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Energy & Environment

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

States would have more control over offshore drilling under the Enhancing State Management of Federal Lands and Waters Act. (Associated Press/File)

Let the states manage resources on federal lands

By Nicolas Loris

Federal management has proved neither nimble nor responsive to dynamic energy markets. States, on the other hand, have had remarkable success -- both economically and environmentally -- overseeing natural resource development. Published June 18, 2018

Recent Stories

In this Tuesday, June 5, 2018, photo, steam rises in the air from the brown coal power plant Schwarze Pumpe in the Lusatia, (Lausitz) area in Germany. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Germany will fail 2020 climate goals, now eyes 2030 target

- Associated Press

Germany will likely miss its goal of cutting emissions by 40 percent by 2020, the country's environment minister said Monday, an embarrassing admission for a government that wants to lead the charge on limiting climate change.

FILE - In this April 26, 2018 file photo, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt listens to questions as he testifies before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. House Democrats are asking the Justice Department to investigate Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt for any potential criminal conduct. They allege he repeatedly violated federal anti-corruption laws by seeking to leverage his government position for personal gain.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

NY Times issues major correction in hit piece targeting EPA Pruitt's daughter

- The Washington Times

The long knives (and brass knuckles) are clearly out for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. We wrote weeks ago about the organized Left's attacks on President Trump's most effective and influential cabinet secretary. His efforts in rolling back job-killing regulations have been a prime force in driving the Trump economy and the media and Democrats can't stand it.

The gate of Myotoku-ji temple collapses after an earthquake hit Ibaraki City, Osaka, western Japan, Monday, June 18, 2018. A strong earthquake knocked over walls and set off scattered fires around metropolitan Osaka on Monday morning. (Yosuke Mizuno/Kyodo News via AP)

Strong quake near Osaka, Japan, kills 3, knocks over walls

- Associated Press

A strong earthquake knocked over walls and set off scattered fires around metropolitan Osaka in western Japan on Monday, killing at least three people and injuring more than 210.

Chart to accompany Moore article of June 18, 2018.

Fake support for a free market in energy

All of a sudden everyone on the left wants "free markets in energy policy." As someone who's advocated for that for, oh, about three decades (let's start by shutting down the Energy Department), this riff should be music to my ears. But is laissez faire energy policy really what liberals are seeking?

Surrounded by ice, commercial fishing boats are docked in their slips after more than a week's worth of frigid weather froze the harbor in Lake Montauk in Montauk, N.Y., on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. Only a few commercial boats remain in Montauk harbor during the winter months fishing for species such as porgy, tilefish, monkfish and black sea bass. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Fish billed as local isn't always local: AP report

- Associated Press

Even after winter storms left East Coast harbors thick with ice, some of the country's top chefs and trendy restaurants were offering sushi-grade tuna supposedly pulled in fresh off the coast of New York.

Russian Money Funneled to the Democrats Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Taking aim at the real polluters

Two of the world's biggest polluters are China and Russia. You would think that U.S. environmental groups would be major critics of these countries; yet, the reality is some take money from entities controlled by these governments and disseminate their propaganda.

When energy and commercial development clash

- The Washington Times

Hundred and perhaps thousands of Calvert, Charles and Prince George's County citizens in Maryland have been battling Dominion Power and state regulators to stop Dominion from building what's called a "compressor station" on the Charles County/Prince George's County line.

Firefighters work in the disaster zone blanketed in volcanic ash near the Volcan de Fuego, or "Volcano of Fire," in the El Rodeo hamlet of Escuintla, Guatemala, Tuesday, June 5, 2018. The fiery volcanic eruption on Sunday in south-central Guatemala killed scores as rescuers struggled to reach people where homes and roads were charred and blanketed with ash. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

New evacuations near Guatemala volcano set off panic

- Associated Press

Frightened people living near the Volcano of Fire fled with their children and few possessions when fresh flows of super-heated debris were announced, taking no chances after authorities gave them little time to evacuate before a deadly eruption over the weekend.

