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Jan 13, 2012

U.S. review on Keystone pipeline permitting out soon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. “special review” of the State Department’s handling of permitting for the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline is nearly complete and will likely be released in coming weeks, a federal government source said on Thursday.

The timing could mean the results of the review by the State Department’s internal watchdog are made public before President Barack Obama is slated to decide whether to allow a permit for the $7 billion project, or rule it not in the national interest.

Jan 5, 2012

EPA may retest PA. water near fracking

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Federal regulators are considering retesting water supplies at a small town in Pennsylvania that residents say have been contaminated by natural gas drilling.

Just a month after declaring water in Dimock safe, officials from the Environmental Protection Agency are taking another look after new evidence suggested that drinking water could be polluted worse than originally thought.

Dec 23, 2011

Keystone pipeline more uncertain than ever

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The payroll tax bill passed by Congress contains a provision forcing President Barack Obama to speed his decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but his approval is far from certain.

The bill, which passed on Friday, said Obama must grant a permit for TransCanada Corp’s Canada to Texas pipeline in 60 days, unless he determines the line does not serve the national interest.

Dec 21, 2011

U.S. rolls out tough rules on coal plant pollution

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Wednesday unveiled the first-ever standards to slash mercury emissions from coal-fired plants, a move aimed at protecting public health that critics say will kill jobs as plants shut down.

Facing fierce opposition from industry groups and lawmakers from coal-intensive states, the Environmental Protection Agency said the benefits of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS, will greatly outweigh the costs.

Dec 18, 2011

Keystone pipe outlook no rosier after Senate vote

By Timothy Gardner

(Reuters) – Senate Republicans claimed victory on Saturday for a bill that may force President Barack Obama to make a speedier decision on a Canada to Texas oil pipeline, but a White House official indicated quick approval of the project is not likely.

The two-month payroll tax break extension bill passed by the Senate on Saturday included language that would make Obama decide within 60 days whether TransCanada Corp’s 700,000 barrel-a-day Keystone XL oil sands pipeline is in the country’s national interest.

Dec 14, 2011

U.S. seeks oil supply cushion as Iran sanctions loom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is building ties with a range of oil producing countries in an effort to ensure a steady supply of crude to global markets as the West ratchets up the threat of increased sanctions against Iranian exports.

According to a State Department official, the groundwork is being laid with exporters including Ghana, Angola, and Iraq, where the oil industry is recovering from war and years of neglect, to boost global spare oil capacity in case of outages that can lead to price spikes that threaten the fragile economy.

Dec 12, 2011

Coal’s bridge to future might lie in the past

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As futuristic projects designed to capture carbon from coal-burning industries and store it underground have failed, the two largest consumers of the fuel, the United States and China, hope answers to limiting emissions blamed for global warming lie in the past.

Power-generators, coal miners and policy makers had put faith in projects to capture carbon dioxide from coal-fired plants and pump it directly underground into geologic formations for permanent storage. The great hope was that the technology would prevent much of the world’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from reaching the atmosphere.

Dec 11, 2011

Analysis: Coal’s bridge to future might lie in the past

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As futuristic projects designed to capture carbon from coal-burning industries and store it underground have failed, the two largest consumers of the fuel, the United States and China, hope answers to limiting emissions blamed for global warming lie in the past.

Power-generators, coal miners and policy makers had put faith in projects to capture carbon dioxide from coal-fired plants and pump it directly underground into geologic formations for permanent storage. The great hope was that the technology would prevent much of the world’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from reaching the atmosphere.

Dec 8, 2011

Republicans tie Keystone pipe to tax cut bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – House of Representatives will include approval of a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline in a payroll tax cut bill, House Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday, raising the political stakes on the issue.

The move by House Republicans marked a challenge to President Barack Obama, who has warned he would veto any bill that linked quick approval of TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL pipeline to extending a tax cut for American workers that is due to expire on December 31.

Dec 8, 2011

EPA says fracking likely polluted Wyoming water

WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Fluids from a company
employing a drilling technique known as “fracking” likely
polluted an aquifer in Wyoming, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency said in a draft report that countered
industry claims the technique has never led to water
contamination.

The EPA said “the best explanation” for the pollution seen
in the deep monitoring wells in Pavillion, Wyoming, is a
release of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, fluids into the
aquifer above the production zone. The pollution includes
benzene, alcohols and glycols, the report said.

    • 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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