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Energy & Climate Archive

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Administration and Farmers Clash Over More Precise Clean Water Act Regulations

The Obama administration has found itself in a public brawl with farmers over a proposed rule that would more precisely define what land the Clean Water Act regulates.

China Is a Big Variable in the LNG Market

While Asian markets for liquefied natural gas are expected to grow, with increased shipments to Southeast Asia and India, future demand in China is highly variable, according to market analysts.

U.S. Natural Gas Exports Could Change Market

Some members of Congress continue to push for increased exports of liquefied natural gas, trying to make a simplified narrative out of complex market factors.

House Climate Hearing: The Real Story | Commentary

Continuing their assault on Obama administration efforts to protect public health and fight climate change, House Republicans are staging a show-trial on Tuesday, giving voice to naysayers from around the country who are predicting doom and gloom.

How to Bridge the Centrifuge Gap With Iran | Commentary

One of the major sticking points in the P5+1 negotiations with Iran is the number of centrifuges Iran should be permitted to have as part of a domestic uranium enrichment capability. It currently has approximately 20,000 IR-1 centrifuges, about 9,000 of which are currently installed. The Rouhani administration has reportedly been negotiating for upward of 50,000 and the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recently stated that Iran would need 190,000 in the coming years as it expanded its ostensible civilian nuclear power program. The Obama administration has reportedly maintained the position that Iran must reduce this number to the hundreds or low thousands.

As LNG Export Applications Languish at DOE, Time to Embrace Congressional Action | Commentary

Following the Department of Energy’s finalization of its updated procedure for reviewing applications to export liquefied natural gas to countries without free trade agreements, the DOE now will only consider applications that have met the requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act before rendering a final decision. Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz noted to Roll Call that any further changes to the regulatory oversight of LNG export applications would have to come from congressional action. Acknowledging that export applicants have already been subjected to a moratorium on review, the compilation of multiple economic reports, two public comment periods, the creation of an “order of precedence” and now a full scale change in approval policy, several members of Congress have been spurred into action to address the regulatory process at the DOE.

Divestment-Investment Can Break Congressional Gridlock on Climate Change | Commentary

Once the lone province of climate scientists, the chorus warning of the costs of inaction on climate change grows larger daily, from former United States Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who warned Washington this summer of the coming climate bubble, to Desmond Tutu, who has urged institutions to divest from fossil fuels. Even the U.S. Congress, the week before August recess, introduced two big climate-related bills (in the House) and held four hearings on climate change. The tide is clearly shifting.

Message to EPA: Don't Quit While We're Ahead | Commentary

When I was younger, I competed on a swim team and spent most of my free time training. I learned a lot from that experience, but what stuck with me is that winning or losing began with a good training plan — and sticking to it. Sure, our team had tough three-hour practices and occasional progress plateaus, but executing the plan resulted in more wins than losses.

A Veteran's Perspective: Congress Must Not Threaten Climate Leadership | Commentary

I joined the military so I could serve my country and defend the values that define the American way of life. Active leadership of the United States on the world stage has proven essential to solving the great global challenges of the past.

Caging the Captive Tiger Problem | Commentary

If your neighbor has a tiger in his backyard, he might not have to tell you.

Lessons Congress Can Learn From Australia's Carbon Tax Debacle | Commentary

For the past few years, Australia has been lauded by environmentalists as an example other countries should emulate. The adulation began in 2012, when the country enacted its “carbon tax” — a $21.50 charge (in U.S. dollars), increasing annually, on each ton of carbon dioxide emitted by the country’s power plants. Australia’s list of admirers extended all the way to the White House, where President Barack Obama described the country’s actions as “good for the world.”

Finding a Destination for Condensate Exports

As the Commerce Department moves to allow companies to export mildly processed ultralight oil known as condensate, is there a global market? Yes, and it is principally in Asia, experts say.

Whatever It Is, Crude Export Policy Is Shifting

Despite soaring U.S. oil production in recent years, the prospect of relaxing the 1970s ban on crude oil exports has looked as faint as ever. Last week, though, it was a central subject at an Energy Department conference.

Prescott Grant May Leave Marine Mammals Stranded | Commentary

At Tuesday’s congressional briefing on marine mammal strandings, Congressmen William Keating, D-Mass., and Jared Huffman, D-Calif., spoke to approximately 80 congressional staffers and others about how crucial The John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program is for conducting important marine mammal rescue work and government-mandated research not only for their states, but nationwide.

New EPA Clean Air Rule Is a Moral Imperative for Future Generations | Commentary

While many of my colleagues are focused on the endless and overheated political debate surrounding the newly proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule on reducing carbon emissions, when you remove the rhetoric and weigh the plain facts, this decision rests on two primary questions: (1) What kind of planet will we leave to future generations? (2) Do we have the backbone to put public health ahead of profit?

EPA's Backyard Blitz Imperiled | Commentary

President Ronald Reagan once said our “government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” Twenty-eight years later, anyone who cashes a paycheck, files their taxes, picks up the local newspaper or turns on the TV knows these words ring true just as they did in 1986.

EPA Proposes Radical Regulatory Agenda | Commentary

The Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to expand its regulatory reach across the U.S. represents a regrettable trend. Under the Obama administration, the EPA has issued regulations that are far more costly and more intrusive than under any previous administration.

Advocates See Hope in Plan to Raise Federal Gas Tax To Keep Highway Trust Fund Going

Raising the federal gasoline tax has been a goal of many transportation policy and industry analysts, though they sometimes roll their eyes when they talk about it or smile ruefully. One lobbyist describes it as a glowing ember, carefully nurtured for years in the hopes that it could someday spark a change.

Drill More, Produce More, Pay More? | Commentary

In recent months, the petroleum industry has boasted about U.S. crude oil production reaching its highest level in more than a quarter-century. But what they fail to note is that increased domestic drilling has done nothing to ease the pain at the pump for American families.

Having Trouble Swallowing the EPA Greenhouse Gas Rules? Just Add Bacon | Commentary

Comparing energy storage to the Holy Grail has always bothered me; it has never been clear that the grail could be, would be or had been found. Bacon, however, is another thing entirely.

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