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Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with local officials in Voronezh, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Putin says he has ordered the government to develop measures in response to Western sanctions. In a meeting with state officials in the city of Voronezh on Tuesday, did not specify what the measures might be but said: "I have given the order today to formulate them," Russian news agencies reported. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti,  Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service)

Oil giants sidestep sanctions, keep drilling with Russia

- The Washington Times

The West’s major oil companies have been seamlessly sidestepping sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and European Union, for the most part pressing full speed ahead on joint ventures to drill for oil and gas with sanctioned Russian companies and executives.

FILE -  In this May 1, 2009 file photo, offshore oil drilling platform 'Gail' operated by Venoco, Inc., is shown off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a new rule on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 requiring oil and gas companies to report chemicals discharged off the Southern California coast from hydraulic fracturing. The rule goes into effect on March 1, 2014.  (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

Greens split with Obama on Atlantic drilling moves

- The Washington Times

Environmental groups and lawmakers have heaped praise on President Obama’s plans to limit carbon emissions from power plants, but the two sides are at odds over his early moves to open the Atlantic Ocean to offshore drilling for the first time in 30 years, The Hill reported.

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** FILE **  The advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has put Iraq's Mosul Dam, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad at risk. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed, File)

Iraqi militants seize country's largest dam

- Associated Press

Sunni militants from the Islamic State group on Thursday seized Iraq's largest dam, placing them in control of enormous power and water resources and access to the river that runs through the heart of Baghdad.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks during the annual Fancy Farm picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky., Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014. A fundraiser for a small Roman Catholic church in western Kentucky, the two-day picnic in the tiny town of Fancy Farm is a throwback to the days before television, when stump speeches were the candidates' main vehicle to reach voters. (AP Photo/Stephen Lance Dennee)

McConnell courts coal country votes

- Associated Press

Campaigning in coal country, Sen. Mitch McConnell pinned the loss of thousands of Kentucky mining jobs on President Barack Obama's Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday and said his Democratic election rival would be a vote to continue them in Congress.

FILE- This April 26, 2013 file photo shows the West Hercules drilling rig in the Skaanevik fjord in western Norway. Norway's government controlled Statoil oil company reported Thursday Aug. 7, 2014, that it has not found any commercial quantities of oil and gas at the northernmost wells it has drilled in the Arctic region, ending the exploration campaign for this year without indicating if drilling would resume next year. (AP Photo/Scanpix, Statoil, FILE)

Norway's Statoil comes up dry at Arctic wells

- Associated Press

Norway's Statoil ASA has found no commercial quantities of oil and gas at the northernmost wells it has ever drilled in the Arctic, the government-controlled company said Thursday.

FILE - This Sept. 4, 2011, file photo shows the main plant facility at the Navajo Generating Station, as seen from Lake Powell in Page, Ariz. The federal government has come up with a final version of a rule meant to cut haze-causing emissions from the largest coal-fired power plant in the West. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision Monday, July 28, 2014, reflects a compromise by tribal and federal officials, environmental groups and the owners of the Navajo Generating Station, which is on track to cease operations in 2044. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

NRG to close Illinois coal plant in clean-air move

Associated Press

An energy company has announced plans to close one Illinois coal-fired power plant and convert another to natural gas to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The company says the move will eliminate 250 jobs.

Oil boom and housing bust alter US spending trends

- Associated Press

Consumer spending has soared since the Great Recession ended five years ago in U.S. states with oil and gas drilling booms and has lagged in states hit especially hard by the housing bust.

Ethanol could stymie Cruz, Paul's 2016 Iowa ambitions

- The Washington Times

Sens. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, and Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, are making the rounds in Iowa as they weigh bids for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. However, their opposition to a federal ethanol mandate may pose problems in the corn-rich state's first-in-the-nation caucus, The Hill reports.

In this Dec. 23, 2013 photograph, Encana Corp., contractors work on a drilling rig in Amite County Supervisor Max Lawson's back pasture in Gillsburg, Miss. After a little more than two-years waiting to see if additional oil work would be done on a gravel pad, Lawson recalls the convoy of about 200 trucks bring the drilling rig and other gear to his property in late 2013. Oil companies plan a big increase in drilling activity in 2014 in southwest Mississippi. They're trying to extract oil from a formation called the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale, which one study says could hold 7 billion barrels. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Environmental group limits ties to shale center

- Associated Press

Another environmental group has distanced itself from the Pittsburgh-based Center for Sustainable Shale Development, a hotly-debated partnership of major energy companies, green groups and foundations.

** FILE ** Donald Crabtree, a Tennessee Valley Authority project manager from Stevenson, Ala., leads a media tour around the old Bowling Green, Ky., power plant on Power Street, which was torn down to allow for TVA expansion, on Wednesday Nov. 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Daily News, Alex Slitz)

TVA to cut more than 2,000 jobs

Associated Press

The nation's largest public utility is eliminating more than 2,000 jobs as part of a $500 million cost-cutting campaign.

FILE - This Nov. 6, 2013 file photo shows a warning placard on a tank car carrying crude oil near a loading terminal in Trenton, N.D. Thousands of older rail tank cars that carry crude oil would be phased out within two years under regulations proposed in response to a series of fiery train crashes over the past year. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the government's testing of crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana shows the oil is on the high end of a range of volatility compared with other crude oils, meaning it's more likely to ignite if spilled. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

Industry: ND oil no more volatile than others

Associated Press

North Dakota oil officials presented state regulators an industry-funded report Wednesday that says Bakken oil is no more dangerous to transport by rail than other crudes and fuels.

President Barack Obama speaks at the US Africa Business Forum during the US Africa Leaders Summit, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington. African heads of state are gathering in Washington for an unprecedented summit to promote business development. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

DRIESSEN: Holding Big Green accountable

Few Americans can imagine life without reliable, affordable electricity – for lights, refrigerators, air conditioning, computers, and countless other technologies that enhance and safeguard our lives. But in Africa, India and other regions some 2.5 billion people still lack electricity or must rely on little solar panels on their huts, a wind turbine in their village or unreliable power grids.

Illustration on African electricity needs by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

An Obama switch for African electricity

One of the greatest challenges facing developing nations, including those in Africa, is a lack of affordable, reliable electricity.