If you are wondering why climate legislation was defeated during the 111th Congress and expanded offshore drilling won -- it may have something to do with over $500 million spend by fossil energy companies on lobbying, campaign contributions, and other forms of political influence.
"The tension between drillers in Pennsylvania's gas-rich Marcellus shale and communities trying protect natural resources has reached a fevered pitch in Clinton County, where a zoning hearing board resigned rather than allow a water withdrawal station at a scenic bend of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River that draws kayakers, hang gliders, hunters and fly fishermen."
"The federal loan guarantee program and other aid for new nuclear plants may not be enough to induce Constellation Energy to build a third reactor at its Calvert Cliffs site, 40 miles south of Washington, the company’s president and chief executive said on Thursday."
"Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu today vowed to block the Senate's confirmation of a top White House nominee until the Obama administration takes action on its deepwater drilling moratorium."
"The oil giant nears an agreement to dispense $500 million through an alliance overseen by gulf state governors. Critics fear expertise elsewhere will be overlooked."
"Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will remain the ranking Republican on the Senate energy committee despite her running as a write-in candidate for reelection against GOP leadership wishes."
At a White House meeting Wednesday, several federal agencies renewed environmental justice pledges, reviving an interagency working group that had not met since the middle of the Clinton administration.
The gas-drilling boom that is sweeping Pennsylvania is demonstrating the power of money to overcome landowners' reluctance and influence legislators and regulators. This fall, a gusher of gas-industry political campaign donations is spewing.
"For the roughly 130 power plants, refineries and other facilities embroiled in the air permitting dispute between U.S. EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, a new program being finalized by EPA could allow them to get on with business as usual."
In a last-gasp effort to pass some energy legislation this year, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill requiring utilities to generate at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. But they do not yet have the votes, and the first chance for action would be in a lame-duck session. The House has already passed such a bill.