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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.

The crude oil debate has once again pitted President Obama against his traditional friends in organized labor. Major labor unions also have criticized the president for refusing to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which the administration admits would create more than 40,000 jobs. (Associated Press)

Oil export ban support pits Obama against allies in Congress, labor

By Ben Wolfgang - The Washington Times

President Obama this week has found himself at odds with allies in Congress and in organized labor over lifting the 40-year ban on U.S. crude oil exports, with the White House still blocking efforts to ship American fuel abroad despite growing support for the idea and mounting evidence that exports will drive down domestic gasoline prices. Published July 9, 2015

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Jacob Lew says U.S. will still curb Iran economy if nuclear deal passes

- The Washington Times

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Wednesday the Obama administration intends to "redouble" its efforts to target Iranian government support for terrorism and regional destabilization activities — even as nuclear sanctions on Tehran are being lifted under the major accord reached with world powers this month.

FILE - In this March 16, 2011, file photo, exhaust rises from smokestacks in front of piles of coal in Thompsons, Texas. A federal appeals court on Tuesday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to relax some limits it set on smokestack emissions that cross state lines and taint downwind areas with air pollution from power plants they can't control.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Obama ordered to rewrite pollution rules

- The Washington Times

President Obama's environmental agenda suffered another loss in court Tuesday when a federal appeals panel ordered the administration to rewrite rules limiting cross-state pollution.

Syed Tariq Fatemi, special assistant on foreign affairs to Pakistan's prime minister, said his country is in constant contact with Iran about prospects for commercial ties. (Associated Press)

Pakistan banking on Iran trade bonanza after Obama nuclear deal

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: The lifting of economic sanctions on Iran will open "massive trade" opportunities for Pakistan and could effectively transform the energy markets of South Asia by paving the way for a long-awaited gas pipeline across the Iranian-Pakistani border, said a top Pakistani diplomat, expressing his nation's deep hope that the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Tehran goes into effect as soon as possible.

FILE - This Sept. 30, 2014 file photo shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station operated by Talen Energy in southeastern Montana. Coal companies and their supporters scored a courtroom victory with a U.S. Supreme Court decision that said the Obama administration failed to take potential costs into account when it decided to regulate toxic emissions from many power plants, Monday, June 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

Obama targets coal industry with new water regulations

- The Washington Times

In the latest clash between the Obama administration and the U.S. coal industry, the Interior Department on Thursday released stringent new regulations requiring companies to monitor water quality and plant trees and vegetation in the area around mining sites.

In this March 31, 2015, photo, a supply vessel crosses an oil sheen drifting from the site of the former Taylor Energy oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana. Capitol Hill lawmakers from Louisiana have intervened on behalf of Taylor Energy Company that has failed to stop a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico but lobbied for a refund of money reserved for spill containment work, according to letters obtained by The Associated Press through public records requests. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File

Lawmakers back company responsible for decade-old Gulf leak

- Associated Press

Capitol Hill lawmakers from Louisiana have intervened on behalf of a New Orleans company that has failed to stop a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico but lobbied for a refund of money reserved for spill containment work, according to letters obtained by The Associated Press through public records requests.

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. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Gulf states reach $18.7B settlement with BP over oil spill

- Associated Press

BP and five Gulf states announced a massive settlement Thursday that resolves years of legal fighting over the environmental and economic damage done by the energy giant's oil spill in 2010.

The White House this week once again is zeroing in on climate change, a top priority for President Obama during his final 18 months in office. (Associated Press)

Obama climate change agenda faces legal, political resistance

- The Washington Times

With Barack Obama's legacy on health care seemingly secure after last week's landmark Supreme Court decision, the president's ambitious environmental agenda will come into sharper focus -- but a host of legal challenges and growing defiance across the country threaten his efforts to fight climate change.

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 and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks to local residents at a house party in New Castle, N.H., on June 13, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

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.

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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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