House Transportation Bill Draws White House Veto Threat

By: Wednesday February 15, 2012 8:18 am

The White House formally threatened a veto of the House version of a surface transportation bill, opening the question of whether any long-term bill will get signed before March when current funding on roads and bridges expires. There are currently different versions of the surface transportation bill moving through each chamber of Congress. The House [...]

February 21 Now Deadline for Decision on Keystone XL Pipeline

By: Monday December 26, 2011 7:35 am

The Keystone XL pipeline will now either receive or be denied its construction permit by February 21, according to the schedule worked out in the two-month stopgap deal to extend the payroll tax, unemployment insurance and the doctor’s fix. The State Department has said repeatedly that they would not be able to properly review Keystone [...]

Senate Passes Two-Month Extension for Payroll Tax Cut, Unemployment Benefits, Doc Fix

By: Saturday December 17, 2011 8:41 am

The Senate approved a short-term extension of the payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits and a fix to physician’s Medicare reimbursement payments for two months. The final vote was 89-10. These are clean extensions that punt the larger extension into next year, when this entire debate will repeat itself at the end of February. There are [...]

Congressional Transportation Bills Mired in Squabbling Over Spending Cuts, Oil Drilling

By: Friday November 18, 2011 10:21 am

There are two big transportation-related bills awaiting completion in Congress. Yesterday Congress passed, and the President signed, the annual appropriations for the Department of Transportation, which included a zeroing out of funding for the Administration’s cherished high-speed rail project. The other two big measures are an FAA authorization bill, and a surface transportation bill. The [...]

Pipeline Purchase, Re-Routing Likely to Succeed in Getting Tar Sands Oil to Market

By: Thursday November 17, 2011 9:53 am

Enbridge, a competitor to TransCanada, announced plans to purchase a controlling interest in an existing pipeline that runs from the Gulf of Mexico to Cushing, Oklahoma, and to reverse it, in an effort to transport tar sands oil to Gulf Coast refineries. The plan would do part of what the controversial Keystone XL pipeline would [...]

Obama Takes Control of Keystone XL Pipeline Decision, Highlights Public Health Risks

By: Wednesday November 2, 2011 6:16 am

The other day, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney tried to offload the decision on whether to go forward with the Keystone XL pipeline on the State Department. But President Obama himself was asked about the pipeline in a local news interview last night, and he took full responsibility for making the decision. In doing [...]

Keystone XL Pipeline Flashpoint: Nebraska

By: Monday October 31, 2011 7:35 am

Bill McKibben appeared yesterday in Los Angeles at the LA Green Festival, where he again announced some actions for next week around the Keystone XL pipeline. Activists will surround the White House on November 6, one year before the 2012 Presidential elections. “You can’t occupy the White House, but we can surround,” McKibben said. Additional [...]

Energy Secretary Chu Uses Fallacious Argument to Support Keystone XL Pipeline

By: Thursday September 1, 2011 8:50 am

Energy Secretary Steven Chu is a scientist and a scholar. He surely knows the effects of production of tar sands oil on climate change. He knows that it takes a massive amount of energy to do the strip mining necessary to extract tar sands oil. He knows about the potential for environmental damage from a [...]

Western Hands-Off Approach to Post-Gadhafi Libya Doesn’t Extend to Oil Companies

By: Thursday September 1, 2011 6:10 am

In Libya, Moammar Gadhafi remains at large, though rebel forces think they have him cornered. They’ve said that before, however. And adding to the confusion was a kind of debate between two members of Gadhafi’s family on separate TV channels, one reaching out to the rebels for a negotiated solution and the other vowing to [...]

Breaking the Vicious Circle of Oil

By: Friday August 26, 2011 1:56 pm

Kevin Drum has a very important piece that shows us the predicament of the oil-fueled society we’ve constructed over the past several years. The story is basically this. Oil production is static, if not falling, and emerging markets are increasing and broadening their wealth, leading more and more Chinese and Indians and Indonesians and Brazilians [...]

State Department Environmental Impact Study of Keystone XL Pipeline Released, Skids Greased for Approval

By: Friday August 26, 2011 10:16 am

As expected, the State Department essentially gave its environmental blessing to the Keystone XL pipeline today, which would stretch nearly 1,700 miles from Alberta, Canada to Texas, and which would deliver as much as 700,000 barrels of noxious tar sands oil every day.  This is not a final approval on the project, but getting a [...]

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