October 12th, 2010
11:27 AM ET
4 years ago

Oil moratorium could be lifted soon

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Washington (CNN) – White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs just wrapped up his morning gaggle with reporters on Tuesday where he announced that the administration is close to lifting the moratorium on off shore oil drilling.
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Filed under: Energy • Environmental policy • issues • White House Dispatch
September 28th, 2010
01:05 AM ET
4 years ago

Protesters arrested outside the White House

(CNN) - More than 100 people protesting mountain-top removal coal mining were arrested Monday outside the White House for failing to obey an order to disperse, the U.S. Park Service said.

All 114 people arrested at the protest against mountain-top mining were later released pending a court date, according to the park service.

The protesters, most from the Appalachian coal-mining states, had a permit to gather in front of the White House, but some failed to follow rules set out in the permit, according to a park service spokesman.

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Filed under: Energy • Environmental policy • White House
August 10th, 2010
02:45 PM ET
4 years ago

Ban on drilling unlikely to last, top energy official says

(CNN) - The man who has taken over the government agency that regulates off-shore drilling said Tuesday he can't see the Obama administration's ban on the practice "lasting longer than November 30."

"Obviously, we can't predict everything that we learn or everything that may happen in the outside world before then, but Secretary [Ken] Salazar thought that was an appropriate ending point. I see no information so far that would justify extending the moratorium... not impossible but unlikely," Michael Bromwich, the head of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (the former Minerals Management Service), said in Mobile, Alabama.


Filed under: Energy • Environmental policy • issues
July 23rd, 2010
07:24 PM ET
4 years ago

Senate's top Democrat to introduce scaled-down energy bill

Washington (CNN) – Democrats admit that when it comes to passing comprehensive energy and climate change legislation, they simply do not have the votes.

So in an effort to get something through, the Senate's top Democrat announced that he will introduce a smaller bill in the coming days focusing on specific energy needs.

"Many of us want to do a thorough, comprehensive bill that creates jobs, breaks our addiction to foreign oil and curbs pollution," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters Thursday. "Unfortunately, this time we don't have a single Republican to work with in achieving this goal."

Reid had promised to bring a bill to the Senate floor by the August recess.

The Nevada Democrat said he will put four requirements in the new bill:

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Filed under: Democrats • Energy • Environmental policy • issues
June 22nd, 2010
08:44 PM ET
4 years ago

Interior Secretary says he will impose new moratorium

New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Tuesday called a six-month halt on deepwater drilling "needed, appropriate and within our authorities" in announcing he will issue a new order on a moratorium just hours after a federal judge blocked such a mandate.

"We see clear evidence every day, as oil spills from BP's well, of the need for a pause on deepwater drilling," Salazar said in a statement. "That evidence mounts as BP continues to be unable to stop its blowout, notwithstanding the huge efforts and help from the federal scientific team and most major oil companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico."

Salazar's statement did not give an exact date for when the new order would be imposed, saying only "in the coming days."

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Filed under: BP • Energy • Environmental policy • Ken Salazar
June 22nd, 2010
08:32 PM ET
4 years ago

Sources say WH meeting on Senate energy bill postponed

President Obama had planned to meet Wednesday with senators from both parties.
President Obama had planned to meet Wednesday with senators from both parties.

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama called Tuesday for the Senate to "stand up and move forward" on the issue in the aftermath of the Gulf oil disaster.

"This has to be a wake-up call to the country, that we are prepared and ready to move forward on a new energy strategy that the American people desperately want but for which there has been insufficient political will," Obama told reporters after a Cabinet meeting at the White House.

However, two Senate leadership aides told CNN later Tuesday that the White House abruptly postponed a planned meeting Wednesday with senators from both parties to try to reach agreement on a proposal that can pass the Senate.

The Senate aides, one from each party, did not know why the meeting was called off.

The White House had portrayed the talks as a chance for all participants to pitch their best ideas, similar to the health care summit earlier this year that emboldened Democrats to push through a Senate bill with no Republican support.

However, sharp differences between the two parties are evident, as well as some infighting among Democrats over what kind of final proposal would have a realistic chance of getting the 60 Senate votes needed to pass.

Updated: 8:32 p.m.