Illustration on ethanol legislation by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

An outdated mandate that drives up gasoline prices

Only in Washington do we call expanding a program "reform" and more special-interest handouts "fixes." That's precisely what's happening with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) — an outdated ethanol mandate that drives up gasoline prices and puts refiners out of business.

Illustration on Canadian oil infrastructure by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Why foreign spigots are not the answer

After weeks of mounting opposition from the provincial government of British Columbia and environmental activists, the Canadian government announced it will purchase Kinder Morgan's embattled Trans Mountain pipeline, taking on its multi-billion dollar expansion project.

Neighbors stand outside a temporary morgue near Volcan de Fuego or Volcano of Fire in Alotenango, Guatemala, Sunday, June 3, 2018. One of Central America's most active volcanos erupted in fiery explosions of ash and molten rock Sunday, killing people and injuring many others while a towering cloud of smoke blanketed nearby villages in heavy ash. (AP Photo/Luis Soto)

Guatemala volcanic eruption sends lava into homes, kills 25

- Associated Press

A fiery volcanic eruption in south-central Guatemala sent lava flowing into rural communities, killing at least 25 as rescuers struggled to reach people where homes and roads were charred and blanketed with ash.

Illustration on withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Freezing the Paris Climate Accord is a job for the Senate

Why would we want to remain in a club that's organized to pressure and browbeat us into acting against our best interests and better judgment? Suppose also that someone signed us up without our consent. Why would we reward such trickery and endure years of nagging, scolding and bad advice?

Illustration on climate change claims by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Flaky forecasts of certain climate disaster

Weather observing 160 miles above the Arctic Circle leaves a lasting impression. In the beginning of my atmospheric science career, I observed weather for a season at an isolated military outpost on Alaska's west coast. Although snow fell on July 5, the temperature in the summer of 1977 later reached 70 degrees Fahrenheit on two days. More typically, the Arctic air was quite cool and the sky cloudy. Rain and mist were frequent.

Sand is dropped off a conveyor onto a pile at the Superior Silica Sands sand mine on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, in Kosse, Texas. Demand for sand is surging as oil and gas production in the Permian Basin is booming again. Not only is the need for more sand on the rise with the increase in oil and gas production in west Texas, but much more sand is being pumped into each well now with the emerging thesis that more sand equals more oil extracted.  ( Brett Coomer /Houston Chronicle via AP)

Reducing global energy turmoil with fracking

Earlier this month, when President Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, analysts warned that Iran's crude oil production and exports could decline, forcing crude oil prices up. Call it "turm-oil" in the energy markets.

Rain falls on Clearwater Beach by Pier 60 early Sunday morning, May 27, 2018, as northbound Subtropical Storm Alberto looms in the gulf to the southwest.  (Jim Damaske/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

Storm Alberto maintains strength as it approaches Gulf Coast

- Associated Press

Subtropical Storm Alberto gained the early jump on the 2018 hurricane season as it headed toward anticipated landfall sometime Monday on the northern Gulf Coast, where white sandy beaches emptied of their usual Memorial Day crowds.

Rescue personnel walk along Main Street in Ellicott City, Md., Sunday, May 27, 2018. Roaring flash floods struck the Maryland city Sunday that had been wracked by similar devastation two years ago, its main street turned into a raging river that reached the first floor of some buildings and swept away parked cars, authorities and witnesses say. (Libby Solomon/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Ellicott City, Md., deluged by flash flooding as heavy rain soaks area

Associated Press

Roaring flash floods struck a Maryland city Sunday that had been wracked by similar devastation two years ago, its main street turned into a raging river that reached the first floor of some buildings and swept away parked cars, authorities and witnesses say.

