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One year after the BP spill: What's changed and what hasn't

April 20, 2011 One year ago Wednesday, BP's Macondo well exploded and spilled what ended up being approximately 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It was the worst spill ever in U.S. waters, far eclipsing the 53 million gallons spilled when the Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground in 1989. ...

Interior: Cape wind approval sends a signal

April 19, 2011 A controversial offshore wind farm project in Massachusetts' Nantucket Sound could begin construction as soon as this fall, after clearing a major regulatory hurdle on Tuesday. Top Interior Department officials approved the construction and operating plan for Cape Wind, and underscored the signal this approval will send to other offshore ...

Administration issues new coal leases amid uncertain policy landscape

March 23, 2011 Interior Secretary Ken Salazar trekked to Wyoming on Tuesday to announce major new coal leases in the state. Yet there are no plans to build new coal-fired power plants there because of the uncertainty surrounding the Obama administration's climate-change regulations. The coal from the leases will be used to generate ...

First post-spill deep-water drilling permit approved

March 1, 2011 The Obama administration approved on Monday the first deep-water drilling permit in the Gulf of Mexico since it banned the practice in light of last year's massive BP oil spill. The permit is going to Noble Energy, an independent oil and gas company that operates in the Gulf's deep waters ...

House Republicans pressure Obama on drilling permits

February 24, 2011 House Republicans are pressuring the Interior Department to more quickly issue drilling permits in light of an industry-run report that found oil companies can safely operate in deep water. In a letter to President Obama, 51 members of the House GOP play up the report, which was conducted by the ...

House spending bill's deep cuts to EPA set negotiating point with Senate

February 22, 2011 The House spending bill that passed on Saturday slashes $3 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency's fiscal 2011 budget and blocks the agency from enacting carbon emission regulations through the end of September. But that's just the beginning. More than a dozen amendments passed throughout the week make deep cuts ...

Interior, oil industry cope with strained relationship

February 18, 2011 The Obama administration and the oil and gas industry have a reluctant symbiotic relationship. The government reaps billions of dollars in revenue every year from companies producing oil and gas in federal waters and on federal lands. And the industry needs the government to ensure a timely, smooth permitting process ...

Energy chief says House GOP spending bill threatens nuclear security

February 16, 2011 Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Wednesday that the House Republicans' spending bill could jeopardize the country's nuclear security if enacted. "The CR [continuing resolution] the House has been discussing would have adverse impact on the department, significant adverse impact," Chu said Wednesday after testifying to the Senate Energy and Natural ...

Energy Department budget holds major cuts

February 11, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow President Obama's proposed 2012 budget for the Energy Department slashes spending for hydrogen and fossil fuel research programs by almost 50 percent and shutters parts of two national labs, according to a fact sheet on the department's budget obtained by National Journal. "Fiscal responsibility demands shared sacrifice - it means ...

Energy budget holds major cuts

February 11, 2011 President Obama's proposed 2012 budget for the Energy Department slashes spending for hydrogen and fossil fuel research programs by almost 50 percent and shutters parts of two national labs, according to a fact sheet on Energy's budget obtained by National Journal. "Fiscal responsibility demands shared sacrifice -- it means cutting ...