Skip to content

Energy and Environment

The latest updates on energy and environment news, analysis and opinion covering energy policy and its impact on resources and climate.

A Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015 photo from files showing Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, during a press conference at the Lebanese foreign ministry in Beirut, Lebanon. An unusual secret agreement with a U.N. agency will allow Iran to use its own experts to inspect a site allegedly used to develop nuclear arms, according to a document seen by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)

U.N. side deal lets Iran lead its own nuclear inspections

By Dave Boyer - The Washington Times

In a development that incited more opposition in Congress to the Obama administration's nuclear deal, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has given Iran the rare benefit of using its own analysts to inspect a site where it is suspected of working on atomic weapons. Published August 19, 2015

Recent Stories

Saudi-U.S. ties will be under scrutiny again when 79-year-old King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud makes an expected visit to Washington next month, his first since ascending to the throne. (Associated Press)

Saudi royals' grasp on power threatened by sharp drop in oil prices

- The Washington Times

The sharp drop in oil prices is starting to bite for the world's longtime top oil-producing nation, Saudi Arabia, and could threaten the seemingly unshakable social contract that has seen the kingdom's royal family rule for nearly a century with almost no opposition or oversight from the nation's masses.

Mike Hansen, top, and Scott Nelson, bottom, both firefighters with Oregon-based Grayback Forestery rest at a camp for firefighters battling the Okanogan Complex Fire in Okanogan, Wash., Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. The firefighters were resting before their first day fighting fires in Washington state after battling blazes in California for the past three weeks and they were sleeping in the open because they were expecting to move to a different camp on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Fire crews eye weather as heat, wind build in parts of West

- Associated Press

Massive wildfires in the West have led to poor air quality across the region, causing respiratory problems for people far from the fire lines as well as grounding firefighting aircraft.

Roofers with Hull Brothers Roofing & Waterproofing resurface townhomes roofs at the Marina del Rey seaside community of Los Angeles on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. While drought-plagued California is eager for rain, the forecast of a potentially Godzilla-like El Nino event has communities clearing out debris basins, urging residents to stock up on emergency supplies and even talking about how a deluge could affect the 50th Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Drought-plagued California readies for El Nino storms

- Associated Press

While drought-plagued California is eager for rain, the forecast of a potentially Godzilla-like El Nino event has communities clearing out debris basins, urging residents to stock up on emergency supplies and even talking about how a deluge could affect the 50th Super Bowl.

President Obama said he wanted inspections "anywhere, anytime" of Iran's nuclear facilities to ensure Tehran is adhering to terms of the deal. But the actual agreement? Iran gets 24 days' notice of inspections of suspicious sites. A secret side deal allows Tehran's own inspectors to check a military site where work on nuclear weapons was thought to have been carried out. (Associated Press)

Iran nuke deal erases Obama's red lines

- The Washington Times

From allowing Iran to keep enriching uranium to abandoning "anywhere, anytime" inspections of Tehran's nuclear facilities, the Obama administration has crossed many of its own red lines in the nuclear deal that will lift tough economic sanctions on America's longtime adversary.

In this Aug. 12, 2015, file photo, water flows through a series of retention ponds built to contain and filter out heavy metals and chemicals from the Gold King mine chemical accident, in the spillway about 1/4 mile downstream from the mine, outside Silverton, Colo. Internal documents released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday, Aug. 21, show managers at the EPA were aware of the potential for a catastrophic "blowout" at an abandoned mine that could release "large volumes" of wastewater laced with toxic heavy metals. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

EPA knew of 'blowout' risk for tainted water at gold mine

- Associated Press

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency managers were aware of the potential for a catastrophic "blowout" at an inactive Colorado mine that could release large volumes of wastewater laced with toxic heavy metals, according to documents released by the agency.

The Animas River flows with toxic waste from the Gold King Mine on Aug. 8, 2015, as seen from the 32nd Street Bridge in Durango, Colo., as the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad train goes by. (Associated Press) **FILE**

EPA's toxic adventure

Imagine an agency charged with protecting the environment, aptly named the Environmental Protection Agency. Because, you see, we need to protect the environment, and we need a government cudgel with which to do it.

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter stands guard as new equipment arrives at Kalak refinery on the outskirts of Irbil, Iraq, as Kurdish authorities try to help ease the fuel shortage. (Associated Press)

Iraq oil feud renewed as cash-strapped Kurds turn backs on deal with Baghdad

Strapped for cash and increasingly frustrated with Baghdad's stingy disbursement of the federal budget, Iraq's autonomous Kurdish government has turned its back on a deal struck last year to patch over a long-standing oil feud between the Kurds and the federal government.

In this Feb. 24, 2015, file photo, Danny Ruthenberg-Marshall, left, with 350 DC, and Lindsey Halvorson, a student at American University, pick up their signs after attending gathering with other opponents of Keystone XL oil pipeline in support of a veto of the legislation outside the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Keystone XL review drags on 5 times longer than average

- Associated Press

For 61/2 years, the White House has had a quick comeback to questions about its yet-to-be-announced decision on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline: Talk to the State Department.

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.

From The Vault