A man covers his head under the rain in Salalah, Oman, Friday, May 25, 2018. Cyclone Mekunu pounded the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea on Thursday morning, lashing it with heavy rain and strong winds as the powerful storm remained on a path to strike Oman this weekend. At least 17 people were reported missing. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Cyclone Mekunu to be 'extremely severe' on landfall in Oman

- Associated Press

Cyclone Mekunu will be "extremely severe" when it crashes into the Arabian Peninsula this weekend after earlier thrashing the Yemeni island of Socotra, meteorologists warned Friday. At least 17 people were missing from Socotra, with a Yemeni official saying they were likely dead.

Freedom from Big Government Energy Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Shining a light on Big Power's monopoly

You might have missed it amid the never-ending drama in Washington, D.C., but a war over energy production and rates rages in America's heartland.

Two onlookers walk along a trail to watch lava erupt from a fissure in Kapoho, Hawaii Monday, May 21, 2018. The eruption of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii sparked new safety warnings about toxic gas on the Big Island's southern coastline after lava began flowing into the ocean and setting off a chemical reaction. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Hawaii volcano generates toxic gas plume called laze

- Associated Press

The eruption of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii sparked new safety warnings about toxic gas on the Big Island's southern coastline after lava began flowing into the ocean and setting off a chemical reaction.

Protecting the Power Grid Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

A secure energy grid starts with copper

It's not hard to imagine the role that energy plays in our daily lives — in fact it becomes immediately apparent when we experience even a brief power outage in our home or workplace. Quite simply, it stops us in our tracks.

FILE- In this Sunday, April 29, 2018 file photo released by Saudi Press Agency, SPA, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, is greeted by Saudi King Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Iran's rivals long have wanted to scuttle the nuclear deal with world powers, but its destruction could backfire and spark even more unrest in parts of the Middle East as Saudi Arabia threatens to launch its own nuclear weapons program in response. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)

With a little help from a friend

It's rare for the list of everyday annoyances to get shorter, not longer. But shrink the list did when the high price of oil crashed a decade or so ago, leaving Americans with a happy jingle in their pockets. Now several factors are converging to drive up the price of oil again, and motorists are feeling familiar pain in the wallet. Dread may return with every fill-up. The difference this time, though, is that the United States has new oil reserves in the Earth's fractures beneath North Dakota, and now maybe Saudi Arabia wants to be a pal.

Gas-Guzzling SUVs Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

America's squandered oil wealth

Bismarck is reported to have said, "there is a providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America."

In this June 27, 2008, file image from TV,  the demolition of the 60-foot-tall cooling tower at its main reactor complex in Yongbyon North Korea. North Korea's Foreign Ministry said Saturday May 12, 2018, it will hold a "ceremony" for the dismantling of its nuclear test site on May 23-25 in what would be a dramatic but symbolic event to set up the summit meeting between Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump scheduled for next month. (AP Photo/APTN, File)

North Korea says it will dismantle nuke test site May 23-25

- Associated Press

North Korea said Saturday that it will dismantle its nuclear test site on May 23-25, in a dramatic event that would set up leader Kim Jong-un's summit with President Donald Trump next month.

Ken Gadd, a first-time visitor from Dayton, Ohio, takes pictures of the entrance to Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, Friday, May 11, 2018. The park is closed due to the threat of an explosive volcanic eruption. Warnings that Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could shoot boulders and ash out of its summit crater are prompting people to rethink their plans to visit the Big Island. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Hawaii officials encourage tourism despite volcano

- Associated Press

Hawaii tourism officials are hoping Kilauea's eruption won't deter travelers from visiting the state's largest island, even as geologists warn the volcano could soon shoot large boulders out of its summit.

Sgt. 1st Class Carl Satterwaite, of the U.S. National Guard, tests air quality near cracks emitting volcanic gases from a lava flow in the Leilani Estates subdivision near Pahoa, Hawaii Thursday, May 10, 2018. Kilauea has destroyed more than 35 structures since it began releasing lava from vents about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of the summit crater. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Volcano explosion won't be deadly if people stay out of park

- Associated Press

A Hawaii volcano that sputtered lava for a week, forced around 2,000 residents to evacuate, destroyed some two dozen homes and threatened a geothermal plant now threatens to blow its top in the coming days or weeks.

