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Saudi-U.S. ties will be under scrutiny again when 79-year-old King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud makes an expected visit to Washington next month, his first since ascending to the throne. (Associated Press)

Saudi royals’ grasp on power threatened by sharp drop in oil prices

- The Washington Times

The sharp drop in oil prices is starting to bite for the world’s longtime top oil-producing nation, Saudi Arabia, and could threaten the seemingly unshakable social contract that has seen the kingdom’s royal family rule for nearly a century with almost no opposition or oversight from the nation’s masses.

President Obama said he wanted inspections "anywhere, anytime" of Iran's nuclear facilities to ensure Tehran is adhering to terms of the deal. But the actual agreement? Iran gets 24 days' notice of inspections of suspicious sites. A secret side deal allows Tehran's own inspectors to check a military site where work on nuclear weapons was thought to have been carried out. (Associated Press)

Iran nuke deal erases Obama’s red lines

- The Washington Times

From allowing Iran to keep enriching uranium to abandoning “anywhere, anytime” inspections of Tehran’s nuclear facilities, the Obama administration has crossed many of its own red lines in the nuclear deal that will lift tough economic sanctions on America’s longtime adversary.

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This aerial photo shows reactors of No. 1, right, and No. 2, left, at the Sendai Nuclear Power Station in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima prefecture, southern Japan, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015. Kyushu Electric Power Co. said Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, it had restarted the No. 1 reactor at its Sendai nuclear plant as planned. The restart marks Japan's return to nuclear energy four-and-half-years after the 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan following an earthquake and tsunami.(Kyodo News via AP)

Japan restarts reactor after break due to Fukushima

- Associated Press

A power plant operator in southern Japan restarted a nuclear reactor on Tuesday, the first to begin operating under new safety requirements following the Fukushima disaster.

Illustration: Nuclear waste

Katie Tubb: Let nuclear industry, not bureaucracy, manage spent fuel

America has a growing nuclear waste problem -- and it's all the government's fault. By law, the Department of Energy is supposed to collect spent nuclear fuel and deposit it at Nevada's Yucca Mountain. Nuclear power customers in 33 states have paid billions of dollars into a federal fund to finance this service. Yet the DOE has never collected a single ounce of spent fuel. Indeed, the Yucca Mountain facility still isn't open for business.

President Barack Obama arrives before making a statement after touring Everglades National Park on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Florida. Obama used the visit  to warn of the damage that climate change is already inflicting on the nation's environmental treasures. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

EPA talked privately with green groups on carbon cuts, Senate panel says

- The Washington Times

The Obama administration gave leading environmental activists unprecedented access and influence as the Environmental Protection Agency crafted rules limiting carbon emissions from power plants, a Senate committee charged Tuesday in a report that raises new questions about the president's climate change agenda.

Jacob Lew says U.S. will still curb Iran economy if nuclear deal passes

- The Washington Times

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Wednesday the Obama administration intends to "redouble" its efforts to target Iranian government support for terrorism and regional destabilization activities — even as nuclear sanctions on Tehran are being lifted under the major accord reached with world powers this month.

FILE - In this March 16, 2011, file photo, exhaust rises from smokestacks in front of piles of coal in Thompsons, Texas. A federal appeals court on Tuesday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to relax some limits it set on smokestack emissions that cross state lines and taint downwind areas with air pollution from power plants they can't control.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Obama ordered to rewrite pollution rules

- The Washington Times

President Obama's environmental agenda suffered another loss in court Tuesday when a federal appeals panel ordered the administration to rewrite rules limiting cross-state pollution.

Syed Tariq Fatemi, special assistant on foreign affairs to Pakistan's prime minister, said his country is in constant contact with Iran about prospects for commercial ties. (Associated Press)

Pakistan banking on Iran trade bonanza after Obama nuclear deal

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: The lifting of economic sanctions on Iran will open "massive trade" opportunities for Pakistan and could effectively transform the energy markets of South Asia by paving the way for a long-awaited gas pipeline across the Iranian-Pakistani border, said a top Pakistani diplomat, expressing his nation's deep hope that the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Tehran goes into effect as soon as possible.

FILE - This Sept. 30, 2014 file photo shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station operated by Talen Energy in southeastern Montana. Coal companies and their supporters scored a courtroom victory with a U.S. Supreme Court decision that said the Obama administration failed to take potential costs into account when it decided to regulate toxic emissions from many power plants, Monday, June 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

Obama targets coal industry with new water regulations

- The Washington Times

In the latest clash between the Obama administration and the U.S. coal industry, the Interior Department on Thursday released stringent new regulations requiring companies to monitor water quality and plant trees and vegetation in the area around mining sites.

In this March 31, 2015, photo, a supply vessel crosses an oil sheen drifting from the site of the former Taylor Energy oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana. Capitol Hill lawmakers from Louisiana have intervened on behalf of Taylor Energy Company that has failed to stop a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico but lobbied for a refund of money reserved for spill containment work, according to letters obtained by The Associated Press through public records requests. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File

Lawmakers back company responsible for decade-old Gulf leak

- Associated Press

Capitol Hill lawmakers from Louisiana have intervened on behalf of a New Orleans company that has failed to stop a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico but lobbied for a refund of money reserved for spill containment work, according to letters obtained by The Associated Press through public records requests.