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Filed under: Energy • Environmental policy • Harry Reid • President Obama
June 18th, 2010
07:04 AM ET
4 years ago

Senate Democrats struggle with climate change legislation

Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats Thursday seized on the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico as a reason to pass climate-change and energy legislation, but internal policy differences will not be easy to overcome and may also leave many disheartened.

Members of the Democratic caucus met behind closed doors to discuss various legislative proposals, telling reporters afterward that no single vision has emerged as the way forward. The difficulty is that any policy change needs 60 votes to be approved in the Senate.

"One of the many lessons of the BP disaster is we can't afford to continue business as usual," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid after the meeting. Reid, of Nevada, expressed his goal of voting on one bill that addresses both the BP spill and concerns about global warming before recessing in August, adding that "stalling for political purposes" is unacceptable.

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June 10th, 2010
02:10 PM ET
4 years ago

Senate debates stripping EPA of authority to regulate greenhouse gases

Washington (CNN) - The U.S. Senate engaged in a heated debate Thursday on an issue at the heart of the fight over energy reform: whether the Environmental Protection Agency should have the authority to impose clear limits on the emission of greenhouse gases.

The chamber is expected to vote on a proposed "resolution of disapproval" drafted by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, that would prevent the EPA from further regulation of air pollution from vehicles and industrial facilities. Murkowski has argued that new rules should only be created by Congress, not an executive agency.

"It would amount to an unprecedented power grab, ceding Congress' responsibilities to unelected bureaucrats and move a very, very important debate, a critical debate, from our open halls to behind an agency's closed doors," Murkowski argued on the Senate floor.

Murkowski's measure is vehemently opposed by environmentalists who say the EPA's decision to regulate greenhouse gases is based on scientific research.

"I believe it's ridiculous for politicians - elected senators - to make this scientific decision. It is not our expertise," replied Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "We've got to stop this attack on science and health."


Filed under: Barbara Boxer • Energy • Environmental policy • EPA • Lisa Murkowski • Senate
June 8th, 2010
07:58 PM ET
4 years ago

Alaska senator moves to strip EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases

 Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski vowed Tuesday to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to impose new limits on the emission of greenhouse gases.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski vowed Tuesday to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to impose new limits on the emission of greenhouse gases.

Washington (CNN) - Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski vowed Tuesday to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to impose new limits on the emission of greenhouse gases.

The Senate on Thursday is expected vote on a "resolution of disapproval" by Murkowski that would prevent the EPA from further regulating air pollution from vehicles and industrial facilities.

Murkowski has the bipartisan support of 40 other senators, who may disagree with each other on the scientific impact of greenhouse gases, but who all agree that such regulations should be authorized by Congress, not an executive agency.

"The EPA intends to take control of climate policy, take it away from the Congress," Murkowski said at a press conference with eleven of her fellow Republican senators. "And I think those that are looking at this from the perspective of separate but equal branches of government look at this and say that this is absolutely unacceptable."

It is unclear whether there is enough support in the Senate to approve the measure, but its prospects in the House are slim. Regardless, the White House on Tuesday issued a veto threat if it makes it to President Obama's desk.

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Filed under: Environmental policy • EPA • Lisa Murkowski
May 12th, 2010
02:31 PM ET
4 years ago

Top senators introduce comprehensive energy bill

 Sens. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts (left), and Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut (right), introduced a sweeping energy and climate change bill Wednesday.
Sens. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts (left), and Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut (right), introduced a sweeping energy and climate change bill Wednesday.

Washington (CNN) - Two leading senators on Wednesday introduced a sweeping energy and climate change bill intended to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions while reshaping the energy sector for the 21st century.

Sens. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, and Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut who sits with the Democratic caucus, said the proposal offered a broad-based approach that would end the nation's dependence on foreign oil while keeping U.S. industry competitive.

The bill addresses a range of energy issues including expanded nuclear power production, incentives for the coal industry to seek cleaner methods, money to develop alternative energy sources and programs to help U.S. industry in the transition to a low-carbon system.

On climate change, the bill seeks escalating reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in coming decades that match the levels set as goals by the Obama administration and contained in a separate House energy bill passed last year.

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Filed under: Energy • Environmental policy • Joe Lieberman • John Kerry
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