Hewitt at a campaign event for Doug Ducey for Governor of Arizona, October 2014 (photo by Gage Skidmore)

Washington Post orders Hugh Hewitt not to write about Scott Pruitt

- Associated Press

The Washington Post has told columnist Hugh Hewitt not to write about Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt after it was revealed that Hewitt helped arrange a meeting with the EPA chief and lawyers interested in cleaning pollution in California.

Volcanic gases prompt evacuation of stragglers in Hawaii

- Associated Press

Police went door-to-door in Hawaii to roust residents near two new volcanic vents emitting dangerous gases in areas where lava has poured into streets and backyards for the past week.

How the Chernobyl disaster stands as a warning

Gross scientific ineptitude, enhanced by dogmatic refusal to admit error, caused the 1986 explosion of a showcase Soviet nuclear power plant that put much of northern Europe -- and millions of persons -- at risk.

In this photo released by U.S. Geological Survey, a plume of ash rises from the Puu Oo vent on Hawaii's Kilaueaa Volcano Thursday, May 3, 2018 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupted Thursday, sending lava shooting into the air in a residential neighborhood and prompting mandatory evacuation orders for nearby homes. Hawaii County said steam and lava poured out of a crack in Leilani Estates, which is near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island. (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)

Volcanic 'curtain of fire' sends people fleeing Hawaii homes

- Associated Press

Nearly 1,500 people fled from their mountain-side homes after Hawaii's Kilauea volcano sent molten lava chewing through forests and bubbling up on paved streets in an eruption that one resident described as "a curtain of fire."

In this March 12, 2009, file photo Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board of the Volkswagen group, during the annual press conference in Wolfsburg, northern Germany. Prosecutors said Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, they are opening investigations against Winterkorn on the suspicion of fraud by selling cars with with manipulated emission tests. (AP Photo/Joerg Sarbach)

Volkswagen's ex-CEO charged in emissions scandal

- The Washington Times

Volkswagen AG's former CEO Martin Winterkorn was charged in a federal court with conspiracy and wire fraud charges related to the automaker's plan to cheat U.S. diesel emissions testing, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.

In this Wednesday, May 2, 2018, file photo, a man wraps a scarf around his nose as a dust storm envelops the city in New Delhi, India. Officials said a powerful rainstorm swept parts of north and western India, causing house collapses, toppling trees. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)

Rainstorm kills at least 91, injures over 160 in India

Associated Press

A powerful dust storm and rain swept parts of north and western India overnight, causing house collapses, toppling trees and leaving at least 91 people dead and more than 160 injured, officials said Thursday.

Recent Opinion Columns

In this Aug. 3, 2014, file photo, the water intake crib for the city of Toledo, Ohio, is surrounded by an algae bloom on Lake Erie, about 2.5 miles off the shore of Curtice, Ohio. Advocacy groups suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over toxic algae in Lake Erie, threatening drinking water in Ohio and Michigan, say the agency's response in court documents filed in October 2017 bolsters their argument that not enough is being done to protect the lake. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

Burying 'sue and settle'

Whether you consider yourself pro-regulation, anti-regulation or something in between, chances are you're in favor of clear, open rules. Whatever the policy a particular government agency is following, it should be transparent to all, right?

Illustration on energy week by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Paving the path to U.S. energy dominance

This week, the Trump administration is hosting "Energy Week" to discuss with state, tribal, business and labor leaders how we can pave the path forward toward U.S. energy dominance.

