Category: Politics/Policy

Brazil may fine Chevron $84 million for spill

Chevron Corp. (CVX), the second-largest U.S. crude producer after Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), may be fined $84 million by Rio de Janeiro state for environmental damage from an offshore oil spill.  More »

EPA slams Pa.’s new Marcellus air pollution rules

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is criticizing new rules the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is using to determine how to regulate air pollution from Marcellus shale gas wells and development sites near one another.  More »

MIT study shows U.S. must protect power grid from cyberattacks

The U.S. should implement standards to reduce the risk of cyberattacks on the electricity grid and should designate one agency responsible for overseeing grid cybersecurity, a new report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said.  More »

House Republicans link pipeline plan to tax package

House Republicans on Friday were considering tying a plan to speed up approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to a broader measure that would extend payroll tax breaks. The tactic could give a boost to the pipeline measure, which aims to short-circuit the Obama administration’s decision to delay a final verdict on whether to issue a permit for the project until early 2013.  More »

EPA eases boiler rule; health benefits unchanged

But administration officials maintain the health benefits of the regulation won’t change.  More »

Shell pulls out of Syria

A spokeswoman says Royal Dutch Shell PLC has instructed its several dozen employees in Syria to halt work after being required to do so by the European Union.  More »

Energy Dept. finds stricter EPA rules won’t threaten electric reliability

A Department of Energy analysis of how the electricity system would respond to far more stringent versions of upcoming air-emission regulations found the rules won’t threaten electric reliability.  More »

Industry fights planned pollution rules for oil & gas drilling

Proposed regulations designed to curb pollution from oil and gas drilling will suppress domestic energy production and inflate costs, the industry’s largest trade group warned today.  More »

ERCOT warns of possible rolling blackouts this winter, next summer

Last winter’s rolling blackouts in Texas and the summer’s near-blackouts could occur again in the coming year if extreme weather stresses the power grid more than normal, the state’s grid operator said Thursday.  More »

Norway sees record oil spending in 2012

Norway expects the petroleum industry to invest a record amount next year amid new field developments, shielding the economy from the fallout of Europe’s debt crisis.  More »

Clean-energy funding to drop after Obama grant program ends

U.S. financing for renewable energy will drop next year after the expiration of a grant program that backed at least $32.9 billion in projects, one of President Barack Obama’s most ambitious efforts to support the industry.  More »

Committee sends “farm dust” bill to House floor

The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday cleared a controversial bill meant to block federal regulation of particulate dust emitted from agricultural activities and rural roads. But Democrats and environmentalists have had a real beef with it — they say it could block the EPA from regulating power plants too.  More »

API, lawmaker square off over industry job claims

The oil and gas industry’s largest trade group is going head to head with one of Big Oil’s most outspoken critics in Congress. The face off pits Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., against Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute. The pair are tangling over API’s prediction that the U.S. could add 1 million jobs over the next seven years if more federal lands and waters were opened for drilling.  More »

High Stakes for Pensioners, Retirees in Washington’s Tax Showdown

With a wide range of benefits facing the chopping block as federal lawmakers continue debate over the deficit reduction, current and soon-to-be retirees are legitimately concerned about their future welfare. Beyond Washington, other means for retirement such as pension funds also face very daunting challenges over the next 20 years in funding their commitments. But […]  More »

Electricity officials say US should use tools to prevent reliability issues

Electricity industry officials on Wednesday raised concerns that upcoming environmental regulations will force plant shutdowns that could threaten grid reliability, but they stressed the government has tools to stave off such problems.  More »