Saturday, August 8, 2020

Barack Obama News

US Considering Sanctions Over Nord Stream 2

Pipelaying operations underway (© Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt)

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he was considering sanctions over Russia's Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project -- which the United States has told European companies to avoid -- and warned Germany against being dependent on Russia for the fuel."We're protecting Germany from Russia and Russia is getting billions and billions of dollars from Germany," Trump told reporters at an appearance with Polish President Andrzej Duda at the White House.Nord Stream 2, a 760-mile (1,225-km) pipeline project to ship gas from Russia under the Baltic Sea to Germany…

US Judge Halts Keystone XL Oil Pipeline

Photo: TransCanada Corp

A U.S. judge in Montana has halted construction of the Keystone XL pipeline designed to carry heavy crude oil from Canada to the United States, drawing a sharp rebuke on Friday from President Donald Trump.The ruling of a U.S. Court in Montana late on Thursday dealt a major setback to TransCanada Corp, whose stock dropped 2 percent in Toronto. Shares of companies that would ship oil on the pipeline also fell.TransCanada said in a statement it remains committed to building the $8 billion, 1…

Trump Administration Proposes Rolling Back Obama's Clean Power Plan

© Snap Happy / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration on Tuesday proposed replacing the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of former President Barack Obama's regulatory efforts to combat climate change.The proposal released by the Environmental Protection Agency is now open for a public comment period. A final EPA rule is expected later this year.The effort to re-write the plan is the latest move by the EPA under President Donald Trump, a Republican, to roll back environmental protections put in place by Obama, Trump's…

Federal Judge Orders Keystone XL Pipeline Review

File Image: Adobestock / © Berkut34

A federal judge in Montana on Wednesday ordered the U.S. State Department to do a full environmental review of a revised route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, possibly delaying the project's construction and dealing the latest setback for Canada's TransCanada Corp.For more than a decade, environmentalists, tribal groups, and ranchers have fought the $8-billion, 1,180-mile (1,900-km) pipeline that will carry heavy crude to Steele City, Nebraska from Canada's oilsands in Alberta.U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris ruled for the Indigenous Environmental Network and other plaintiffs…

US Sees Little Impact from Keystone XL Pipeline's Planned Route

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The Keystone XL crude oil pipeline project cleared a hurdle on Monday as the Trump administration said in a draft environmental assessment that an alternative route through Nebraska would not do major harm to water and wildlife.The State Department's assessment of a plan for an alternative route through Nebraska submitted by TransCanada Corp, the company trying to complete the pipeline, said Keystone XL's cumulative effects would be "minor to moderate" on issues including water and biological resources.It said the pipeline would have only minor impacts on cultural resources…

Europe's Iranian Oil Purchases Set to Plummet

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Leeylutung)

Key lender for Europe's oil purchases cuts credit from June 30. European refiners are cutting purchases of Iranian oil faster than expected as the U.S. prepares to reimpose sanctions on Iran, threatening a more severe impact than the last round of punitive measures in 2012 even though the EU has not joined in. Washington said that companies would have to wind down their activities with Iran by November 4 or risk exclusion from the U.S. financial system. Following President Barack Obama's sanctions in 2012, Europe imposed its own Iran oil ban.

Global Oil Supply Robust Enough to Cut Iran's Exports -Trump Memo

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Global oil supplies are plentiful enough to withstand a "significant reduction" in petroleum exports from Iran, according to a White House memo issued on Monday as the Trump administration prepares to reimpose sanctions on the OPEC member nation.The memo, sent by the White House to the U.S. State Department, paves the way for U.S. efforts to curb Iranian oil exports after Washington's decision to pull out of the 2015 deal between Iran and six world powers curbing Tehran's nuclear program.It…

Energy Summit Climate Discussion Becomes Contentious

The U.S. energy secretary blasted renewable fuels champions on Wednesday while the head of Royal Dutch Shell urged the energy sector to focus on world efforts to cut carbon emissions, revealing a yawning trans-Atlantic gap on climate issues. Speaking at the CERAWeek conference by IHS Markit in Houston, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden outlined an ambitious plan to reduce the Anglo-Dutch company's carbon footprint and expand in renewables, and called on others to follow. "The energy landscape is changing fast. So we must change, where change is what the world needs," van Beurden said. He spoke after U.S.

U.S. Considers Venezuela Oil Sanctions

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The Trump administration is considering sanctioning a Venezuelan military-run oil services company and restricting insurance coverage for Venezuelan oil shipments to ratchet up pressure on socialist President Nicolas Maduro, a U.S. official said. With Maduro running for another term in an April election that Washington and its allies oppose as a sham, the United States is weighing sanctions that would target Venezuela’s vital oil sector beyond what has been done before, the official told Reuters on Wednesday. Some measures could come before the vote and others could be imposed afterwards.

Trump Aims to Open Nearly All US Offshore to Oil Drilling

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The Trump administration on Thursday proposed opening nearly all U.S. offshore waters to oil and gas drilling, a move aimed at boosting domestic energy production that sparked protests from coastal states, environmentalists and the tourism industry. The effort to open previously off-limits acreage in the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific oceans comes less than eight years after BP Plc's Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - the largest in American history. The disaster caused billions of dollars in economic damage and led former President Barack Obama's to increase regulation of the industry.

