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Energy and Environment

The latest updates on energy and environment news, analysis and opinion covering energy policy and its impact on resources and climate.

Oil can be seen in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana's tip, as a large plume of smoke rises from fires on BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig in this April 2010 file photo. Deep-water drilling is set to resume near the site of the catastrophic BP PLC well blowout that killed 11 workers and caused the nation's largest offshore oil spill five years ago off the coast of Louisiana. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Plan OK'd to drill into BP's ill-fated Macondo reservoir

By Cain Burdeau - Associated Press

Deep-water drilling is set to resume near the site of the catastrophic BP PLC well blowout that killed 11 workers and caused the nation's largest offshore oil spill five years ago off the coast of Louisiana. Published May 13, 2015

Recent Stories

In this photo taken Monday, May 18, 2015, Gino Celli inspects wheat nearing harvest on his farm near Stockton, Calif. Celli, who farms 1,500 acres of land and manages another 7,000 acres, has senior water rights and draws his irrigation water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Drought-ridden California faces decision on new water cuts

- Associated Press

Farmers along the river delta at the heart of California agriculture expected to get an answer Friday on their surprise offer to give up a quarter of their water this year in exchange for being spared deeper mandatory cutbacks as California responds to the worsening drought.

A pelican covered in oil sits on a beach about a mile west of Refugio State Beach, Calif., Wednesday, May 20, 2015. A broken onshore pipeline spewed oil down a storm drain and into the ocean for several hours Tuesday before it was shut off. (Kenneth Song/The News-Press via AP)

Thousands of gallons of oil sopped up from California coast

- Associated Press

More than 7,700 gallons of oil has been raked, skimmed and vacuumed from a spill that stretched across 9 miles of California coast, just a fraction of the sticky, stinking goo that escaped from a broken pipeline, officials said.

In this June 25, 2012, file photo, a crew works on a gas drilling rig at a well site for shale based natural gas in Zelienople, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

Judge temporarily halts fracking approvals in North Carolina

- Associated Press

A judge has halted the approval of fracking operations in North Carolina until a higher court weighs in on the legality of the appointment of several boards that manage state resources and the environment.

An oil slick from a broken pipeline is seen near Santa Barbara on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Broken oil pipeline spills 21,000 gallons off California coast

Associated Press

An estimated 21,000 gallons of crude oil dumped into the ocean from a broken pipeline just off the central California coast before it was shut off on Tuesday, creating a spill stretching about 4 miles along the beach, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Debbie Hall, of Sanford, N.C., holds a sign protesting coal ash ponds, outside the Duke Energy headquarters before the company's shareholders meeting in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, May 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Duke Energy pleads guilty in federal court for coal ash crimes

- Associated Press

Duke Energy pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to environmental crimes and agreed to pay $102 million in fines and restitution for illegally discharging pollution from coal-ash dumps at five North Carolina power plants.

In this April 25, 2015, file photo, a golfer watches his tee shot near dry vegetation in an area beyond the boundaries at the El Niguel Country Club in Laguna Niguel, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

California golf courses tee up water-saving measures

- Associated Press

At first glance, nothing seems amiss at this lush, members-only golf club in one of the priciest communities in Orange County. A bubbling fountain gurgles out of an artificial lake. Emerald-green fairways stretch into the distance. Golf carts zoom across the grass like white ants.

The most egregious examples of government waste, fraud or abuse from TWT staff. (Golden Hammer cropped logo)

Congress keeps funding overbudget plutonium site with no real customers

- The Washington Times

This week the House approved over $300 million for a Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at Savannah River in South Carolina as part of U.S. nuclear nonproliferation efforts, despite calls from watchdog groups to gut a program that has fallen far behind schedule, exceeded its budget and has no real customers.

In this photo taken on April 16, 2015, a group of kayakers rafted together work to pull up a protest sign as they practice for an upcoming demonstration against Arctic oil drilling, in Elliott Bay in view of downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

In Seattle, 'kayaktivists' take on Arctic oil drilling

- Associated Press

Royal Dutch Shell wants to park two massive Arctic oil drilling rigs in Seattle's waterfront - but the petroleum giant will have to get around protesters in kayaks and a mayor determined to take on climate change.

In this April 16, 2015, file photo, California Gov. Jerry Brown talks with reporters after a meeting about the drought at his Capitol office in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

Brown lawns loom this summer in California

- Associated Press

It was with more hope than accuracy that the founder of this Orange County city picked the name Garden Grove in 1874 for what was little more than an open plain under the Southern California sun.

Cutting carbon dioxide saves 3,500 U.S. lives a year: study

- Associated Press

The Obama administration's hotly debated plan to reduce heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the nation's power plants will save about 3,500 lives a year by cutting back on other types of pollution as well, a new independent study concludes.

In this Feb. 16, 2015, file photo, heavy equipment works at a "snow farm" on a mound of snow from roads cleared in Boston. More than $1 billion was spent and 6 million tons of salt used to keep highways operating in nearly two dozen states during the recent harsh winter, according to a first-ever survey of state transportation officials. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

States spent heavily to clear winter snow and ice, survey says

- Associated Press

Winter's full fury arrived late in much of the country but once it did it was relentless, quickly exhausting snow removal budgets and pushing the resources of state transportation agencies to their limit as they fought to keep highways safe and passable, according to a first-of-its-kind survey.

Some of Mr. Obama's most ardent supporters say they simply cannot go along with the administration's increasingly ambitious program to combat global warming. (Associated Press)

Blacks, Hispanics reject Obama climate change agenda over concerns about poor

- The Washington Times

The very same voters who helped put Barack Obama in the White House increasingly are turning against the president's climate change agenda, with influential black and Hispanic leaders warning that stiff regulations to limit carbon emissions will have a devastating effect on the poor and will further stifle economic opportunity for minorities.

Nearly $1 billion in loans have already defaulted under the Energy Department program, which included the infamous Solyndra stimulus project and dozens of other green technology programs the Obama administration has approved, totaling nearly about $30 billion in taxpayer backing, the Government Accountability Office reported in its audit. (Associated Press)

Obama clean energy loans leave taxpayers in $2.2 billion hole

- The Washington Times

Taxpayers are on the hook for more than $2.2 billion in expected costs from the federal government's energy loan guarantee programs, according to a new audit Monday that suggests the controversial projects may not pay for themselves, as officials had promised.

Recent Opinion Columns

Illustration on impending EPA regulatory takeover of U.S. "waterways" by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

A vast land grab to ‘protect’ water

In November, comments closed on a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to redefine "waters of the United States," as set forth in the Clean Water Act of 1977. While Sen. Edmund Muskie, Maine Democrat, author of the 1977 law, required 88 pages for his entire statute, this spring's Federal Register notice ran 370 pages, not counting appendixes, one of which hit 300 pages alone. Little wonder the new "wetland" rules have generated controversy and a likely Supreme Court case.

Jumping the Tax Code Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Special interest pleading via the tax code is government at its worst

The latest disgrace out of Capitol Hill in this lame-duck session is the "tax extenders" bill. This has become an annual Washington ritual with Congress waiting until the very last minute to approve dozens of expiring tax credits, deductions and loopholes. It is a microcosm of everything wrong with the way Congress operates.

EPA Imposing Expensive Green Energy Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

EPA's goofy green-energy rules

If you think President Obama's unilateral exercise of executive powers granting near-blanket amnesty to illegal immigrants was an abuse of power, get a load of what this administration is doing over at the Environmental Protection Agency.

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