Energy Correspondent
Tom's Feed
May 12, 2010

U.S. to split offshore oil royalty, safety roles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In response to the BP oil spill, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said on Tuesday that the federal agency that oversees offshore drilling will be split to separate the collection of oil royalties from safety inspection duties.

The Minerals Management Service currently carries out both roles, drawing criticism from some U.S. lawmakers and environmental groups that it is a conflict of interest for one agency to be responsible for regulating the safety of offshore

May 11, 2010

Oil firms to testify, troops bolster U.S. shoreline

, (Reuters) – Companies that were drilling the ruptured undersea well that is spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico are set to blame each other in U.S. congressional testimony on Tuesday as troops rushed to limit environmental damage on the coast.

U.S. lawmakers start two days of hearings in Washington on the deadly drilling rig explosion and the oil spill that threatens an economic and ecological catastrophe on U.S. Gulf shores.

May 11, 2010

Oil executives face Congress on Gulf spill

WASHINGTON/ROBERT, Louisiana (Reuters) – Big oil goes under the spotlight on Tuesday when U.S. lawmakers grill top executives on a drilling rig explosion and oil spill that threatens an environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.

The hearings come during a desperate race against time to stem the oil gushing from a well ruptured after an explosion last month that killed 11 workers, sank the rig and set in motion the unfolding economic and ecological disaster.

May 10, 2010

US gasoline price rises despite drop in crude costs

WASHINGTON, May 10 (Reuters) – U.S. gasoline prices topped
$2.90 a gallon even though crude oil costs fell sharply last
week, the Energy Department said on Monday.

The national price for regular unleaded gasoline increased
almost a penny to $2.91 a gallon, up 67 cents from a year ago,
the department’s Energy Information Administration said in its
weekly survey of service stations.

May 10, 2010

Greek crisis may push EIA to cut global oil demand

WASHINGTON, May 10 (Reuters) – The Greek financial crisis
could prompt the U.S. Energy Information Agency to pare its
estimate for global oil demand in its latest forecast on
Tuesday, on concerns the economic fallout could lead to less
fuel demand in Europe.

Last month, the EIA cut its estimate for global oil growth
for this year by 10,000 barrels per day as weaker European oil
demand was expected to overshadow higher Asian, namely Chinese,
demand.

May 6, 2010

US Govt cancels meetings on drilling off Virginia

WASHINGTON, May 6 (Reuters) – The U.S. Interior Department
on Thursday canceled public meetings scheduled for this month
to discuss oil drilling off the Virginia coast, as part of the
White House’s order not to lease new offshore areas until the
growing oil spill in the Gulf is under control.

A department official said it would be logistically
impossible to conduct the May 12, 25 and 27 meetings while the
government probes what caused BP’s massive oil spill.
[ID:nSPILL]

May 5, 2010

U.S. carbon emissions fell record 7 percent in 2009: EIA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. emissions of the main greenhouse gas from fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas fell a record 7 percent in 2009 due to the recession and more efficient use of fuels, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Carbon dioxide emissions from energy sources, which make up about 80 percent of the country’s output of gases blamed for warming the planet, fell more than 400 million tonnes last year, the EIA said.

May 5, 2010

US carbon emissions fell record 7 pct in 2009 -EIA

WASHINGTON, May 5 (Reuters) – U.S. emissions of the main greenhouse gas from fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas fell a record 7 percent in 2009 due to the recession and more efficient use of fuels, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Carbon dioxide emissions from energy sources, which make up about 80 percent of the country’s output of gases blamed for warming the planet, fell more than 400 million tonnes last year, the EIA said.

"While emissions have declined in three out of the last four years, 2009 was exceptional," the EIA, the statistics arm of the Energy Department, said in an annual report.

The 2009 decline was the biggest annual drop since the government started keeping energy records more than 60 years ago. From 2000 to 2009 the U.S. annual emissions decline averaged 0.9 percent, the EIA said. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ For a graphic on U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from energy sources, click here ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

The latest drop may help the United States edge closer to a short-term goal on emissions cutting, but analysts warned emissions could start rising again quickly once the economy bounces.

"Economic recession is not a sound strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions," said Michael Levy, a climate analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations.

President Barack Obama has said he wants the country to cut emissions of greenhouse gases to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

Scientists say emissions from the United States and other big polluters such as China, India and Europe, would have to be cut by much steeper rates by 2050, however, in order to help prevent the droughts, floods and stronger storms expected from climate change.

Senator John Kerry said on Wednesday he expected the U.S. climate bill to be unveiled soon. The legislation has been delayed for months amid opposition from lawmakers in coal and oil states. Senator Lindsey Graham, the lone Republican who was helping to craft the bill, has dropped out of the effort, leading to further delays.

Last year as the recession hit, U.S. consumption of petroleum-based fuels fell to 13.3 million barrels per day, from 13.7 million bpd a year earlier, the EIA said.

Cheaper natural gas also helped to cut emissions. Power utilities switched some electricity generation from coal to that gas, which releases about half of the carbon dioxide per energy unit. Increased use of wind power also helped as U.S. capacity soared 39 percent last year, according to industry group the American Wind Energy Association.

The average fuel efficiency of U.S. vehicles rose slightly last year to 28.5 miles per gallon, another factor in cutting carbon dioxide output, the EIA said.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner and Tom Doggett; graphic by Jasmin Melvin; Editing by Walter Bagley and Lisa Shumaker)




May 5, 2010

BP spill to prompt many new regulations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to prompt far-reaching U.S. regulations to prevent similar accidents in the future.

Major oil spills have resulted in new rules before, from the requirement to use double-hull tankers following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska to a moratorium on offshore drilling after a spill off Santa Barbara, California in 1969.

May 5, 2010

Scenarios: BP spill to prompt many new regulations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to prompt far-reaching U.S. regulations to prevent similar accidents in the future.

Major oil spills have resulted in new rules before, from the requirement to use double-hull tankers following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska to a moratorium on offshore drilling after a spill off Santa Barbara, California in 1969.

    • 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."
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