Key Senator Says U.S. Office Can Lift Part of Oil Export Ban

Lisa Murkowski / AP

(Reuters) – A U.S. government office has the power to approve exports of an abundant type of petroleum and help energy companies begin to partially bypass a 40-year ban on crude exports, according to a report released on Tuesday by Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

A Tale of Two Cities

Texas oil town has lowest unemployment rate in the nation; site of world’s largest solar plant has highest
Midland, Texas / AP

The U.S. metro area with the lowest unemployment rate is a shale oil boomtown. The one with the highest unemployment rate houses the world’s largest solar plant.

U.S. Groups Push Ex-Im Bank to End Russian Subsidies

Federal agency has financed Russian energy projects and companies with Putin ties
Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on as Crimean leaders signing a treaty to incorporate Crimea into Russia / AP

Free market groups are pushing for the federal government to cease financial support for Russian companies in light of the country’s continued occupation of Crimea.

CEOs of Biggest Russian Firms Could Be Hit by Sanctions

High powered CEOs of Gazprom and Rosneft could be targeted by sanctions
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller  with Russian President Vladimir Putin / AP

SEVASTOPOL/DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – The CEOs of Russia’s two largest firms are on a list of those who may be hit next week with European and U.S. sanctions over the Crimea crisis, a German newspaper said on Friday, suggesting tougher than expected measures against Russia’s elite.

Moscow shipped more troops and armor into Crimea on Friday and repeated its threat to invade other parts of Ukraine, showing no sign of heeding Western pleas to back off from the worst East-West confrontation since the Cold War.

Refinery Fight

Domestic oil refineries stocking up on lobbyists to fight lifting of ban on exporting crude oil

Some domestic oil refiners are fighting new measures that would be economically beneficial for the country as a whole but decrease their profitability, experts said.

Court Rules Environmentalist Suit Against Chevron Tainted by Fraud

Oil company wins RICO suit against attorneys seeking to enforce multibillion-dollar judgment
Chevron sign

A massive civil judgment against a U.S. oil company was obtained by fraud and cannot be enforced in American courts, a federal judge ruled Tuesday in a major blow against the environmentalist plaintiffs.