Energy Correspondent
Tom's Feed
Sep 30, 2010

U.S. aims to end China’s rare earth metals monopoly

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States wants more countries to boost production of so-called rare earth metals used in clean energy technology products to break China’s monopoly on the supplies, a top Energy Department official told Congress on Thursday.

Diversifying supplies of the rare metals is important to the Obama administration, because they are used in electric cars, solar panels and wind turbines, all of which the White House is promoting in its overhaul of U.S. energy policy.

Sep 29, 2010

US DOE to send EPA test results on E15 fuel Thurs

WASHINGTON, Sept 29 (Reuters) – The U.S. Energy Department
will send to the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday
its eagerly awaited tests results on whether vehicles made
since 2007 can handle a higher blend of ethanol in their fuel.

“We are planning to get everything over to EPA tomorrow,”
said the official, who would not elaborate on what the
department’s test results show.

Sep 27, 2010

U.S. set to propose new auto fuel, emissions rules

WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (Reuters) – The Obama administration
this week will propose new fuel efficiency and emissions
requirements for cars and light trucks for model years 2017 and

The plan, a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s energy
agenda geared toward reducing oil imports, is under review by
the White House budget office. It is due on Thursday, but could
be released sooner,

Sep 23, 2010

U.S. regulator promises crackdown on bad pipelines

WASHINGTON, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Following two major oil and
natural gas pipeline accidents in recent months, the top U.S.
pipeline regulator told Congress on Thursday she will take
tough enforcement action against companies that violate safety

Congress is looking at pipeline regulations after several
leaks on the Enbridge (ENB.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) pipeline spilled thousands of
barrels of oil in Michigan and Illinois, and the explosion of a
PG&E Corp (PCG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) natural gas pipeline in a San Francisco
suburb killed several people and destroyed homes.

Sep 22, 2010

EPA submits rule for higher-ethanol fuel labels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House is reviewing a proposal from federal regulators to require labels on gasoline pumps selling fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol, a sign the government could be close to approving a higher ethanol blend in gasoline.

The Environmental Protection Agency filed the rule last week with the White House Office of Management and Budget. The EPA is expected to decide by mid-October whether to approve a petition from a group of ethanol producers to increase the blend of ethanol in gasoline from the current 10 percent to up to 15 percent, known as E15 gasoline.

Sep 20, 2010

Senators see new life for renewable-power bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan group of senators will introduce legislation on Tuesday that would require utilities to generate minimum levels of power from clean energy like wind and solar, after such a measure was stripped from a broader oil-spill bill in July.

Senators Jeff Bingaman, a Democrat who heads the Senate energy committee, and Sam Brownback, a Republican, will unveil the standalone bill in the afternoon.

Sep 20, 2010

U.S. lawmaker wants China oil firms investigated

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee called on the Obama administration to make sure Chinese and other foreign oil companies are not supplying gasoline to Iran in violation of new U.S. sanctions.

To punish Iran for its nuclear program, the U.S. Congress passed sanctions that were signed into law in July that would, in part, deny foreign companies loans and other assistance from U.S. financial institutions that trade with Iran.

Sep 8, 2010

Panel says U.S. offshore drilling penalties too weak

WASHINGTON, Sept 8 (Reuters) – The fines U.S. Interior
Department inspectors can impose for unsafe offshore drilling
practices are not tough enough to discourage oil and gas
companies from wrongdoing, a government panel said on

Civil penalties are currently capped at $35,000 per
violation per day, which is dwarfed by what energy companies
pay to explore and produce energy resources. In addition, it
may take up to a year to levy the fine because of the time
district government offices and other bureaucratic layers have
to review such penalties.

Sep 7, 2010

Weak economy may prompt lower EIA oil use forecast

WASHINGTON, Sept 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. government’s energy
forecasting agency could pare its monthly outlook for world oil
demand after two months of gains due to the struggling U.S.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release
its latest forecasts for U.S. and global oil demand on
Wednesday, the first of three demand projections due this

Aug 30, 2010

U.S. retail gasoline price lowest in 6 months-Govt

WASHINGTON, Aug 30 (Reuters) – U.S. drivers are enjoying the
lowest gasoline prices in six months heading into the last
vacation weekend of the summer, with the pump price falling
below $2.70 a gallon for the first time since late February,
the Energy Department said on Monday.

The national price for regular unleaded gasoline declined
2.2 cents over the last week to $2.68 a gallon, up 7 cents from
a year ago, but still the lowest since Feb. 22, the
department’s Energy Information Administration said in its
weekly survey of service stations.

    • About Tom

      "I have covered energy issues from the Reuters Washington bureau since 1997. These days I'm writing about the Obama administration's overhaul of U.S. energy policy, which focuses on developing alternative energy sources like wind and solar power and seeks to reduce petroleum use. However, the United States and the rest of world will rely on oil as a major energy source for the forseeable future. That's why much of my reporting still looks at legislation, regulations and White House policies that affect the oil industry, petroleum supplies and fuel demand."
    • Follow Tom