(AP Photo/Dirk Lammers, File)

Biofuels battle isn’t over yet (video)

A leading biofuels backer says oil industry scare tactics prompted the Obama administration to slash renewable fuel targets for next year.
A production facility in the Gulf of Mexico. (Simone Sebastian/Houston Chronicle)

Feds order five companies to halt offshore work

The federal government has ordered five companies to cease their offshore oil and gas operations, after the firms failed to give regulators a required audit of safety plans newly required since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Tracy Olson/Flickr

Senate plan takes aim at oil industry tax breaks

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus on Thursday unveiled a proposal to spike a raft of oil industry tax breaks as part of a broader plan to lower the corporate tax rate.
A deal signed in May 2013 between Exxon Mobil Corp. and Qatar Petroleum International would add a liquefied natural gas export terminal to the existing Golden Pass import terminal in the Port Arthur community of Sabine Pass.

Congressional opposition to natural gas exports seen easing

The controversy surrounding exports of U.S. natural gas hasn’t disappeared, but recent congressional votes suggest the tide may be turning on the issue, as the Energy Department authorizes more companies to sell the fossil fuel overseas.
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

House passes bill to thwart federal fracturing regs

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation to thwart federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing in what was the first major congressional vote on the process that is credited with unlocking new oil and gas supplies nationwide.
Crewmen work a site for TransCanada's Keystone XL project in Wood County, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, in Winnsboro. (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)

House panel advances plan to pare border-crossing pipeline reviews

A House subcommittee on Wednesday advanced legislation that aims to speed up the government’s review of pipelines and power lines that cross U.S. borders into Mexico and Canada, over the objections of environmentalists and the Obama administration.
A column of smoke comes off the West Delta 32 complex in the Gulf of Mexico after an explosion on a Black Elk platform on Nov. 16, 2012. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

Black Elk Energy still feeling financial effects of blast

Black Elk Energy told investors on Wednesday that it is still dealing with financial damage from the fatal explosion at one of its Gulf of Mexico production platforms last year, even as the Houston-based company faces fines and a potential criminal investigation from the incident.
(Image: Department of Energy)

Texas researchers win federal grants to study methane hydrates

The Energy Department on Wednesday announced it is giving seven institutions — including two Texas universities — nearly $5 million in grants to continue research on how to unlock methane gas trapped in ice-like crystals under the sea floor and the Arctic permafrost.
The West Texas sky silhouettes a Linn Energy pumpjack in the Permian basin. (Linn Energy)

Democrats assail House Republicans’ pro-drilling bills

House Republicans on Tuesday kicked off a week-long series of votes on measures designed to promote domestic energy development, beginning with a controversial bill that would accelerate the government’s permitting of oil and gas projects on federal lands.

Feds nab $14.2 billion from energy development

The federal government collected a near-record haul in fees and royalty payments from oil and gas drilling on public lands and U.S. waters during the last fiscal year, the Interior Department announced Tuesday. All told, the federal government collected $14.2 billion from the activity; Texas’ share was $17 million.