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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)

Tom Steyer gives $55M to environmental groups

By Kellan Howell - The Washington Times

Tom Steyer, billionaire hedge-funder and former Obama bundler, has now become the biggest super PAC contributor of 2014, with a recent donation of $15 million to his own super PAC, NextGen Climate Action Committee. Published October 21, 2014

Recent Stories

High pollution levels found near Ohio gas wells

- Associated Press

A study in a rural Ohio county where oil and gas drilling is booming found air pollution levels near well sites higher than those in downtown Chicago.

The EPA, headed by Gina McCarthy, says strontium, which can reduce bone strength among those deficient in calcium, is the latest contaminant to be targeted under the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act. (Associated Press Photographs)

EPA weighs new move to regulate drinking water

- The Washington Times

In what some specialists are calling the latest step in a "regulatory evolution," the Environmental Protection Agency said it may expand its authority over drinking water supplies by singling out the element strontium.

A year later, cleanup still going for ND oil spill

- Associated Press

One year after a pipeline rupture flooded a wheat field in northwestern North Dakota with more than 20,000 barrels of crude, Tesoro Corp. is still working around the clock cleaning up the oil spill - one of the largest to happen onshore in U.S. history.

FILE - In this July 9, 2014, file photo, a sign informs visitors of prohibited items on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Wash. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is fining another federal agency up to $10,000 for each week it fails to start moving radioactive sludge away from the Columbia River at the most contaminated nuclear site in the U.S. The Tri-Party Agreement required the U.S. Department of Energy to begin removing sludge from a storage basin at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Report on whistleblower is inconclusive

- Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Energy's inspector general on Monday said it could not determine if a whistleblower on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation was fired for raising safety concerns because two contractors failed to provide all the documents needed in the investigation.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) Ky., right, and  Democratic opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, rehearsed with host Bill Goodman before their appearance on "Kentucky Tonight" television broadcast live from KET studios in Lexington, Ky., Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/The Lexington Herald-Leader, Pablo Alcala, Pool)

Eastern Kentucky's struggles fuel Senate battle

- Associated Press

Joe Bart Watts was mining coal 3 miles in a mountain when his house burned down last summer. Over the next year, Harlan Cumberland Coal cut his hours, laid off 200 workers and he had to move in with his mother.

Vermont Yankee: Shutdown to cost $1.24 billion

- Associated Press

Officials with the soon-to-close Vermont Yankee nuclear plant said Friday it could cost up to $1.24 billion to decommission the reactor, and that they currently have about half that much in a fund dedicated to paying for that work.

Congress chose Yucca Mountain as the leading candidate for nuclear waste disposal. But opponents are concerned about contamination, and the Obama administration said it would not consider the site and would look for alternatives. It won a legal battle when a federal appeals court ruled last week against three states seeking to ship spent fuel to the Nevada site. (Associated Press)

NRC: Yucca closure plans meet safety objectives

- Associated Press

Permanent closure plans for a high-level nuclear waste facility at Yucca Mountain met all the necessary objectives based on safety evaluations completed before the Obama administration pulled the plug on the proposed Nevada dump, federal nuclear regulators said in a long-awaited staff report on Thursday.

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell speaks before a ceremonial signing of a settlement with the Navajo Nation Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, in Window Rock, Ariz. in the Navajo Nation. In the settlement the Navajo Nation will receive $554 million from the federal government over mismanagement of tribal resources. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Interior secretary pushes for Congress to act

- Associated Press

U.S Interior Secretary Sally Jewell vowed Thursday that the Obama administration will continue to use its executive powers to protect public lands until Congress takes action on a number of stalled conservation measures.

In this Dec. 10, 2013 file photo, snow falls as people begin to arrive to the Capitol Building in Washington. Federal forecasters don’t expect this winter to be a chilly sequel to last year’s dreaded polar vortex and California’s rain-blocking weather system. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)-FILE

Feds: Don't expect winter to be polar vortex redux

- Associated Press

If you thought last winter was a horror show, with cold blasts from the polar vortex and a lack of California rain, here's some good news: No sequel is expected this year, federal forecasters say.

Oil pumps work at sunset in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. The price of oil suffered its biggest drop in nearly two years after the International Energy Agency reduced its forecast for demand for this year and next. Benchmark U.S. crude fell $3.90, or 4.5 percent, to close at $81.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the biggest decline since November 2012. The closing price is the lowest since June 2012.  (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Falling oil prices shake up global economies

- Associated Press

A sudden plunge in the price of oil is sending economic and political shockwaves around the world. Oil exporting countries are bracing for potentially crippling budget shortfalls and importing nations are benefiting from the lowest prices in four years.

Recent Opinion Columns

General Electric Co. CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

Bring 'regime change' to General Electric

This Friday, Jeff Immelt and the team that leads General Electric Company owe shareholders and the American public answers to a simple question: How will management restore consistent growth in revenues, profits and cash flow to a vaunted enterprise that has floundered since Jack Welch left in September 2001?

Illustration on U.S. political fiats promoting green energy by William Brown/Tribune Content Agency

Low-carbon foolishness

The Keystone XL pipeline has now waited six years for White House approval.

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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