A $10-per-barrel oil tax proposed by President Barack Obama will be "dead on arrival" when it reaches Congress, said House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. The tax would help fund investments in clean transportation. "The president should be proposing policies to grow our economy instead of sacrificing it to appease progressive climate activists," Ryan said.
Oklahoma's wind farms have generated about $134 million in ad valorem taxes since 2004, according to Oklahoma State University. The report said that tax revenue from wind companies provides rural communities with economic benefits, improved schools and energy independence. "Having these turbines in rural areas really makes an impact on those county budgets," said professor Shannon Ferrell. Oklahoma sources about 17% of its total electricity from wind.
Amazon has been quietly building a sustainability "dream team," most recently with the addition of global supply chain expert Dara O'Rourke. That suggests the company could be rethinking its hands-off approach to CSR issues, writes Marc Gunther. "There's certainly plenty to do. For years, Amazon has been mostly absent from the corporate responsibility conversation," he notes.
Some of America's best-known seafood, including Maine lobster and New England clams, might struggle to survive in the face of rising global temperatures and increasing ocean acidification, research suggests. Scallops, salmon and sturgeon were also found to be extremely vulnerable to the shifting climate.
Plummeting oil prices and slowing oil activity in North Dakota have caused losses at a new, $430 million refinery, MDU Resources said. The Dakota Prairie Refinery near Dickinson, N.D. -- a project of MDU Resources and Calumet Specialty Products -- began selling fuel in May but has lost money and also had "down time and equipment challenges," MDU spokeswoman Laura Lueder said.
A bipartisan bill to make broad changes in US energy policies hit a wall in the Senate on Thursday. Senators voted to stop the measure from advancing in a dispute over an amendment with funding to help clean the contaminated water supply of Flint, Mich. "We are confident we can work out the remaining issues through good-faith negotiations, including a solution for the water crisis in Flint," said bill co-sponsor Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
A proposal to ship heavy crude oil by rail at one of Phillips 66's refineries in California has only grown in importance due to the long-term shutdown of a ruptured oil pipeline, a company official said. The company proposed the rail project in 2013 for its Santa Maria refinery in Arroyo Grande, Calif. The project's manager, Jim Anderson, said the facility has become "more urgent" since the shutdown in May of a Plains All American Pipeline line that moved oil from ExxonMobil's Santa Ynez offshore oilfield.
A new federal standard for offshore drilling blowout preventers is nearing finalization. The rule, driven by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, was sent for review to the White House Office of Management and Budget on Thursday by the Interior Department. The rule would require design standards to be verified by third parties, more performance monitoring onshore and new operation engineering standards.
Giving the oil and natural gas industry more freedom to innovate and collaborate will help increase jobs, boost the nation's general economy and support environmental protection, an American Petroleum Institute official said. Erik Milito, director of API's upstream and industry operations, called on the Obama administration to reject heavier federal regulation on the industry during its final year. "By continuing to rely on industry innovation, basing decisions on sound science and providing for oil and gas energy opportunities, we can build on the success of the past decades," Milito said.
Duke Energy Renewables Services has agreed to provide DTE Energy Company with operations and maintenance services for a five-year period. According to the deal, Duke will oversee seven DTE wind farms with a combined capacity of 400 megawatts. The projects are all located in Michigan and feature 247 1.6-MW and 1.7-MW General Electric turbines. "We are pleased to offer value to DTE Energy with our experienced boots on the ground as well as our sophisticated monitoring center," said Commercial Portfolio President and Renewables President Greg Wolf.
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