Environmentalists say there is a clash between Shell’s exploratory oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea and Obama’s visit to survey shrinking glaciers and speak with coastal residents worried about rising seas.
The president, in a speech at a clean energy conference in Las Vegas on Monday night, planned to announce new executive actions and other efforts aimed at making it easier for homeowners and businesses to invest in green energy improvements that in the past may have been impractical or unaffordable.
The Environmental Protection Agency proposed the new regulations Tuesday, making a significant step toward fulfilling the White House’s March pledge to pare oil and gas methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent by 2025.
The 16 states and a handful of others are preparing to sue the Obama administration to block the rules permanently by arguing they exceed Obama’s authority. Bolstered by a recent Supreme Court ruling against the administration’s mercury limits, opponents argued that states shouldn’t have to start preparing to comply with a rule that may eventually get thrown out by the courts.
The meeting comes six months before world leaders gather at a United Nations-sponsored conference in Paris in December to finalize a climate treaty. Obama has argued that a gradually warming planet could worsen social tensions and political instability worldwide, in addition to harming the U.S.
Lawmakers voted 247-180 to support a bill allowing states to opt out of the Obama administration’s plan to limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants if the state’s governor determines it would cause significant rate hikes for electricity or harm reliability of service.
As BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley recalls, it all started with himself and his peers from Statoil, Total and Royal Dutch Shell, on stage at the forum debating their response to the climate change challenge.
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