agency
proposed tightening exposure to the particulate pollution that
threatens the elderly, people with heart disease, and children.

Jun 11, 2012

U.S. to exempt India, not China, from Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States extended exemptions from its tough, new sanctions on Iran’s oil trade to seven more economies on Monday, leaving China the last remaining major importer exposed to possible penalties at the end of the month.

In the latest sign Washington is working with other countries to pressure Iran’s nuclear program, India, South Korea, Turkey and four more economies will receive waivers from financial sanctions in return for significantly cutting purchases of Iranian oil, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

Jun 7, 2012

More U.S. waivers to Iran sanctions likely next week

SINGAPORE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will announce a new list of countries that will receive exceptions to financial sanctions on oil trade with Iran as soon as early next week, a government official said on Thursday.

Not all of Iran’s oil buyers are likely to get the waivers, said the source, who declined to elaborate. Around two thirds of Iran’s crude exports flow to Asia, where the biggest buyers are China, Japan, India and South Korea.

    • 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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