FROM Andrew Restuccia
Obama Moves to Block Development in Arctic Refuge For 35 years, Democrats and Republicans have been fighting over petroleum reserves in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. Over the weekend, the Obama White House announced another aggressive use of executive authority to halt oil exploration, a proposal to designate 12 million additional acres of Alaska as wilderness. The message was gentle, but to the ears of Alaskan politicians, it was grating. Andrew Restuccia is energy and environment reporter for Politico .
The Keystone XL Pipeline Divides the Democrats After more than five years of passionate debate. last week the Obama Administration announced another delay in the Keystone XL Pipeline , designed to bring oil from Canadian tar sands across the border and on to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Republicans call it "shameful" to put off increasing oil supplies from a friendly neighbor. But Democrats are sharply divided, caught between oil interests, organized labor and environmentalists, who praise the delay in the interests of climate change and potential health affects. What's the role of this year's midterm elections and control of the Senate? What do cowboys and Indians have to do with it?
Climate Change and the 'War on Coal' Power plants are by far the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the US, and now the Obama EPA has issued regulations that Democrats in some regions are calling the first battle in a "war against coal." It could be extended and bitter. The President wants to get around Congress, with other countries looking for US leadership in reducing greenhouse emissions. We hear about national and international politics as climate scientists are about to release their latest findings.
House GOP Tries to Dim the Lights on Light Bulb Efficiency In 2007, George W. Bush signed a bipartisan bill to set national standards for energy efficiency. Federal law now requires that light bulbs use 25 to 30 percent less energy starting next year, 65 percent less by 2020. It doesn't ban traditional incandescent bulbs, but requires a different technology. Many Republicans now claim one provision is an infringement on individual freedom. Democrats accuse the GOP of cutting procedural corners to open debate on the matter. Should Americans be required to change to compact fluorescents? Andrew Restuccia covers energy and the environment for The Hill .
BP Say Gulf Drilling Ban Could Prevent It from Paying Claims Congress is considering legislation that would ban new offshore drilling permits for the company most responsible for this summer's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The New York Times reports today that BP is warning Congress that such an action would imperil both its promised pay-outs to spill victims and its ambitious plans for Gulf Coast restoration. Andrew Restuccia is following the story for the Washington Independent .
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.