Energy & Environment Correspondent
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Sep 22, 2015

Volkswagen’s ‘clean diesel’ strategy unraveled by outside emissions tests

DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) commissioned researchers at West Virginia University to test diesel car emissions in 2013, the group expected to find that diesel cars sold in the U.S. emitted fewer pollutants than cars sold elsewhere because they had to meet tougher standards, ICCT officials told Reuters on Monday.

Instead, after testing a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta and a 2013 VW Passat, researchers were “surprised” when the results showed the opposite: the two VW models displayed much higher levels of nitrogen oxide emissions than permitted by law, while a third test vehicle, a BMW X5, generally fell within permissible limits.

Sep 21, 2015

VW’s ‘clean diesel’ strategy unraveled by outside emissions tests

DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) commissioned researchers at West Virginia University to test diesel car emissions in 2013, the group expected to find that diesel cars sold in the U.S. emitted fewer pollutants than cars sold elsewhere because they had to meet tougher standards, ICCT officials told Reuters on Monday.

Instead, after testing a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta and a 2013 VW Passat, researchers were “surprised” when the results showed the opposite: the two VW models displayed much higher levels of nitrogen oxide emissions than permitted by law, while a third test vehicle, a BMW X5, generally fell within permissible limits.

Sep 18, 2015

Volkswagen could face 11.6 billion pounds penalties from U.S. EPA

WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) – Volkswagen AG faces penalties up to $18 billion (11.58 billion pounds) after being accused of designing software for diesel cars that deceives regulators measuring toxic emissions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday.

“Put simply, these cars contained software that turns off emissions controls when driving normally and turns them on when the car is undergoing an emissions test,” Cynthia Giles, an enforcement officer at the EPA, told reporters in a teleconference.

Sep 18, 2015

Clinton would support end to oil export ban only with concessions

By Amanda Becker and Timothy Gardner

Durham, N.H. (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Friday she would support lifting the 40-year-old U.S. ban on crude exports only if the measure included concessions from the oil and gas industry to move toward cleaner energy.

Clinton said she had not yet seen any legislation on lifting the ban that included concessions from the fossil fuel industry, In the absence of that, “I don’t think the ban should be lifted,” Clinton told reporters.

Sep 18, 2015

Volkswagen could face $18 billion penalties from EPA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) could face penalties up to $18 billion after being accused of designing software for diesel cars that deceives regulators measuring toxic emissions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday.

“Put simply, these cars contained software that turns off emissions controls when driving normally and turns them on when the car is undergoing an emissions test,” Cynthia Giles, an enforcement officer at the EPA, told reporters in a teleconference.

Sep 15, 2015

Senators struggle to find path for repealing U.S. oil export ban

WASHINGTON, Sept 15 (Reuters) – U.S. senators who want to
reverse the ban on oil exports are struggling to find wide
legislation to attach their bill to, a sign that their effort to
overturn the trade restriction could face difficulties.

Senator John Hoeven, a Republican of North Dakota, the top
U.S. oil-producing state besides Texas, said on Tuesday a
measure to repeal the legislation would likely have to be
attached to a wider bill.

Sep 11, 2015

U.S. energy envoy sees bright spot for natgas in Middle East

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Signs of hope are scarce in the Middle East, a region awash in violence, civilians fleeing crumbling states, and economies built largely on oil squeezed by a dive in global prices.

But Amos Hochstein, the U.S. energy envoy, sees some long-term potential for natural gas development to help provide economic security from Iraq to the eastern Mediterranean.

Sep 10, 2015

U.S. House panel passes bill to repeal oil export ban

By Timothy Gardner

(Reuters) – A bill to repeal the U.S. ban on oil exports
gained momentum on Thursday, when it passed a House of
Representatives subcommittee, an intial step to overturn the
40-year-old trade restriction in the full chamber.

The House Energy and Power subcommittee passed the bill by a
voice vote. The legislation, sponsored by Republican
Representative Joe Barton of Texas, is expected to go to a vote
by the full Energy and Commerce committee next week.

Aug 18, 2015

Clinton parts with Obama administration on Arctic drilling

By Timothy Gardner and Amanda Becker

(Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday staked out her opposition to Arctic oil exploration, putting her at odds with the Obama administration one day after it approved drilling off Alaska.

“The Arctic is a unique treasure,” Clinton said in a Twitter post. “Given what we know, it’s not worth the risk of drilling.”

Aug 17, 2015

U.S. gives Shell final nod to drill for oil in Arctic

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration granted Royal Dutch Shell final clearance on Monday to resume drilling for oil and gas in the environmentally fragile Arctic Ocean for the first time since 2012, a move green groups vowed to fight.

The U.S. Department of the Interior permit allows Shell to drill in the oil-rich Chukchi Sea off the northwest coast of Alaska. Shell interrupted its drilling program in the region in 2012 after suffering a series of mishaps, including losing control of an enormous rig, from which the Coast Guard had to rescue 18 workers.

    • 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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