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Energy & Climate Archive

Inspector General Sees Shortfalls in Permitting, Staffing for Oil Boom on American Indian Land

While fossil fuel production from federal lands and waters has been decreasing overall, oil production from American Indian lands has tripled in recent years. That increase is largely due to hydrofracturing on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, which lays on the oil-rich Bakken shale formation in the upper Midwest, the Energy Information Administration reported last month.

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North Dakota Looks to Extend Pipelines Through Tribal Land to Reduce Natural Gas Burn-Offs

While North Dakota takes steps to limit the volume of natural gas that is being burned off, or “flared,” in its rapidly expanding oil fields, the problem, which has caught the attention of Congress, is far worse on the state’s American Indian land — where regulation is more difficult.

A Fair Price for Extracting America's Resources | Commentary

Oil and gas companies are not paying their fair share for extracting our public resources.

Why Did the EPA Reverse Its Position on Renewable Fuels? | Commentary

In late 2013, the oil industry scored a major victory over ethanol producers when the Obama administration proposed decreasing the level of biofuel that must be blended into gasoline. A 2007 law supported by both the Bush and Obama administrations requires biofuels, such as ethanol, be blended into fuel supplies. Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency mandates the “renewable fuel standard” — the amount of biofuel that must be blended into fuel — and every year since the law was enacted, that amount has increased, never decreased.

Long-Term Climate Control Thwarted by Partisanship

President Barack Obama has called for a national commitment to controlling climate change, but the market approaches and limited regulatory measures the government has been capable of in the past won’t be able to deal with the problem fast enough to make much difference.

Obama's Playing Chicken With Manufacturing Comeback Using the EPA | Commentary

The Obama administration has taken its latest step away from the “all-of-the-above” energy strategy the president has professed to support.

Expanded Clean Water Act Rules Hurt Small Business | Commentary

Congress passed the Clean Water Act more than four decades ago to safeguard our nation’s major waterways. These rivers and other bodies of water are sources for drinking water and transportation, known as “navigable waters.” In my northern Missouri district, situated between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, healthy rivers are absolutely essential to the local economy and farm communities.

Embracing Healthier Communities Through Clean Energy | Commentary

When it comes to choosing the right energy to power America’s communities and economies, it’s safe to say that most Americans, if given the option, would choose an energy source much like they might choose a neighborhood in which to buy a home. Cleanliness becomes a factor, as does the overall health of the neighborhood, but so too the sustainability of the community: Will it thrive and will the local housing market be healthy enough to profitably sell at some point?

Pesticide Ban Is Just One Piece of Honeybee Puzzle

Neonicotinoids were first introduced in the 1990s, and are now the most used synthetic pesticides in the world.

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Congress Wants to Save Honeybees by Banning Some Pesticides

They’re small and operate behind the scenes, but they’re critical to agriculture — and Congress is starting to notice.

White House Deal With Carlyle Group Confuses Obama's Commitment to Fighting Climate Change | Commentary

On Monday, under orders from President Barack Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency issued new guidelines targeting plants that burn coal to produce electricity. The proposal is meant to reduce carbon emissions — the main cause of climate change — over the next two decades.

Obama Will Approve Keystone, for Hillary's Sake | Commentary

The failure of the Senate earlier this month to consider an energy bill likely puts to rest, at least for this year, the prospect of Congressional action mandating approval the Keystone XL pipeline. But President Barack Obama should hardly feel he’s dodged a bullet. Repeated delays in making a decision on Keystone have freshened criticism from both left and right that the president is indecisive to a fault.

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Waxman Pushes Congress to Address 'Modern American Tragedy' of Contaminated Navajo Land

Much of the uranium for Cold War weapons and the nation’s once-burgeoning nuclear power industry was mined on or near Navajo land in Arizona and New Mexico, and it left behind contamination.

Decades Later, Contamination Still Pervades Navajo Land

On July 16, 1979, the earthen dam at the southern holding pond, or cell, of the United Nuclear Corporation’s uranium mill in New Mexico failed, sending tons of contaminated mine tailings and millions of gallons of acidic liquid into an adjoining arroyo and down the Puerco River.

The Critical Infrastructure Protection Act | Commentary

On Thursday, May 8 at 2 p.m., in Cannon 311, my expert colleagues and I testified in an open hearing on the threat of electromagnetic pulse to critical infrastructures. The hearing will prepare members of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies to consider a vitally important bill, arguably the most important bill before this Congress — the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (HR 3410) — that would prepare the nation for a natural or nuclear EMP catastrophe.

The Women Shaping Our Energy Future | Commentary

As Congress considers important energy issues this spring, female legislators are at the forefront of the debate. For the first time in the nation’s history, women serve in the top two leadership positions on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., is chairwoman, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is ranking member, and they are steering legislation that sets the nation’s energy policies to promote sustainability, security and growth.

Focus on Biofuels Is Key to Renewable Energy Success | Commentary

I’ve always known where President Barack Obama stood on the issue of renewable fuels. He has consistently voiced his strong support going back to his days in the Senate, and he has continued that support in the White House. In a speech at an advanced biofuel refinery in Missouri on April 28, 2010, he summed up his position like this:

EPA Wetlands Rule Makes Fiscal Sense | Commentary

The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently announced a proposed rule to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act as it relates to wetlands and other important watershed features.

The Magnuson Act: It's a Keeper | Commentary

Healthy oceans and well-managed fisheries improve coastal economies, enhance recreational fishing opportunities and provide fresh, local seafood to consumers. And while many fisheries around the world are in serious decline, the United States benefits from one of the most sustainable and profitable fisheries management systems in the world. It is a system that is built on sound science and incorporates strong local input from fishermen and others. Under current law, our management practices are rebuilding many depleted stocks of fish and ensuring a sustainable fishing future for fishing communities long struggling with a variety of economic and environmental challenges.

LNG Exports: An Opportunity for America | Commentary

Last week, in a welcome display of bipartisan achievement, the House Energy & Commerce Committee reported HR 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, to the House floor. The bill, as amended by the Committee, demonstrated significant compromise, and the Committee’s bipartisan action sends a message to the rest of the world of growing Congressional support for the United States re-emergence as a global energy leader. In light of the mounting support for accelerated liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, the House and Senate must now take action on this bill to accelerate the permitting of LNG export applications.

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