Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, leads a hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline, in Washington, Jan. 8, 2015. (Jabin Botsford/The New York Times)

Senate panel passes bill lifting crude oil export ban

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Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, chairman of the panel, championed the plan to lift the restrictions. It passed by a party-line vote of 12-10.
A drilling rig under contract to Shell arrives in Port Angeles, Washington en route to Alaska's Chukchi Sea, where Shell hopes to drill this summer. (Daniella Beccaria/seattlepi.com via AP, File) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; SEATTLE TIMES OUT; TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

Senate bill would give oil companies a decade more to drill in Arctic

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Oil companies could get 10 more years to drill on their Arctic leases, under a provision in a broader offshore drilling bill advancing in the Senate.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn speaks to the audience at the GOP election night party in Austin on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. (Kin Man Hui/San Antonio Express-News)

John Cornyn: For movement on crude oil exports, wait until next year

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Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said the fall legislative session will likely be bogged down with spending and debt ceiling debates, but there are legislative efforts in the works to expand natural gas exports and lift a ban on shipping crude oil overseas.
Shell plans to use the Transocean Polar Pioneer, shown here in Dutch Harbor, Alaska,  to drill in the Chukchi Sea. (Photo: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Obama administration OKs Arctic drilling, but imposes big constraints on Shell

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Shell could begin work within days, but the government-imposed restrictions could keep its drill bits from reaching potential oil-bearing rock thousands of feet below the surface of the Chukchi Sea.
In this Jan. 24, 2015 file photo, Saudi Arabia's King Salman attends a ceremony at the Diwan royal palace in Riyadh. (AP Photo/Yoan Valat, Pool)

Saudi king plans U.S. trip after giving Iran deal hedged support

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After private meetings in Jeddah on the Red Sea coast, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told reporters that King Salman and his defense minister “reiterated their support” for the deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program while expressing reservations about its enforcement.
A jar holding waste water from hydraulic fracturing is held up to the light at a recycling site in Midland, Texas. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

EPA to block drillers from sending wastewater to municipal treatment plants

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The oil and gas industry faces winnowing options for getting rid of the wastewater that flows out of wells, as the EPA moves to block municipal treatment facilities from accepting it and earthquake fears prompt some states to restrict underground disposal.
FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2014 file photo, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz speaks  during the general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, at the International Center in Vienna, Austria.  Moniz, the eccentric MIT professor-turned-U.S. Energy secretary, by all accounts played a pivotal role in reaching the historic nuclear accord. Now with his diplomatic legacy on the line, President Barack Obama is turning to Moniz to help sell the deal to a highly skeptical Congress.  (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)

Obama’s unlikely Iran deal MVP: Energy Secretary Moniz

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Ernest Moniz, the eccentric MIT professor-turned-U.S.-Energy-secretary, by all accounts played a pivotal role in reaching the historic nuclear accord.
A coalition of groups led by Utah Tar Sands Resistance and Peaceful Uprising speak during a news conference outside the Department of Natural Resources Tuesday, June 30, 2015, in Salt Lake City. Residents and groups opposed to Utah's first tar sands mine are calling on state regulators to withhold approvals for the project because new evidence shows water in the area will be negatively impacted. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Canadian company’s tar sands mine approved in Utah

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Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining director John Baza said Monday the decision addresses concerns raised by opposition while acknowledging that U.S. Oil Sands, the Canadian company building the mine, has complied with regulations.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Assistant Energy Secretary Christopher Smith tour the Bayou Choctaw oil reserve site near Baton Rouge, La. The facility, part of the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, holds about 73 million barrels of crude in underground salt caverns. (Photo: Energy Department)

Strategic Petroleum Reserve shouldn’t be used to fill federal coffers, Murkowski says

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Congress should not use the nation’s emergency oil stockpile as an ATM, with sales of the crude funding unrelated legislative priorities, Sen. Lisa Murkowski said as she toured one of the Louisiana sites that makes up the United States’ Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns after an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

New offshore safety rules would make drilling some wells too difficult, industry lobbyists tell White House

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More than a dozen oil companies and drilling contractors joined leading industry trade groups in pushing back against proposed federal mandates for offshore wells they say would make some impossible to drill. The proposed requirements were spurred by the Deepwater Horizon disaster.