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Obama Rides the Energy Wave

Obama Rides the Energy Wave

President Obama has reasons to be grateful for the fossil-fuel boom, as domestic development of both oil and natural gas has made it easier for his administration to move forward on tougher environmental policies and to maintain oil sanctions against Iran without fear of raising gasoline prices at home.


Without the growth in natural-gas supplies, imposing tougher standards on coal-fired power plants would be all but politically and substantively impossible. While there has been pushback from coal states and utilities, the criticism of new Environmental Protection Agency regulations has been muted because many companies were already shifting from coal to natural gas.

To be sure, America's energy boom presents significant challenges for Obama, including growing concerns about methane emissions and global warming.

And of course, no boom lasts forever. Future presidents will need to deal with the waning side of this fossil-fuel wave. Meanwhile, Obama is riding its crest.


Amy Harder


By Clare Foran (@ckmarie) and Ben Geman (@Ben_Geman)

SENIOR WHITE HOUSE AIDE HEADS FOR THE EXITS. White House Council on Environmental Quality Deputy Director Gary Guzy is leaving the Obama administration, an announcement that comes days after CEQ Chairwoman Nancy Sutley said she's stepping down in February.

GREEN GROUPS LAUNCH FRESH ATTACK AGAINST KEYSTONE XL. Green groups battling the proposed pipeline are making their case to a senior State Department official as the department prepares to finalize its environmental review of the project.


CLOCK TICKS FOR CANADIAN CARBON RULES AS KEYSTONE LOOMS. Canada's plan to impose carbon regulations on oil producers could influence the battle over the Keystone pipeline.

EPA HEAD ARRIVES IN CHINA. Gina McCarthy's trip to discuss how the U.S. and China can collaborate on climate policy comes while air pollution in Shanghai hits a record high.

OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY EXPENDITURES SET TO INCREASE. According to Barclays, spending on exploration and production by oil and gas companies will increase by 6.1 percent from 2013 to 2014.

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COURT DATE NEARS FOR AIR POLLUTION CONTROLS. EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and its mercury and air toxics standards face legal scrutiny in separate court cases.

GLOBAL ENERGY DEMAND FORECAST TO RISE. Despite increase in energy-efficiency, population growth will drive energy demand higher across the globe.

EASTERN STATES PETITION EPA TO CURB POLLUTION. Governors from Northeastern states want EPA to impose stricter controls on Midwestern and Southern states.

PIPELINE SAFETY UNITES INDUSTRY, GREEN GROUPS. Environmentalists and oil and gas industry stakeholders along with other trade unions are calling for leaky pipelines to be fixed.

OIL BEGINS TO FLOW THROUGH SOUTHERN PORTION OF KEYSTONE XL. TransCanada has started loading the southern leg of the pipeline, which brings crude to Gulf Coast refineries. 


COURTS TAKE UP POLLUTION REGS. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case reviewing a 2012 appeals court decision that struck down EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which requires cuts in power plant emissions that cross state lines. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will also take up a challenge to EPA's mercury and air toxics standards.

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