This Nov. 11, 2012, photo shows surfers on a broad, sandy beach near the NRG El Segundo power plant in El Segundo, Calif. A new study predicts that with limited human intervention, 31 percent to 67 percent of Southern California beaches could completely erode back to coastal infrastructure or sea cliffs by the year 2100, with sea-level rises of 3.3 feet (1 meter) to 6.5 feet (2 meters). The study released Monday, March 27, 2017, used a new computer model to predict shoreline effects caused by sea level rise and changes in storm patterns due to climate change. (AP Photo/John Antczak)

Bad news for climate change boondogglers

Predicting tomorrow's weather is often a crapshoot. Predicting the weather on a day a century from now is obviously throwing money away. Shoveling cash into schemes for regulating climate patterns generations far in the future is an investment in a fool's gold mine. President Trump vows that Americans won't be fooled again.

In this Feb. 1, 2012, file photo, miles of pipe ready to become part of the Keystone Pipeline are stacked in a field near Ripley, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Keystone moves on, slowly

The Keystone pipeline is inching slowly forward. After more than a decade of back-and-forth bickering between Republicans and Democrats, between business interests and radical environmentalists, the State Department of the Trump administration has finally given its permission, as required by law, to let the oil flow. TransCanada, the company that is building Keystone, praises the new president for clearing the stones, stumps and twigs remaining in the way.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on domestic and international human trafficking, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017,in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The comeback of coal

President Trump's boisterous press conferences sometimes cast a shadow over one of his most important achievements so far: his executive order suspending runaway Environmental Protection Agency rules that all but bankrupted the American coal industry. Three of America's largest coal companies declared Chapter 11 in recent years largely as a result of rules like the Clean Power Plant Act, a gift of Barack Obama.

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

A vintage coal-fired steam engine pushes a passenger car up the Cog Railway on a 3.8-mile journey to the summit of 6,288-foot Mount Washington in New Hampshire, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Tourists visiting the northeast's highest peak were rewarded with summer-like weather on the first weekend of autumn. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Warmed again by coal

Gentlemen, start your thermostats. Ladies, too. The Obama war on coal, which cost Hillary Clinton the vote in once-reliably Democratic West Virginia, is over. Maybe the war on nuclear energy, too. Americans might soon heat their homes without choosing between the warmth and food and medicine.

An international team of rowers aims to break several world records paddling across the Arctic Ocean. (Polar Row photograph)

'Polar Row' exploration team smashes world records in icy north

- The Washington Times

Besides achieving the fastest average rowing pace in the Arctic Ocean, the Polar Row crew was the largest to row across the Arctic and the first to row from south to north across it. They also reached the northernmost latitude by a rowboat in a proper ocean crossing and broke the world record speed for rowing across the whole Arctic Ocean.

Chart to accompany Moore article of July 31, 2017

Why coal is Number One

Quick: what was the number one source of electricity production in the U.S. during the first half of 2017? If you answered renewable energy, you are wrong by a mile. If you answered natural gas, you were wrong by a tiny amount.

Illustration on the economic benefits of bringing greater broadband access to rural America by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Taking broadband to the country

Microsoft President Brad Smith announced recently a broad, sustained, cooperative initiative among private industry and federal, state and local governments to extend broadband access ultimately to all Americans, focused in particular on rural America, where broadband has been most lagging. He discussed the issue at a Media Institute luncheon in Washington, D.C., on July 11.

An ethanol plant stands next to a cornfield near Nevada, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File) **FILE**

Ethanol bill defeated in Senate

- The Washington Times

In a major defeat for the ethanol industry, senators of both parties joined forces late last week to sink a controversial bill that would've allowed gasoline with 15 percent ethanol to be sold year-round.

Former US President waves before he is awarded the German Media Prize 2016 in Baden-Baden, Germany, Thursday, May 25, 2017.(AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Obama lashes at Trump as climate legacy slips away

- The Washington Times

A frustrated former President Obama chided President Trump Thursday for canceling U.S. involvement in the Paris climate agreement, and insisted the rest of the world is still headed toward lower greenhouse gas emissions even without American leadership.