Washington

Washington energy news with a Texas accent
(Bill Montgomery/Houston Chronicle)

Senate approves long-delayed bill to boost energy efficiency

The Senate bill was co-sponsored by Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio. A similar bill was defeated last year after it became enmeshed in a partisan fight over the Keystone XL oil pipeline.  More »
(Jennifer A. Dlouhy / The Houston Chronicle)

Report: Arctic oil drilling needed now to sustain U.S. energy security

The analysis makes the case for the United States to aggressively develop Arctic oil and gas resources that can help supply the country with energy long after some onshore fields are depleted.  More »
(Jim Wilson/The New York Times)

Wyoming suit contests federal rules for public land drilling

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court of Wyoming also claims the U.S. Bureau of Land Management overstepped its statutory jurisdiction with the rules and that they conflict with the Safe Drinking Water Act.  More »
Visitors board the barge Arctic Challenger in Samish Bay. The Challenger has been retrofit to serve as the launchpad for an emergency containment system that Shell could use to counter a runaway subsea well in the Arctic. (Photo courtesy Greenpeace Investigations)

Shell conducts drills with Arctic oil spill response system

Shell Oil Co. is conducting the testing for Obama administration officials as it plans a new round of exploratory drilling in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska later this year.  More »
The Polar Pioneer, a drilling rig contracted by Shell for Chukchi Sea exploration in 2015, is transported across the Pacific on the heavy-lift vessel Blue Marlin. (Photo: Vincenzo Floramo / Greenpeace)

Energy Department study: Shale won’t last, Arctic drilling needed now

In order for the U.S. to keep domestic production high and imports low, oil companies should start probing the Artic now because it takes 10 to 30 years of preparation and drilling to bring oil to market, according to a draft of the study’s executive summary obtained by the Associated Press.  More »
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)

Both Democrats and Republicans are unhappy with new fracking rules

Republicans say the new regulations, announced last week, will delay new drilling projects and take marginal lands out of production. Democratic lawmakers say the regulations are so mild that they won’t change current operating standards.  More »
An oil tanker navigates the Houston Ship Channel in Houston, Texas on Friday June 13, 2003. Photographer:  F. Carter Smith/ Bloomberg News.

Report: Crude export ban helps few refiners but hurts all US producers

Light, sweet crude flowing out of the Eagle Ford would attract higher, premium prices on the world market, if those oil exports weren’t prohibited by U.S. trade policy, a Rice University study concludes.  More »
The Polar Pioneer, a drilling rig contracted by Shell for Chukchi Sea exploration in 2015, is transported across the Pacific on the heavy-lift vessel Blue Marlin. (Photo: Vincenzo Floramo / Greenpeace)

As Obama administration weighs Arctic drilling, Shell moves rigs to region

Shell is moving its drilling rigs to the Pacific Northwest, ahead of critical government decisions on the company’s Arctic exploration plans.  More »
An oil tanker docks at a Chevron oil refinery in the San Francisco Bay. (Kimberly White/Bloomberg News)

House committee to vote on crude exports

The House Foreign Affairs Committee is scheduled to take up legislation that would overturn the nation’s longstanding ban against exporting crude.  More »
A worker helps monitor water pumping pressure and temperature, at the site of a natural gas hydraulic fracturing and extraction operation run by Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., outside Rifle, in western Colorado. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Industry swiftly challenges feds’ new fracturing rule

The lawsuit brought by the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Western Energy Alliance challenges the new mandates as “a reaction to unsubstantiated concerns.”  More »
Workers adjust piping during a natural gas hydraulic fracturing  operation at an Encana Oil & Gas Inc. drilling site in western Colorado. (Brennan Linsley/AP)

New federal mandates target hydraulic fracturing

Although the rule only applies to development on public and tribal lands — where there are more than 100,000 oil and gas wells today — environmentalists have argued that tough federal protections could provide inspiration for state regulators.  More »
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)

Feds to impose hydraulic fracturing mandates

The Bureau of Land Management regulation set to be issued Friday has drawn fire from industry leaders who insist well-tailored state rules are better than one-size-fits-all federal mandates.  More »
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Obama orders 40 percent cut in government’s greenhouse gases

Obama’s executive order also directs the government to ramp up use of renewable energy sources to 30 percent of the federal government’s consumption.  More »
JAPAN-ECONOMY-TRADE

Oil exports would give US leverage, former ambassador says

So far, most of the congressional debate on crude exports has focused on the economics of the issue, but former Amb. Carlos Pascual’s comments amplify geopolitical concerns with the longstanding trade restrictions for oil.  More »
Lucas Schifres/Bloomberg

Report: Oil and gas on public lands a ‘blind spot’ in climate fight

The report pinpoints rising methane emissions from oil and gas wells on public lands and waters as a significant share of the heat-trapping gases tied to all energy development nationwide.  More »
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