FROM Robert Bryce
Keystone Decision a Political Hot Potato for Obama President Obama says Republicans forced his decision to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline , designed to bring Canadian shale oil 1600 miles from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries. Critics say he has foregone both job creation and a step toward energy independence. Last night, Republican president hopeful Mitt Romney agreed, faulting Obama's decision on having to "bow to the most extreme members of the environmental movement… We have to replace Barack Obama to get America working again." But bad news for some is good news for others.
Politics, Oil Production and the Price of Gasoline In North Africa and the Middle East, recent disruptions are all about politics and liberation from despotic regimes. For the energy industry and for speculators it's the price of oil by the barrel. The concern of most Americans is the price of gasoline by the gallon, and it's rising fast.
Politics, Oil Production and the Price of Gasoline Moammar Gadhafi may or may not be driven from power. In the meantime, unrest and international sanctions have cut Libya's oil production by half. On Friday, unhappy Saudi Arabians plan a "Day of Rage," threatening instability for the biggest oil supplier of all. Fear of further disruption and rank speculation on oil are driving the price of gasoline higher. The concern of most Americans is the price of gasoline by the gallon, and it's rising fast -- even though the United States has plenty on hand at the moment. Should we increase domestic oil production? Tap into strategic reserves? Or jack up the Green Economy faster, whatever the cost?
The Oil Industry and the Government The Gulf oil spill is producing hundreds of lawsuits in several states, but federal judges are bowing out because of investments in the oil industry. Judge Martin Feldman, who threw out the President's six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling on Tuesday, recently held stock in Transocean and Halliburton. Meanwhile, two whistle-blowing scientists from the Mineral Management Service have talked to the New York Times about BP's plan to drill for oil off the shores of Alaska. The plan skirts the President's moratorium because its drill will be based on an artificial island three miles off the coast. So it's technically “on-shore.” We look at how the oil industry continues to wield influence even after the worst environmental disaster in US history.
The Gulf Oil Spill: The Environment, the Economy and the Politics For almost two weeks, the Gulf Coast has been in a state of high anxiety, as the oil slick gets closer and closer to shore and grows larger and larger. We speak with industry experts and environmentalists.
The Gulf Oil Spill: The Environment, the Economy and the Politics From the Gulf Coast to the White House to the offices of the British oil giant BP, the word is " unprecedented ." Nobody's ever seen anything like this before. As an already massive slick moves toward the shoreline, it continues to grow -- and it may take weeks to shut off the gushers 5000 feet below. Just a month ago, President Obama lifted the moratorium on new off-shore drilling, saying a competitive economy still needs energy from fossil fuels. What's the worst-case scenario for wildlife, commercial fishing and recreation? Will the impending disaster be bad enough to change the equation?
Obama Drills for Consensus on Energy Consensus The President says his offshore oil-and-gas proposal will "break out of the broken policies of the past." But he's set off a familiar debate over energy needs and environmental protection. Will it lead to another stalemate or a breakthrough on global warming — in an election year?
Obama Drills for Consensus on Energy Nobody really knows how much oil and gas lie under the vast areas of the oceans that President Obama wants to open for exploration. But environmentalists are "appalled" by the danger of spills on pristine coastlines, and drilling advocates say too many areas are still being left off limits. The big question is whether the strategy of giving a bit to both sides will provide enough votes for a comprehensive policy on energy needs and climate change. With little time left until the mid-term elections, we hear about the green economy, national security and the goal of "energy independence."
Energy Costs, the Environment and the Presidential Campaign Responding to rising gasoline prices, President Bush and candidate John McCain are calling on Congress to end the moratorium on drilling for oil off-shore. For both the President and the Senator, this is a change in policy; Barack Obama calls it a "flip-flop." Oil companies concede that nobody knows how much is available, how long it would take to produce or what the impact on prices might be. But Democrats in Florida and Virginia are among those joining Republicans who want the moratorium lifted. Has rage over fuel costs reached a tipping point or is McCain making a risky political bet? What about the environment, global warming and the effort to get America off the oil economy?
Global Warming and the Presidential Campaign More and more scientists say global warming is happening faster than they expected, while the world's major polluters fail to take meaningful action. As a candidate in the 2000 campaign, George W. Bush promised reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. But as soon as he took office he backed away, and not until this month did he call for halting the growth of greenhouse gases, by 2025 and without any mandates. All three of the candidates to replace him have said that's not good enough. John McCain , Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton all promise to deal with the issue in the "first one-hundred days," but what are they planning to do? A so-called " cap and trade " bill is already on the Senate's agenda. What does that mean, and where do the candidates stand? Should renewable technologies, like solar and wind, get the kind of subsidies lavished on oil and gas? What about nuclear power?
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.