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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.

Activists repeatedly have defied the Standing Rock Sioux's call for "peaceful and prayerful" protest. (Associated Press/File)

North Dakota wants hired pipeline protesters to pay state income taxes

By Valerie Richardson - The Washington Times

After spending more than $22 million on the Dakota Access pipeline protest, North Dakota wants to make sure any paid activists remember to submit their state income taxes. Published January 30, 2017

Recent Stories

Employees of the Environmental Protection Agency are publicly questioning new administrator Scott Pruitt's (seated) ties to the energy sector, worried that such links may affect his ability to do the job. (Associated Press)

EPA questions Pruitt's link to oil, gas

- The Washington Times

Scott Pruitt will take the helm at the Environmental Protection Agency this week facing questions about his relationship with fossil fuels companies and a workforce that, at least in part, seems skeptical about his plans for the agency.

President Donald Trump hands the pen he used to sign H.J. Res. 38 to Kevin Hughes, General Manager, Murray Energy Corporation, second from right, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. The president is surrounded by coal miners and members of congress including Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., right, Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, left, and Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio. third from left, (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Trump nixes Obama regulations on coal industry

- The Washington Times

Saying he's keeping the promise he made to coal miners during his campaign, President Trump on Thursday afternoon nixed regulations on the coal industry implemented during the waning hours of Obama administration.

Pope on Dakota pipeline: Indigenous people have land rights

- Associated Press

Pope Francis insisted Wednesday that indigenous groups must give prior consent to any economic activity affecting their ancestral lands, a view that conflicts with the Trump administration, which is pushing to build a $3.8 billion oil pipeline over opposition from American Indians.

Nearly 200,000 remain under evacuation near California dam

- Associated Press

Nearly 200,000 people remained under evacuation orders Monday as California authorities try to fix erosion of the emergency spillway at the nation's tallest dam that could unleash uncontrolled flood waters if it fails.

Vehicles drive drive through snow as they approach the Holland Tunnel, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, in Jersey City, N.J. A powerful, fast-moving storm swept through the northeastern U.S. early Thursday, making for a slippery morning commute and leaving some residents bracing for blizzard conditions. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Powerful, fast-moving snowstorm pounding Northeast

- Associated Press

A powerful, fast-moving storm swept into the Northeast on Thursday with the potential for more than a foot of snow along the heavily populated Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor, making for a slippery commute and giving millions of people weather whiplash a day after temperatures soared into the 50s and 60s.

President Trump swept through Iowa during his campaign with promises to maintain the Renewable Fuel Standard, which is part of the lifeblood of Iowa's corn-rich populace. Mr. Trump's promise flies in the face of his own policies that heavily favor oil and coal over renewable energy sources such as ethanol, which is produced from corn. (Associated Press)

Trump, EPA nominee differ on renewable fuel program

- The Washington Times

He has vowed to slash environmental regulations and promote U.S. oil and gas development, but President Trump is under intense pressure to make an exception for the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, which has spawned the country's attachment to ethanol.

President Obama left behind unfinished business on the environment, and Republicans emboldened by President Trump are gearing up to reverse many of the former administration's signature initiatives. (Associated Press)

Trump to set environmental agenda, not his Cabinet or lawmakers

- The Washington Times

Top Republicans are shifting the climate change debate away from the human role and toward a more pragmatic discussion over what government can do about it -- but it's increasingly clear that President Trump, not his Cabinet nor lawmakers, will be setting the environmental agenda.

The coffin of Alessandro Giancaterino, one of the victims of the avalanche which buried the Hotel Rigopiano, is shoulder carried prior to the start of the funeral service in Farindola, central Italy,Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. The death toll from an avalanche in central Italy climbed to 14 on Tuesday as hopes began to fade that any of the 15 people still missing might be found alive under a mountain resort buried by tons of snow and rubble. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Toll from Italy avalanche climbs to 14 as hopes diminish

- Associated Press

The death toll from an avalanche in central Italy climbed to 14 on Tuesday as hopes began to fade that any of the 15 people still missing might be found alive under a mountain resort buried by tons of snow and rubble.

People stop to take a photo of a gas station damaged by an apparent tornado, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Albany, Ga. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in several counties, including Cook, that have suffered deaths, injuries and severe damage from weekend storms. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)

18 die amid apparent winter tornadoes, other storms in South

- Associated Press

First there was the roar of the wind, then mere seconds to scoop up her grandson and run: Bridgit Simmons and her family knew the weekend storms that claimed more than a dozen lives around the South were threatening.

A rescue helicopter approaches the area in Rigopiano, central Italy, where a hotel have been buried under an avalanche on Wednesday, to recover 6 people who have been reportedly extracted alive from the debris, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (AP Photo Gregorio Borgia)

5 reported alive in rubble of Italian hotel hit by avalanche

- Associated Press

Five people were found alive in the rubble of an Italian hotel Friday, two days after an avalanche tore through the mountain resort and trapped an estimated 30 people inside, rescue crews reported.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry smiles as he leaves Trump Tower in New York in this Dec. 12, 2016, file photo. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

Rick Perry: 'I regret' calling for the elimination of the Energy Department

- The Washington Times

As he tries to convince the Senate to put him in charge of the Energy Department, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry told lawmakers Thursday that he was wrong to recommend eliminating that same department and stressed that it plays a vital role in energy development, scientific research, nuclear security and in other areas.

Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Rex Tillerson takes tough line on Russian hacking in tense hearing

- The Washington Times

Former ExxonMobil chief Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for secretary of state, took a tough line on Russian hacking, praised Mexican immigrants and acknowledged the problem posed by global climate change -- drawing repeated accolades from Democrats during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, but setting up some potentially awkward moments with his future boss.

This Jan. 4, 2017, image provided by the U.S. Energy Department and its contractor Nuclear Waste Partnership shows workers moving waste underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M. The repository, the federal government's only underground spot for disposing of low-level nuclear waste, had been shuttered for nearly three years since a 2014 radiation release. (Sam Christensen/Nuclear Waste Partnership via U.S. Energy Department)

Ernest Moniz, energy secretary, lauds opening of nuke repository

- Associated Press

It was the determination of workers over nearly three years and pure ingenuity that allowed the nation's only underground repository for low-level nuclear waste to recover from a radiation release, the head of the U.S. Energy Department said.

A Santa Clara County Roads and Airport Department worker responds to the scene of downed tree and mudslide on Summit Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. Rivers are rising and winds are whipping up as a massive storm arrives in Northern California and is expected to push into Nevada by the evening. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group via AP)

Floods force hundreds of evacuations along Nevada mountains

- Associated Press

A massive winter storm that could be the biggest to slam the region in more than a decade prompted the evacuation of hundreds of homes in northern Nevada and triggered flooding and mudslides that blocked major highways and stranded motorists in Northern California.

Recent Opinion Columns

Raytheon's re-engineered Patriot radar prototype uses two key technologies - active electronically scanned array, which changes the way the radar searches the sky; and gallium nitride circuitry, which uses energy efficiently to amplify the radar's high-power radio frequencies (PRNewsFoto/Raytheon Company)

Taxpayers on hook for 'clean' energy projects

When taxpayers lost more than a half-billion dollars on the failed solar manufacturer Solyndra, they were understandably upset. But Solyndra isn't the only corporate body in the graveyard of green bankruptcies. And more are surely on the way.

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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