Entries in Energy (5)


Obama Promotes Energy Agenda in Las Vegas

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- Fending off critics who say his policies have stifled domestic energy production, President Obama on Thursday announced that his administration would open 38 million acres of oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.‬

At the first stop on the second day of his post-State of the Union tour, Obama defended his administration’s efforts to open new areas for oil and gas exploration before a sedate crowd gathered outside at a UPS natural gas refueling station.‬

“Right now, American oil production is the highest that it’s been in eight years — eight years.  Last year we relied less on foreign oil than in any of the last 16 years.  That hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but that’s important,” he said.‬

The White House’s decision to sell the energy leases in the Gulf comes days after the president angered Republicans by rejecting the proposal for the cross-country Keystone pipeline that would have carried tar sands oil from Canada to refineries in Texas.‬

The president also encouraged greater use of natural gas in transportation and announced that a new highway corridor for vehicles running on liquefied natural gas was open for business.‬

“We’ve got to have an all-out, all-in, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every source of American energy, a strategy that is cleaner and cheaper and full of new jobs,” he said.‬

Obama argued that developing natural gas could support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade.

“We, it turns out, are the Saudi Arabia of natural gas,” he said.‬

As he did in Iowa and Arizona Wednesday, the president continued to hammer his State of the Union message and set the tone for his 2012 campaign. The president is visiting five swing states critical to the upcoming election during his three-day tour. The White House, however, continues to say the trip is official presidential business. ‪

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


DOJ Launches Group to Combat Oil, Gas Fraud

Chris Hondros/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Attorney General Eric Holder has announced the creation of a working group to watch for any illegal activity in the energy markets that could impact the price of gas around the country.

The group will keep its eye out for any evidence of manipulation, collusion, or fraud, “to safeguard against unlawful consumer harm,” the Justice Department said in a press release Thursday.

“We will be vigilant in monitoring the oil and gas markets for any wrongdoing so that consumers can be confident they are not paying higher prices as a result of illegal activity,” said Attorney General Holder.

The panel will include Justice Department officials, as well as representatives from the Federal Trade Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates the oil markets.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


‘Dollars for Dishwashers’ a Bust

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images(WASHINGTON) – A lower-than-expected number of Americans have traded in old appliances in exchange for rebates on new, energy-efficient units, reports USA Today.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s “dollars for dishwashers” program has generated just $27.5 million of the expected $84 million in annual fuel and water savings.

So far, the department has spent an estimated 88 percent of the $300 million in stimulus-funded rebates but has brought in just around 615,000 appliances.

A major reason for the low energy savings could be the lack of water heaters that have been exchanged. Less than three  percent of those who participated bought new water heaters, one of the least energy-efficient appliances in the home.

The program will end in February of 2010, although it has already ended in several states.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Biden Unveils Home Energy Efficiency Program

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The White House announced a new federal program Tuesday designed to help Americans make their homes more energy efficient, which Vice President Joe Biden said will save consumers money and create jobs.

“We believe that retrofitting homes has the potential to save us billions of dollars. And we believe that these projects that we are announcing [Tuesday] will go a long way toward growing an industry and in the process creating good jobs for a very good public purpose,” Biden said at a Middle Class Task Force event at the White House, noting that the new initiative could create tens of thousands of jobs.

The “Recovery Through Retrofit” program will enable homeowners to get low-cost energy audits of their homes and federally insured loans to pay for improvements.

Under the new program, homeowners will receive a “Home Energy Score” that ranks their home’s efficiency on a scale of one to 10 and shows how it compares to others in the neighborhood. Trained and certified contractors will then estimate how much money a homeowner could potentially save through upgrades and will recommend improvements.

To pay for retrofitting, consumers will be eligible for up to $25,000 in low-interest, federally insured “PowerSaver” loans. The program also sets new guidelines for contractors that identify the skills needed for workers in the retrofit industry.

Several communities across the country are testing the new energy scoring system this fall before it's rolled out nationally next summer.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


US Could Save Millions of Barrels of Oil By Cutting Food Waste

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- If Americans cut back on wasting food, the country could save the energy equivalent of about 350 million barrels of oil annually.  According to Science Daily, in a study reported in the American Chemical Society's journal Environmental Science & Technology, scientists discovered the amount of oil needed to produce, ready and distribute a year's worth of food in the U.S. is around 1.4 billion barrels.  Of this total energy consumption, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans waste close to 27 percent of their food.

The scientists see this waste as an unrecognized opportunity to save energy and fight against global warming.  Based on their analysis of wasted food and the energy used to prepare the food for consumption, the country wasted about 350 million barrels of oil in 2007.  That amounts to about two percent of the total energy consumed in the U.S. per year.

"Consequently, the energy embedded in wasted food represents a substantial target for decreasing energy consumption in the U.S.," the article notes. "The wasted energy calculated here is a conservative estimate both because the food waste data are incomplete and outdated and the energy consumption data for food service and sales are incomplete."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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