Energy & Environment Correspondent
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Jul 14, 2015

Greens urge U.S. to refuse Shell’s final Arctic drilling permits

WASHINGTON, July 14 (Reuters) – Environmental groups on
Tuesday urged the U.S. government not to grant Royal Dutch Shell
final permits for Arctic oil exploration after an
icebreaker with safety equipment to cap wells was put out of

Ten groups, including Oceana, Greenpeace, and the Sierra
Club, said in a letter that under Shell’s exploration plans, the
U.S. Interior Department cannot allow it to begin exploring for
oil in the Chukchi Sea off northern Alaska while the icebreaker,
the Fennica, is unavailable.

Jul 13, 2015

Shell’s damaged Arctic drilling support ship heads to Oregon

By Timothy Gardner

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell PLC said on Monday an icebreaker crucial to planned Arctic oil drilling will be sent to Portland, Oregon to repair a gash in its hull, but the issue is not expected to delay the beginning of drilling off Alaska later in July.

Shell crew on the Fennica icebreaker last week found the 39-inch (1 meter) gash in the hull, likely caused by an uncharted shoal. Voyage time between Portland and southern Alaska should not delay the company’s plans to begin drilling off northern Alaska in the Chukchi Sea later this month, Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said.

Jul 9, 2015

U.S. crude exports would help Europe, Czech Republic says

WASHINGTON, July 9 (Reuters) – Lifting the U.S. ban on oil
exports would bolster energy security in Europe by allowing
countries to find alternative sources, the Czech Republic
ambassador to the United States told lawmakers considering a
bill to do away with the trade restriction.

“The larger the number of stable democracies among the
world’s exporters, the more robust the energy security of the
Czech Republic and the European Union will be,” Petr Gandalovic,
the ambassador told the panel the House subcommittee on Energy
and Power on Thursday.

Jul 7, 2015

U.S. government outlines solar power boost for the poor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House took steps this week to boost the installation of solar power and other renewable energy in federally subsidized housing and increase the number of jobs in the industry for poor people.

The U.S. administration has set a goal of installing 300 megawatts of solar and other renewable energy in affordable housing by 2020, tripling a goal President Barack Obama set in 2013 that has already been surpassed.

Jul 6, 2015

Republican climate advocate makes big 2016 campaign gift

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Republican entrepreneur seeking to push his party to fight climate change and support clean energy said on Sunday he has given his first big campaign gift to Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.

Jay Faison, an audio tech executive who this year set up Clearpath, a foundation dedicated to explaining to Republicans the science behind climate change and business opportunities to fight carbon emissions, said he had given $500,000 to Ayotte, who was elected to the Senate in 2010.

Jun 30, 2015

U.S. walrus protections hit Shell’s Arctic drilling plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration dealt a setback to Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic oil exploration plans on Tuesday, saying established walrus and polar bear protections prevent the company from drilling with two rigs simultaneously at a close range, as it had planned.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued Shell a permit on Tuesday which emphasized that under federal wildlife protections issued in 2013, companies must maintain a 15 mile (24 km) buffer between two rigs drilling simultaneously.

Jun 30, 2015

U.S. refiners’ group wants wide debate on oil exports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. oil refining industry’s association is not opposed to lifting the country’s 40-year-old ban on crude exports as long as the move is part of a bigger effort to lower barriers to trade, the group’s new head said on Tuesday.

“We’re not opposed to lifting the export ban, but we would like to think there could be a broader discussion,” about all trade barriers in petroleum markets, Chet Thompson, president of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), told reporters.

Jun 30, 2015

Shell says could begin Arctic oil exploration off Alaska in late July

SEATTLE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell could begin drilling for oil in the Arctic off Alaska as early as the third week in July, when it expects sea ice to begin clearing, a spokesman said on Monday.

The Polar Pioneer drilling rig arrived in Dutch Harbor, in Unalaska, off mainland Alaska, early on Saturday morning and will remain there until ice begins clearing over the area in the Chukchi Sea where the company plans to drill through late September, spokesman Curtis Smith said.

Jun 23, 2015

Shell’s Arctic plan counters U.S. walrus protections -green groups

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Green groups urged the U.S.
Department of Interior on Tuesday to revoke the agency’s
conditional approval of Royal Dutch Shell’s 2015 Arctic oil
exploration plan, saying it runs counter to established
protections for walruses.

A 2013 rule implemented by the Fish and Wildlife Service, a
bureau of the Interior Department, prevents energy companies
from exploring for oil simultaneously at wells in the Chukchi
Sea off Alaska that are within 15 miles (24 km) of each other.

Jun 16, 2015

White House secures $4 billion in investments for clean energy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House has secured more than $4 billion to boost clean energy and fight climate change from foundations, institutional investors and philanthropies, doubling a goal set in February, administration officials said.

Vice President Joe Biden told a conference on clean energy at the White House on Tuesday that a “staggering” number of long-term jobs can be created in the sector “if we make the investments.”

    • 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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