Valerie's Feed
Mar 25, 2015

Mexico expects U.S. oil swap, another crack in crude export ban

MEXICO CITY/ WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) – Mexican state
oil firm Pemex expects imminent approval from the U.S. Commerce
Department to allow it to swap up to 100,000 barrels of heavy
crude for a similar amount of lighter U.S. oil, what could be
the latest milestone toward loosening the four-decades old ban
on exporting U.S. oil.

“Our expectation is that it happens soon,” Jose Manuel
Carrera, CEO of Pemex’s commercial arm P.M.I. Comercio
Internacional, said in an interview Friday. “I would like to see
the approval tomorrow, or I would have liked to see it
yesterday, but the truth is that this is a permit that the
United States unilaterally approves.”

Mar 20, 2015

U.S. sets first major fracking rules on federal lands

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Friday unveiled its first major standards for oil companies that frack on federal lands, including beefed-up safety measures to protect groundwater, prompting industry complaints they will be a barrier to growth.

The rules require energy companies to reinforce boreholes and otherwise prevent leakage and provide data on the cocktail of chemicals that helps extract crude oil and gas out of the ground. The rules will add transparency to the practice, long shrouded by companies reluctant to reveal “trade secrets.”

Mar 20, 2015

U.S. to set fracking standards on federal land

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Friday is due to unveil rules for oil companies that frack on federal land, included beefed-up safety measures, but won’t likely require strict oversight as environmental groups want, according to sources.

The standards have been in the works for more than three years and gone through several drafts with environmentalists and the energy industry fighting over its scope.

Mar 19, 2015

Growing U.S. oil export debate has now spread to geopolitics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lifting the longstanding ban on U.S. crude oil exports would boost the country’s economy and enhance its global leadership, a former senior Obama administration official will tell senators on Thursday, introducing a strategic dimension to the growing debate over selling American oil abroad.

In testimony submitted ahead of a Senate energy committee hearing on U.S. crude export policy, the Pentagon’s former undersecretary of defense for policy, Michele Flournoy, argues “policymakers in the United States should embrace these various benefits to our allies and ourselves and liberalize our crude export rules.

Mar 11, 2015

EPA chief hits back at states that ‘just say no’ to carbon rule

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday warned opponents that the
agency will enforce regulations to slash carbon emissions from
power plants even if states choose not to cooperate.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy hit back at lawmakers who
have called on state officials to ignore federal deadlines to
submit plans to comply with the agency’s Clean Power Plan,
saying the agency is confident its proposal will weather
political and legal challenges.

Mar 10, 2015

Rail industry pushes White House to ease oil train safety rules

WASHINGTON, March 10 (Reuters) – The U.S. rail industry is
pushing the White House to drop a requirement that oil trains
adopt an advanced braking system, a cornerstone of a national
safety plan that will soon govern shipments of crude across the
country.

Representatives of large rail operators met with White House
officials last week to argue against the need for electronically
controlled pneumatic brakes, or ECP brakes, saying they “would
not have significant safety benefits” and “would be extremely
costly,” according to a handout from the meeting.

Mar 10, 2015

U.S. rail industry pushes White House to ease oil train safety rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. rail industry is pushing the White House to drop a requirement that oil trains adopt an advanced braking system, a cornerstone of a national safety plan that will soon govern shipments of crude oil across the country.

Representatives of large rail operators met with White House officials last week to argue against the need for electronically controlled pneumatic brakes, or ECP brakes, saying they “would not have significant safety benefits” and “would be extremely costly,” according to a handout from the meeting.

Mar 9, 2015

What to watch for in U.S. climate plan for Paris

WASHINGTON, March 10 (Reuters) – Later this month, the Obama
administration will unveil how it plans to reduce carbon
emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels within a
decade, the core of the negotiating position it will take to
global climate talks Paris this December.

While the broad outlines of the U.S. position are known,
there is great interest in its intended nationally determined
contribution (INDC), climate diplomats’ term for each country’s
domestic program to achieve its Paris targets.

Mar 6, 2015

Kentucky officials wary of senator’s EPA warning

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Officials in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky rejected the senator’s plea to states this week to ignore federal deadlines to comply with proposed carbon limits for power plants, warning it could cause more economic harm in the long run.

McConnell, leader of the Senate Republican majority, urged governors and state officials Tuesday to “think twice” before submitting state plans to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to comply with its Clean Power Plan, a federal rule that requires each state to slash the carbon emission rate of its power plants.

Feb 22, 2015

Homeland Security shutdown can be avoided by Friday: senators

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior Republican senators said they expected Congress will avoid a shutdown over the Department of Homeland Security, which faces a partial shutdown on Feb. 27 amid a GOP push to roll back President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson pressed lawmakers to resolve the deadlock, expressing frustration at what he described as finger-pointing between House and Senate lawmakers over who is to blame if Congress fails to enact a spending bill to keep the department running.