EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"A Republican campaign to defend America against a sweeping assault on personal freedoms – or energy-saving lightbulbs as they are more commonly known – went down in defeat on Tuesday night."
Dramatic drops in the stock prices of some publicly traded geothermal energy companies in the last year or so have resulted from a variety of factors. Some companies lacking expertise have done a poor job of developing the geothermal reserves they hold. Some are having trouble getting the capital they need. And in the end, most of the best geothermal reserves in the U.S. may already be taken.
"West Virginia regulators will temporarily take the lead on regulating Marcellus shale drilling while lawmakers attempt to craft long-term rules for developing this rich natural gas reserve, acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Tuesday."
"House Republicans want to drop one of the key components of the Interior Department's overhaul of the troubled agency responsible for oversight of offshore drilling -- expanding the enforcement of regulations to contractors."
"The House adjourned at 9:24 p.m. [Monday] after debating several more amendments to the 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Act, and is expected to hold votes on these on Tuesday in the process of wrapping up the bill." The Tuesday votes are likely to illuminate the stark differences between Republicans and Democrats on energy and environmental policies, but House-passed riders may have dim hopes in the Senate.
"Three senators reached a deal on Thursday to repeal the $6 billion per year ethanol tax credit by the end of July, an agreement that must still be passed by Congress."
"The Energy Department plans to provide a $105 million loan guarantee for the expansion of an ethanol factory in Emmetsburg, Iowa, that intends to make motor fuel from corncobs, leaves and husks."
"It's been a busy week for anyone following the national debates over hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking,' the controversial method used to cut into shale rock to extract natural gas. In New Jersey, a strong bipartisan majority in both chambers of the legislature approved a bill banning fracking in the state as its neighbor to the north, New York, appeared ready to end its moratorium on the practice."
"A federal judge in Wyoming yesterday said the government must not delay decisions over whether to issue oil and gas leases in the West but that the Interior Department may refuse to issue leases even after a company has submitted a winning bid."
"Federal lawmakers called Tuesday on several agencies, including the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, the Energy Information Administration and the Government Accountability Office, to investigate whether the natural gas industry has provided an accurate picture to investors of the long-term profitability of their wells and the amount of gas these wells can produce."
"U.S. EPA [Tuesday] issued a final rule on how gasoline stations must label fuel with up to 15 percent ethanol content (E15), marking a step toward legal sale of the fuel and drawing criticism from several groups that said the labels will not do enough to prevent consumers from misusing it."
"The Obama administration is telling American automakers that it would like cars and light trucks to average 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025 — a boost to fuel economy that would save consumers money at the pump and help with global warming but drive up the cost of automobiles."
"Natural gas companies have been placing enormous bets on the wells they are drilling, saying they will deliver big profits and provide a vast new source of energy for the United States. ... [But documents show industry analysts voicing] skepticism about lofty forecasts and question whether companies are intentionally, and even illegally, overstating the productivity of their wells and the size of their reserves."
"Fishermen are gearing up and hunters are taking aim — for Marcellus Shale gas drilling."