U.S. Energy News

Shell cleared to drill in the Arctic, with safety caveats

ARCTIC DRILLING: The Obama administration cleared the way Wednesday for Shell to start drilling in the Arctic Ocean, but safety restrictions could slow the pace of exploration. (The New York Times)

OIL SPILL: The EPA has yet to levy a fine against the Canadian pipeline company that in 2010 spilled 1 million gallons of oil into a Michigan river—the biggest inland oil spill in U.S. history. (InsideClimate News)

WASTEWATER: The EPA is moving to block oil and gas companies from sending wastewater from fracking into municipal treatment facilities ill equipped to remove the toxins it contains. (FuelFix)

ENERGY POLICY: Leaders of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee unveiled a 300-page energy reform package Wednesday that includes major priorities for Republicans and Democrats. (The Hill)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• Key Republicans in Congress say the Obama administration should conduct a “full interagency review” of the EPA’s proposed emissions limits for power plants before the rule goes into effect this summer. (The Hill)
The Texas Public Policy Foundation Tuesday unveiled a proposed interstate compact to fight the EPA’s Clean Power Plan for existing power plants. (EnergyWire)
A North Carolina senator introduced legislation Wednesday to block state agencies from acting on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. (Citizen-Times)

COAL ASH: Defying a White House veto threat, the House on Wednesday approved a bill granting states authority to regulate coal ash, bypassing an EPA rule issued last year. (Associated Press)

SOCIAL COSTS OF CARBON: House Republicans on Wednesday attacked the Obama administration’s social cost of carbon—used to calculate economic benefits from cutting carbon emissions—and deemed it “highly speculative.” (The Hill)

OIL TRAINS: Federal regulators are reminding freight railroad companies that they are obligated to tell states and tribes when they plan to move large volumes of crude oil through their areas. (The Hill)

DRILLING RIGS: The Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea have become a garage for idled deepwater drilling ships—at a cost of about $70,000 a day each. (Bloomberg)

AVIATION BIOFUEL: Red Rock Biofuels announced this week that it will produce approximately 3 million gallons of low-carbon, renewable jet fuel per year for FedEx Express. (Sustainable Brands)

METHANE: By transferring a barley gene into a rice plant, scientists have created a new variety of rice that produces 10 percent less methane. (Los Angeles Times)

CARBON SEQUESTRATION: The U.S. Department of Energy has announced $12 million in new grants to explore the viability of sequestering carbon under the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. (Climate Central)

ENERGY SAVINGS: A 25 percent rebate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is helping Minnesota farmers and rural businesses reduce energy costs. (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE: At a Vatican climate conference attended by mayors from around the world, the mayors of San Francisco and New York City unveiled aggressive new pushes to lower greenhouse gas emissions. (ClimateWire)

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