New York (CNNMoney) - For the third year in a row energy played a central role in President Obama's State of the Union address, with the president leaning hard this year on the twin themes of increased domestic oil and gas production and the need to invest more in renewable sources.
"Right now, American oil production is the highest that it's been in eight years," said Obama. "Not only that - last year, we relied less on foreign oil than in any of the past sixteen years."
(CNN) - The Obama administration rejected a bid to expand the controversial Keystone oil sands pipeline Wednesday, saying the deadline imposed by congress did not leave sufficient time to conduct the necessary review.
"The Department does not have sufficient time to obtain the information necessary to assess whether the project, in its current state, is in the national interest," the State Department said in a statement.
New York (CNNMoney) - Bowing to public pressure, the Obama administration said Thursday it will delay a decision on the controversial Keystone oil sands pipeline expansion until at least 2013.
Citing concern over the proposed route through Nebraska's Sand Hills region and over the Ogallala Aquifer, the State Department said it needs more time to study the issues and look at possible alternative routes.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - You may want to consider investing in some good shock absorbers for your car this fall.
Fresh from blocking any new tax increases during the debt ceiling debacle, some lawmakers in Congress may now oppose renewing the federal tax on gasoline and diesel fuel, which is used to maintain our nations highways.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Lawmakers ripped into BP chief Tony Hayward on Thursday, accusing him of being ill-prepared for congressional testimony and not cooperating with an investigation into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
In Hayward's first congressional appearance since the April 20 disaster, lawmakers wanted to know if BP had cut corners in an effort to save money in the run up to the explosion.
Questions during the 7-1/2 hour hearing, which included two recesses, focused on the well's design and the measures taken while BP was attempting to seal it before it exploded.
"Did BP make a fundamental misjudgment" in using one long piece of well casing instead of many shorter pieces, as other oil companies said they would have done, asked Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.
"I wasn't involved in that decision," replied Hayward, saying that the single piece was better for the well's long-term stability.
Waxman produced transcripts from BP's engineers saying that the single casing was "unlikely to be successful." Waxman said BP went ahead with it anyway to save $7 to $10 million.
Hayward said he was "not prepared to draw conclusions about this accident until the investigation is complete."
"This is an investigation," said Waxman. "Are you cooperating with other investigations? Because they're going to have a hard time reaching a conclusion if you stonewall them, which it appears you are doing today."
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Lawmakers tore in to administration officials Tuesday, saying the law that may limit BP's liability for economic damages to $75 million needs to be changed retroactively.
"A year from now the TV cameras will not be there, and some fisherman will go try to get damages from BP, a multibillion dollar company," Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing. "He won't stand a chance."
Representatives from the Obama administration said they support eliminating the cap on liabilities for large operations, but do not feel it's needed retroactively.
BP's public comments that it will not seek protection under the cap, plus the uncertainty that the cap would apply in the BP case anyway, makes a retroactive change unnecessary, the administration said.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Despite the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, the government is under pressure to issue new permits for offshore drilling as early as next week.
Permits to drill offshore were suspended last month pending an Interior Department safety review after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drill rig that left 11 workers dead and an uncapped oil well spewing millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf.
The safety review is due this Friday, and the Obama administration will use it to help decide when and how drilling should resume.
New York (CNNMoney.com) – The three oil companies primarily involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill blamed each other Tuesday for the accident last month that left 11 workers dead and oil still spewing into the Gulf.
At a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, BP, the well's owner and lead operator of the project, sought to turn attention to Transocean, which had a contract to drill the well for BP using its Deepwater Horizon drill rig.
"Transocean, as owner and operator of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, had responsibility for the safety of drilling operations," said Lamar McKay, chairman and president of BP America.
In particular, McKay drew attention to the valve that was supposed to shut off the well in case of an accident. The valve, known as a blowout preventer (BOP), is owned by Transocean.
New York (CNNMoney.com) – The Obama administration took the first concrete steps Thursday to make good on its pledge to halt new offshore drilling projects, suspending the approval process for new wells off of the Virginia coast.
The Minerals Management Service, part of the Interior Department and the agency charged with issuing new drilling leases, had scheduled three public hearings in Virginia this month to solicit public comment about new wells off of the state's coast.
The agency said on Thursday that these meetings are now suspended indefinitely, pending a government safety review of offshore drilling.
The process was halted "so that information from the ongoing review of outer continental shelf safety issues that the President has directed can be appropriately considered in those meetings," according to an MMS statement.
A huge device intended to cap part of the seeping oil well left port Wednesday in the Gulf Coast region. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
New York (CNNMoney.com) - The Gulf oil spill is going to cost billions to clean up, a tab BP has publicly pledged to pay in full.
But thanks to the unpredictable nature of the oil slick and the legal maze surrounding maritime law, what BP will pay and to whom is very much an open question.
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