Washington energy news with a Texas accent
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Arctic frontier opens as Shell begins drilling in Chukchi Sea

Shell began boring its first well in the Chukchi Sea in more than two decades on Sunday, kicking off what company executives anticipate will be years of work tapping prospects throughout U.S. Arctic waters.  More »
President Barack Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Obama touts natural gas, alternative energy in acceptance speech

President Barack Obama used his prime-time address at the Democratic National Convention to highlight stark differences between his energy policy and the approach of his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.  More »
(Jennifer A. Dlouhy/Houston Chronicle)

Salazar’s convention speech rapped for leaving ‘coal’ out of energy mix

When Interior Secretary Ken Salazar touted an “all-of-the-above energy strategy” during a speech to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, he listed a litany of power sources. Oil got a nod, as did natural gas, nuclear and hydropower. Renewable wind, geothermal and solar also netted specific mentions. But “coal” didn’t make Salazar’s list.  More »
Protesters tether themselves to logging equipment being used to clear the path of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline in East Texas. (Photo: Tar Sands Blockade)

Protesters block loggers from clearing Keystone XL’s East Texas path

Protestors in Northeast Texas blocked logging equipment being used to clear trees for the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.  More »
Oil workers on an Eagle Ford Shale rig near Tilden, Texas. (John Davenport, San Antonio Express-News)

Democratic Party platform touts natural gas, tones down climate change talk

In the party platform they unveiled Tuesday, Democrats draw a distinction between “Big Oil” and “cheap, abundant natural gas” they tout as “helping to bring jobs and industry back to the United States.” At the same time, the Democratic platform tones down its assessment of the severity of global warming and what the United States should be doing to arrest it _ a big turnaround from four years ago, when the party warned that climate change posed “the epochal, man-made threat to the planet.”  More »
epublican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, speaks during a campaign rally in Manassas, Va, on Aug. 11 2012. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Markey: Romney denying his green energy record

A top Democratic lawmaker today accused Republican Mitt Romney of running from his record supporting clean energy while he was governor of Massachusetts in his quest for the White House.  More »
Shell's Kulluk conical drilling unit departs Seattle for Dutch Harbor, Alaska in 2012. (Shell Oil Co.)

Feds give Shell green light to launch Arctic drilling

The Obama administration on Thursday agreed to immediately allow Shell to launch drilling in Arctic waters, even though a critical oil spill containment barge is still a two-week trek away.  More »
The group CNG NOW! is sponsoring caffeinated beverages and a park-like lounge area for guests at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. (Jennifer A. Dlouhy / Houston Chronicle)

Natural gas backers serve fuel to thousands at RNC

Advocates of using natural gas to power the nation’s cars and trucks are trying to woo party faithful and reporters with fuel of a different kind at the Republican National Convention. The group CNG Now! is serving an array of coffee drinks — along with a spiel on the benefits of compressed natural gas as a transportation fuel — to bleary eyed reporters and delegates at the four-day rally in Tampa.  More »
Mitt Romney says the U.S. shouldn't pick energy winners, then in his plan he does just that. Photo: JEWEL SAMAD / AFP

Five things the energy sector needs to hear at the RNC

At the Republican National Convention in Tampa, the economy and energy are front-and-center issues.  More »
Ships bearing drilling equipment pass through Seattle's Elliott Bay in June 2012, en route to Dutch Harbor, Alaska. (AP Photo/Donna Gordon Blankinship)

Discoverer drillship sets sail for Shell’s Arctic leases

The Noble Discoverer began a one-week trek to the Chukchi Sea on Saturday afternoon, moving Shell one step closer to drilling for oil in Arctic waters this summer. The company is now talking with federal regulators about a plan that would allow Shell to launch some initial work at its Arctic well sites, even without a key oil spill response vessel nearby.  More »
A field of dried corn plants is seen near Percival, Iowa. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Perry asks EPA for renewable fuel waiver

Texas Gov. Rick Perry today asked federal regulators to relax the renewable fuel standard, joining four other states that have also asked for waivers amid a drought that has ravaged corn crops in the Midwest.  More »

Romney and Obama clash on energy plans

Both Obama and Romney see energy development as a job creator — but that’s where many of the similarities end. With Romney unveiling his energy plan on the campaign trail today, we take a look at how the two presidential contenders stack up on the issues.  More »