Washington

Washington energy news with a Texas accent
A boom is used to protect marshland in Terrebonne Parish on the Louisiana coast after the Gulf oil spill in 2010. Photo: Smiley N. Pool / Houston Chronicle

Congress stifles bill to funnel spill fines

A bipartisan push to set aside billions in fines from the BP oil spill for Gulf of Mexico restoration remains stalled in Congress as the disaster’s two-year anniversary nears.  More »
The liquefied natural gas tanker Inigo Tapias makes its way through Boston Harbor past downtown Boston on Jan. 24, 2004. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Feds approve Cheniere’s plan to export natural gas

Houston-based Cheniere Energy on Monday cleared the final major hurdle to exporting natural gas when federal regulators approved the firm’s plan to build a plant for liquefying the fossil fuel in southwest Louisiana.  More »
A view of the facility at Shell's Ursa project in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell is the operator on the project, but working partners include BP, Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips. (Photo: Shell)

Feds confirm that natural seafloor seep caused Gulf oil sheen

A 10-mile oil sheen that surfaced in the central Gulf of Mexico last week was caused by crude naturally seeping from the sea floor, federal investigators said today.  More »
The liquefied natural gas tanker Inigo Tapias makes its way through Boston Harbor past downtown Boston on Jan. 24, 2004. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Environmentalists challenge natural gas export plans

Environmentalists just filed a legal challenge to Freeport LNG’s bid to export natural gas from a facility in Texas — the latest attempt to undercut a push by more than a half dozen companies to send the fossil fuel overseas.  More »
Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb. (AP photo)

GOP to try again on linking Keystone XL to highway bill

Republicans will try again to pass a bill by Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., to let the Keystone XL pipeline to cross the U.S.-Canadian border. In making the announcement, Republicans cited Kinder Morgan Energy Partners’ plan to expand a pipeline in Canada to the Pacific coast.  More »
A view of the facility at Shell's Ursa project in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell is the operator on the project, but working partners include BP, Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips. (Photo: Shell)

Feds say natural seep is likely source of Gulf oil sheen

Naturally seeping oil from the seafloor is the likely culprit behind a 10-mile sheen discovered in the central Gulf of Mexico earlier this week, federal officials said Friday.  More »
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

White House creates natural gas task force

The Obama administration on Friday established a working group to coordinate federal regulation of natural gas production, amid industry complaints that an increasing number of government agencies are overseeing the activity.  More »
API President Jack Gerard speaks in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Industry asks for more time to comply with drilling pollution mandates

The oil industry’s leading trade group today implored federal regulators for more time to comply with a looming rule that will pare air pollution from hydraulic fracturing and natural gas wells.  More »
(AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Activists to stage protest for SEC energy rules

Human-rights and anti-poverty activists plan to urge regulators to finalize long-delayed rules requiring certain publicly listed oil, gas and mining companies to disclose payments to host governments.  More »
(Michael Paulsen / Houston Chronicle)

Report: Wind industry brought 6,816 MW online in 2011

Texas is still a national leader in wind energy, but Kansas is building more wind projects this year and Iowa claimed more jobs tied to the sector in 2011 than the Lone Star State, according to a new assessment by an industry trade group.  More »
Shell's Gulf of Mexico Mars platform, seen here being repaired after Hurricane Katrina. Photo by Shell.

Shell reports no signs of leaks as Gulf sheen breaks up

The U.S. Coast Guard is checking reports of a 10-mile sheen in the Gulf of Mexico near wells operated by Shell Oil Co.  More »
A view of the facility at Shell's Ursa project in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell is the operator on the project, but working partners include BP, Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips. (Photo: Shell)

Shell reports sheen in central Gulf

Federal officials are investigating reports of a light oil sheen in the central portion of the Gulf of Mexico. Shell told federal officials about the sheen, which is located between two of its projects 130 miles southeast of New Orleans.  More »
Rig workers pause while mopping the decks on a Hercules rig. (Smiley N. Pool/Houston Chronicle)

Lawmaker presses for payment of drilling ban damage claims

Rep. Jeff Landry, R-La., is asking an oil spill plaintiffs’ group to recommend payments to oilfield service companies and workers who lost business and wages because of a five-month deep-water drilling ban.  More »
Image from Crossroads GPS television advertisement linking President Barack Obama's energy policies with high gasoline prices.

Arm of GOP super PAC hits Obama on rising gas prices

A new advertising campaign by Crossroads GPS blames rising gasoline prices on President Barack Obama.  More »
wind turbines on the water near England

Natural gas, renewables big factor in presidential pick, poll finds

A solid majority of Americans are more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who supports developing more natural gas, boosting federal support for renewable-energy use and research, and approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a new poll found.  More »