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  • WASHINGTON, Oct 20- U.S. officials will examine how to boost efficiency of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve now that domestic energy production is booming, according to a letter from a Department of Energy official. "DOE believes that a broad, long-range strategic review of the SPR needs to be accomplished," Christopher Smith of the DOE Office of Fossil Energy,...

  • The U.S. Department of Energy is expected to release a report in late October that will help assess whether domestic gasoline prices would rise if Congress or the Obama administration lifted the 40- year ban on crude oil exports. Congress mandated the oil export ban following the Arab oil embargo of the 1970 s, which sent shock waves through energy markets and...

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 20- The U.S. Department of Energy is expected to release a report in late October that will help assess whether domestic gasoline prices would rise if Congress or the Obama administration lifted the 40- year ban on crude oil exports. Congress mandated the oil export ban following the Arab oil embargo of the 1970 s, which sent shock waves through...

  • New atlas will help find 'gaps' in crop production Monday, 20 Oct 2014 | 2:45 PM ET

    LINCOLN, Neb.— A new mapping tool unveiled Monday and developed by the University of Nebraska and other project partners could help boost global crop production while conserving land and water. The Global Yield Gap Atlas allows farmers, governments and businesses to estimate the "gap" between potential and actual crop yields based on plant, soil and climate data...

  • A year later, cleanup still going for ND oil spill Monday, 20 Oct 2014 | 2:28 PM ET

    BISMARCK, N.D.— One year after a pipeline rupture flooded a wheat field in northwestern North Dakota with more than 20,000 barrels of crude, Tesoro Corp. is still working around the clock cleaning up the oil spill— one of the largest to happen onshore in U.S. history. Cleanup costs have soared from the company's original estimate of $4 million to a forecast of more...

  • Report on whistleblower is inconclusive Monday, 20 Oct 2014 | 11:52 AM ET

    SPOKANE, Wash.— The U.S. Department of Energy's inspector general on Monday said it could not determine if a whistleblower on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation was fired for raising safety concerns because two contractors failed to provide all the documents needed in the investigation. Donna Busche was fired in February after raising questions about the...

  • Justices won't revive Louisiana parish claims Monday, 20 Oct 2014 | 9:54 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from 11 Louisiana parishes that wanted to revive their lawsuits over wildlife damage from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.. The lawsuits were filed by Plaquemines, Orleans, St. Bernard, Lafourche, Terrebonne, St. Charles, Jefferson, Iberia, St. Mary, St. Tammany and Cameron parishes.

  • Australia has previously floated ambitious plans to use dams and irrigation to develop marginal land in the outback, but financial and environmental constraints meant it has not built a major new dam in decades. Australia is considering some level of investment in 28 potential projects, with six irrigation projects in Tasmania and Victoria seen as the most...

  • Crews begin demolition of Packard plant in Detroit Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 12:35 PM ET

    DETROIT— Demolition started Friday on a section of the massive and crumbling Detroit Packard auto factory complex— a symbol of the city's blight and past manufacturing glory. Peruvian developer Fernando Palazuelo bought the 40- acre site last year for $405,000 at a Wayne County tax foreclosure auction. Palazuelo told The Associated Press in June that the...

  • SANTIAGO, Oct 17- The shine may soon come off Chile's decade-long copper boom as technical and regulatory problems in getting new mines into production highlight just how hard it will be to keep ratcheting up the supply. Chile is expected to produce a record 5.83 million tonnes of copper this year, rising to 6.23 million next year, state copper commission...

  • Biofuels plant harbinger of renewable fuel future Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 4:39 AM ET

    WICHITA, Kan.— A new biofuels plant in southwest Kansas represents the future of ethanol production in the United States, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said. The $500 million biorefinery in Hugoton is one of only three commercially sized plants in the country that use only plant waste, such as stalks and leaves, for production and thus do not compete for food crops.

  • NEWCASTLE, Australia, Oct 17- Hundreds of protesters on Friday joined environmental activists from a dozen South Pacific countries attempting to halt shipping at the world's largest coal export terminal in eastern Australia by forming a blockade with canoes, surfboards and kayaks. Nonetheless, organisers from the 350. Org environmental group said it...

  • NRC: Yucca closure plans meet safety objectives Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 | 8:14 PM ET

    RENO, Nev.— Permanent closure plans for a high-level nuclear waste facility at Yucca Mountain met all the necessary objectives based on safety evaluations completed before the Obama administration pulled the plug on the proposed Nevada dump, federal nuclear regulators said in a long-awaited staff report on Thursday. The assessments are among those the U.S....

  • Senate task force to aid southern W.Va. coalfields Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 | 11:19 AM ET

    CHARLESTON, W.Va.— Senate President Jeff Kessler is setting up a task force as part of a push to help West Virginia's struggling southern coalfields. The SCORE program is based off the Shaping our Appalachian Region program, which has similar goals for eastern Kentucky's hurting coalfields. Kessler's 13- member Senate task force will look at a variety of ways to...

  • *Areva says jumbo reactor still best product offer. *Areva hopes for new contracts in India, China. PARIS, Oct 16- Areva chief executive Luc Oursel, his job at risk from an imminent government overhaul, still believes the French nuclear group can win new contracts with its out-of-favor mega-reactor model in India and China.

  • LONDON, Oct 16- Scarce resources and pollution control measures are the two environmental issues which have the most impact on the net earnings of businesses today, a private equity fund manager said on Thursday. London- based Ambienta says it is the largest European private equity fund specializing in the environmental sector, with more than 450 million euros...

  • *Exxon Mobil says refinery strategic regardless of EU policy. ANTWERP, Belgium, Oct 16- Exxon Mobil is pouring $1 billion into a refinery in the European Union, setting aside concerns ranging from poor margins to EU green energy rules due to be agreed next week that will cut demand for oil. Heavy industry and some nations, such as coal-dependent Poland, have argued...

  • *Exxon Mobil says refinery strategic regardless of EU policy. ANTWERP, Belgium, Oct 16- Exxon Mobil is pouring $1 billion into a refinery in the European Union, setting aside concerns ranging from poor margins to EU green energy rules due to be agreed next week that will cut demand for oil. Heavy industry and some nations, such as coal-dependent Poland, have argued...

  • Montana decides to keep Yellowstone bison in state Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 | 5:05 AM ET

    HELENA, Mont.— Montana wildlife officials decided Thursday against shipping 145 bison captured from Yellowstone National Park to the Bronx zoo and other locations across the nation, choosing to send them to an American Indian reservation within the state. The Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to transfer the bison to Fort Peck Indian Reservation instead of...

  • Oil spill plaintiff lawyers: keep claims chief Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 | 5:47 PM ET

    NEW ORLEANS— A move by oil giant BP to have a court fire the administrator of a damage claims settlement arising from the 2010 BP oil spill was opposed Wednesday by the administrator as well as by lawyers for Gulf Coast interests claiming harm from the disaster. Among the reasons: They said Juneau once represented Louisiana in talks setting up the claims process...