"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.
FBI agents during the Bush administration "investigated members of the environmental advocacy group Greenpeace over their protest activities 'with little or no basis,' [a Justice Department Inspector General's] report said. Agents kept the case open for more than three years, even though no charges were filed, and put the activists on a terrorist watch list, it said."
"Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has canceled a $125,000 contract with a consulting firm that sent a bulletin to the state's Office of Homeland Security in which it described opponents of natural gas drilling as 'environmental extremists' and suggested they were a threat to the state."
The new legal environment set by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision has prompted a deluge of secret money flowing into this election cycle. In some cases, it helps fossil-fuel corporations and billionaires masquerade as grass-roots groups while they try to change environmental, energy, and climate policy.