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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.

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. in this 2014 file photo. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) **FILE**

EPA's renewed renewable fuels push has critics fuming

By Ben Wolfgang - The Washington Times

The Obama administration's move last week to increase the amount of ethanol and other renewable fuels that must be blended into gasoline supplies left virtually everyone unhappy, casting new doubt on the future of the government's long, contentious Renewable Fuel Standard. Published May 31, 2015

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This Dec. 13, 2010, file photo shows CMS Energy Corp.'s B.C. Cobb Plant in Muskegon, Mich. (Jeffrey Ball, The Muskegon Chronicle via AP) ** FILE **

Supreme Court strikes down Obama power-plant regulations

- The Washington Times

President Obama's climate change agenda hit a roadblock at the Supreme Court on Monday, but the administration brushed aside the decision and declared victory anyway, saying most utilities already have made the pollution cuts that technically are no longer necessary in light of the high court's ruling.

Democratic presidential hopeful former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks to local residents at a house party in New Castle, N.H., Saturday, June 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)

Martin O'Malley: Climate change can boost job growth

- The Washington Times

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who has recently called for the United States to be using 100 percent clean energy by 2050, said over the weekend in Iowa that climate change is actually a business opportunity that can spur job growth.

FILE - In this April 3, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama walks through a solar array at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, to speak about clean energy. The growth of renewable energy outpaced that of fossil fuels in the electricity sector last year, with a record 135 gigawatts of capacity added from wind, solar, hydropower and other natural sources, a new study shows. The annual report released early Thursday, June 18, 2015 in Europe by Paris-based REN21, a non-profit group that promotes renewable energy, underscored how China, the world’s top consumer of coal, has become a global leader in clean energy, too. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Solar, wind projects could cost taxpayers millions: report

- The Washington Times

Lawmakers on Wednesday demanded accountability from the Obama administration after an investigation found the federal government routinely fails to secure proper bonding from wind and solar project developers, potentially leaving taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars.

People work together to remove huge fallen trees in Portland, Mich., after severe storms Monday, June 22, 2015. The National Weather Service confirmed late on Monday that Portland had been hit with a tornado rated EF1 with winds of around 100 mph. The storm was part of a string of bad weather that hurtled into Michigan's Lower Peninsula after rushing across the country's Midwest. (Rod Sanford/Lansing State Journal via AP)

Storm moving east after tornado, injuries in Illinois

- Associated Press

Strong storms were moving east early Tuesday after sweeping across parts of northern Illinois, where at least seven people were injured by severe weather that spawned several possible tornadoes, damaged homes and uprooted trees.

In this Dec. 6, 2012, photo provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, soldiers assigned to 6th Engineer Battalion use snow shoes during Arctic Light Individual Training on the Bulldog Trail in sub-zero conditions at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. ALIT is the United States Army Alaska's Cold Weather Indoctrination program. It gives all soldiers, regardless of their job, the foundation to successfully work, train, and go to war in some of the harshest environments in the world. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Justin Connaher)

Obama forcing military to measure Arctic ice levels

- The Washington Times

Though stretched thin by the aftermath of two wars and the current fight against the Islamic State, the Obama administration has enlisted the Pentagon to measure the shrinking ice in the Arctic in the latest example of the president's climate agenda being extended to the military.

Denton County Road & Bridge crews from Precinct 1 close Rector Road north of FM 156 between Krum and Sanger because of high water from Tropical Storm Bill Wednesday, June 17, 2015, in Denton, Texas.  (Al Key/The Denton Record-Chronicle via AP)

Storm heads northeast after flooding Oklahoma, Arkansas

- Associated Press

A stormy weather system that once was Tropical Storm Bill prompted flood warnings across the Ozarks and mid-Mississippi Valley early Friday, even before rains began to fall there in earnest.

Pope Francis wrote an encyclical this week saying that the use of fossil fuels is leading to an increase in worldwide global warming, which came as welcome news for President Obama and the environmental movement, however, Catholic politicians, especially Democrats, are left to walk a tight line on how to reconcile the pontiff's proclamations with voters. (associated press)

GOP says pope's climate stance is anti-business

- The Washington Times

Pope Francis' stunning encyclical calling for a massive upheaval of the world economy to combat global warming provided fuel for President Obama and climate change activists but posed a tougher challenge for Catholic politicians who were left to grapple with the pontiff's stern call to arms.

Colorado coal town uses beer boycott to fight mine closure

- The Washington Times

Jana Venzke is fighting the war on coal here in northwest Colorado -- one bottle of craft beer at a time. Last week, she pulled every New Belgium and Breckenridge label from the shelves at her store, A1 Liquors, after finding their names on a list of businesses that contribute to WildEarth Guardians, the anti-coal group whose lawsuit threatens to shutter the local Colowyo Mine, taking 220 jobs with it.

Texas planners look to aquifers to prepare for next drought

- Associated Press

The torrential storms of last month essentially ended one of Texas' worst-ever droughts, but much of the excess water has already flowed into the Gulf of Mexico or will evaporate by year's end.

Claire Harrison, of Alpharetta, Ga., protests the Environmental Protection Agency during a July 29, 2014, rally in Atlanta in response to an EPA hearing on tougher pollution restrictions. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Court tosses challenge to EPA carbon rules

- The Washington Times

A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out lawsuits challenging the Obama administration's controversial plan to limit carbon emissions on existing power plants, paving the way for the rules to go into effect before the president leaves office.

Recent Opinion Columns

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaks in Washington in this Nov. 19, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Obama goes after the farmers

Farmers are now the bad guys. President Obama's administration last week claimed dominion over all of America's streams, creeks, rills, ditches, brooks, rivulets, burns, tributaries, criks, wetlands -- perhaps even puddles -- in a sweeping move to assert unilateral federal authority.

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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