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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.

Billionaire Democratic fundraiser Tom Steyer. (Associated Press)

Steyer's election millions can't heat up voters on climate change

By Valerie Richardson - The Washington Times

San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer has spent a staggering $76 million to promote climate change as a political issue in this year's elections, but the subject isn't exactly firing up the electorate. Published October 29, 2014

Recent Stories

In this Sept. 25, 2013 photo, a grizzly bear cub forages for food  a few miles from the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Mont.  The number of threatened grizzly bears killed in and around Yellowstone National Park has dropped sharply as officials consider lifting protections for the animals. State and federal wildlife officials were scheduled to meet Wednesday in Bozeman to review the bear's status. (AP Photo/Casper Star-Tribune, Alan Rogers)  MANDATORY CREDIT

Fewer grizzly bears dying in Yellowstone area

- Associated Press

Fewer threatened grizzly bears are being killed in and around Yellowstone National Park, and scientists said their numbers appear to be holding stable as officials consider lifting protections for the animals.

A long line of rail cars containing oil sit on tracks south of Seattle, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. In a report to the Seattle City Council, city emergency planners say more must be done to lower the risk of a possible oil train accident and improve the city's ability to respond. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Oil train traffic concerns Spokane firefighters

Associated Press

Although Burlington Northern Santa Fe has improved the safety of oil trains, a Spokane Valley fire official said firefighters would be "extremely challenged" to respond to a significant event.

FILE - This June 18, 2009 file photo shows cows grazing in Rock County, Neb.   Compared to the other animal proteins, beef produces five times more heat-trapping gases connected to global warming per calorie, puts out six times as much nitrogen for water pollution, takes 11 times more water for irrigation and uses 28 times the land, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  (AP Photo/Bill Wolf, File)

Group wants environmental reviews ahead of grazing

- Associated Press

A conservation organization is requesting the U.S. Bureau of Land Management conduct environmental reviews before renewing 453 grazing permits that contain areas designated as important sage grouse habitat.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., left, and former Massachusetts Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown prepsre Thursday Oct. 23, 2014 before a live televised U.S. Senate debate hosted by NH1 News on WBIN TV in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Small business, energy highlighted in Senate race

- Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen emphasized her efforts to help small businesses while visiting a Manchester company on Wednesday, as her Republican challenger Scott Brown headed to a nuclear plant to highlight his energy plan.

FILE - In this May 24, 2012 file photo, some of about 500 miles worth of coated steel pipe manufactured by Welspun Pipes, Inc., originally for the Keystone oil pipeline, is stored in Little Rock, Ark.  In a move that disappointed environmental groups and cheered the oil industry, the Obama administration on Jan. 31, 2014, said it had no major environmental objections to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada.  (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

43 groups to intervene in SD Keystone re-approval

Associated Press

The state Public Utilities Commission has approved nearly 45 applications from individuals and groups that want to have a say in South Dakota's decision on whether to re-approve the portion of the Keystone XL pipeline that would run through the state if it's ever built.

Emissions drop puts EU just shy of 2020 goal

Associated Press

The European Union's environment agency says the bloc's greenhouse gas emissions dropped by nearly 2 percent last year, putting the EU very close to reaching its emissions target for 2020.

FILE - This Sept. 20, 2005, file photo, shows Pacific Gas and Electric's Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in Avila Beach, Calif. Michael Peck, a senior federal nuclear expert, is urging regulators to shut down California's last operating nuclear plant until they can determine whether the facility's twin reactors can withstand powerful shaking from any one of several nearby earthquake faults. Peck, who for five years was Diablo Canyon's lead on-site inspector, says in a 42-page, confidential report that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is not applying the safety rules it set out for the plant's operation. (AP Photo/Michael A. Mariant, File)

Group wants court review of reactor license

- Associated Press

An environmental group asked a federal court Tuesday to review its claim that California's last operating nuclear power plant is violating federal law and should be shut down at least temporarily.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy holds up a pen before signing new emission guidelines during an announcement of a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, Monday, June 2, 2014, at EPA headquarters in Washington.  In a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming, the Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday that cuts carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, but pushes the deadline for some states to comply until long after President Barack Obama leaves office. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

EPA unveils standards for reservation power plants

Associated Press

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed standards for four power plants on American Indian reservations as part of the Obama administration's plans to curb emissions.

In this April 2, 2014 file photo, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gestures during the keynote address of the Build Conference in San Francisco. Microsoft plans to offer a glimpse of its vision for Windows on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, as Nadella seeks to redefine the company and recover from missteps with its flagship operating system. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)FILE -

Washington businesses push climate change action

- Associated Press

Dozens of Washington state businesses such as REI, Microsoft Corp. and Virginia Mason on Monday signed a declaration supporting action to tackle climate change.

Recent Opinion Columns

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the Climate Summit at United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) **FILE**

Obama's empty promises, go-it-alone policies won't fight climate change

When President Obama addressed the United Nations last month, he admitted that "[t]he science tells us we can only succeed in combating climate change if we are joined in this effort by every other nation, by every major power." It is true that unilateral climate change policies are futile, but that only makes this administration's current action on climate change even more difficult to justify.

Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

Lame-duck Congress may lay golden eggs for crony capitalists

The lame-duck Congress that will meet after the Nov. 4 election could lay a few golden eggs that will hatch into a new flock of crony capitalist ducklings. The gold would actually come from taxpayers. The politically well-connected are especially eager about an $18 billion giveaway to wind farms, a tax credit that benefits mostly millionaires and billionaires.

FILE - This March 25, 2014 file photo shows perforating tools, used to create fractures in the rock, lowered into one of six wells during a roughly two-week hydraulic fracturing operation at an Encana Corp. well pad near Mead, Colo. The energy boom is scrambling national politics. Democrats are split between environmentalists and business and labor groups. Some deeply-conservative areas are allying with conservationists against fracking, the technique largely responsible for the surge.  (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

Fracking is the answer to global warming

President Obama raised a lot of eyebrows here and abroad when he declared in his United Nations climate-change speech: "Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution by more than any other nation on Earth."

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