Keystone's Spill Assessment Scrutinized

TransCanada Corp's existing Keystone pipeline has leaked substantially more oil, and more often, in the United States than indicated in risk assessments the company provided to regulators before the project began operating in 2010, according to documents reviewed by Reuters. The Canadian company is now seeking to expand the pipeline system linking Alberta's oil fields to U.S. refineries with its proposed Keystone XL project, which has U.S. President Donald Trump's backing. The existing 2…

Big Gas Exporter Nations Blast Unilateral Sanctions in US Dig

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Representatives from a group of major energy-exporting nations on Friday said they oppose the use of unilateral sanctions on any of their members - an apparent dig at the United States for its moves against Russia, Iran and Venezuela. The Gas Exporting Countries Forum, which also includes members like Libya, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, expressed their "profound concern" about sanctions affecting the gas sector that are not authorized by the United Nations, according to a communique signed by GECF's 12 members after the group's summit in Bolivia this week. The U.S.

Nebraska Mulls Keystone Pipeline's Fate

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / Berkut 34)

Nebraska regulators will announce their decision on Monday on whether to approve TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL pipeline route through the state, the last big hurdle for the long-delayed project. Just days ago, TransCanada's existing Keystone system spilled 5,000 barrels in South Dakota and pipeline opponents said the spill highlighted the risks posed by the proposed XL expansion. The stakes are big. President Donald Trump, a Republican, has made Keystone XL’s success a plank in his effort to boost the U.S. energy industry.

Coal's Future Remains Uncertain

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carolyn Franks)

A year after Donald Trump was elected president on a promise to revive the ailing U.S. coal industry, the sector’s long-term prospects for growth and hiring remain as bleak as ever. A Reuters review of mining data shows an industry that has seen only modest gains in jobs and production this year - much of it from a temporary uptick in foreign demand for U.S. coal rather than presidential policy changes. U.S. utilities are shutting coal-fired power plants at a rapid pace and shifting to cheap natural gas, along with wind and solar power. And domestic demand makes up about 90 percent of the market for U.S.

U.S. DoJ to Prosecute Energy Activist Vandals

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Berkut 34)

The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday pledged to prosecute protesters who damage energy infrastructure in a move that could escalate tensions between climate activists and the administration of President Donald Trump. The DOJ said it was committed to vigorously prosecuting those who damage "critical energy infrastructure in violation of federal law." Attempts to "damage or shut down" pipelines deprive communities of services, and can put lives at risk, cost taxpayers millions of dollars, and threaten the environment, a department official said in a statement sent to Reuters.

Awaiting Trump's coal comeback, miners reject retraining

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When Mike Sylvester entered a career training center earlier this year in southwestern Pennsylvania, he found more than one hundred federally funded courses covering everything from computer programming to nursing. He settled instead on something familiar: a coal mining course. "I think there is a coal comeback,” said the 33-year-old son of a miner. Despite broad consensus about coal's bleak future, a years-long effort to diversify the economy of this hard-hit region away from mining is stumbling…

Perry: Obama Discriminated Against Coal, Nuclear Energy

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry (CREDIT: DoE)

The United States discriminated against the nuclear and coal industries under the administration of former President Barack Obama, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said on Wednesday. "Nuclear and coal ... Those two industries were discriminated against over the course of the last administration," Perry told reporters at an oil conference in Cape Town, when asked about a U.S. government directive to support ageing coal and nuclear plants. The directive would reward certain nuclear and coal-fired plants that store 90 days of fuel on site for contributing to the reliability of the national grid. U.S.

US Solar Industry's Growth Region: Trump Country

Solar Panel AdobeStock / (c) 孤飞的鹤

President Donald Trump's administration has vowed to revive the coal industry, challenged climate-change science and blasted renewable energy as expensive and dependent on government subsidies. And yet the solar power industry is booming across Trump country, fueled by falling development costs and those same subsidies, which many Republicans in Congress continue to support. Data provided to Reuters by GTM Research, a clean energy market information firm, shows that eight of the 10 fastest-growing U.S.

EPA Chief to Withdraw USA from Clean Power Plan

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Snap Happy)

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday he would sign a proposed rule on Tuesday withdrawing from the Clean Power Plan, former President Barack Obama's centerpiece regulation to fight climate change. "That rule really was about picking winners and losers," EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said, telling a crowd in Hazard, Kentucky, the previous administration had used regulators to tip the scales in the competition to generate electricity in the United States. "Regulatory power should not be used by any regulatory body to pick winners and losers," he said.

EPA May Not Replace Obama-era Climate Regs After Repeal

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not decided whether it will replace the Clean Power Plan - the centerpiece Obama-era climate change regulation - after it moves to repeal it, according to a draft of the proposal seen by Reuters on Friday. In the 43-page document, the EPA said the rule, introduced by former President Barack Obama in 2015 to curtail greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, was illegal. It aimed to cut emissions by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. "Under the interpretation proposed in this notice…