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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Barack Obama News

Republicans Block Energy Bill, Forfeit A Keystone Vote

Keystone XL oil pipeline.

U.S. Senate Republicans on Monday blocked an energy-efficiency backed by both manufacturers and environmentalists, forfeiting a chance to vote on the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline. On a vote of 55-36. President Barack Obama's Democrats fell short of the needed 60 votes to advance the bipartisan energy bill. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid had offered a vote on Keystone - if Republicans permitted passage of the bill. (Reporting By Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Sandra Maler)

West Coast Port Talks Break Without Settlement

Shipping executives and union leaders for dockworkers at West Coast ports ended a third day of contract talks presided over by the U.S. labor secretary late on Thursday without reaching a settlement, but planned to meet again on Friday, a source close to the situation told Reuters. Labor Secretary Tom Perez joined the talks in San Francisco at the behest of President Barack Obama, who has come under growing political pressure to intervene in a dispute that has led to months of costly disruptions in cargo traffic at the ports, reverberating through the trans-Pacific commercial supply chain. (Reporting by Sarah McBride

Senate Democrats Want Inspection of All Rigs

According to a May 20 report from RTTNews, Senate Democrats are urging President Barack Obama to order inspections of all offshore oil rigs. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was joined by Senators Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., in sending a letter to Obama asking him to order the inspections. (Source: RTTNews)  

Obama Commission to Investigate Oil Spill

According to a May 22 report from Reuters, U.S. President Barack Obama said that offshore oil drilling could only go forward if there were assurances that a disaster like the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill would not happen again. Obama officially unveiled a commission to investigate the accident. Former Democratic Senator Bob Graham and former Environmental Protection Agency chief William Reilly will co-chair the panel. Obama also made his first reference to the possibility of a separate criminal probe into disaster. (Source: Reuters)

LCS Purchase Approved by Congress

According to a report from www.al.com, Congress approved a Navy plan on Dec. 21 to award a nearly $5b shipbuilding contract to Austal USA, doubling the size of the company’s Mobile shipyard and creating some 1,800 new jobs. The bill must be signed by President Barack Obama to become law. That signature allows the Navy to move forward with a plan, first proposed last month, to split the purchase of 20 vessels between Austal and Lockheed Martin Corp. (Source: www.al.com)

Offshore Oil-Production Royalties to Rise Under New Budget

According to a Feb. 14 report from Bloomberg, Royalties paid to the U.S. by oil and gas companies for offshore production are forecast to increase 68 percent under President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget. Receipts will reach $5.97 billion in the year that starts Oct. 1, from $3.56 billion in 2010. Obama also is proposing $25 million in fees from energy companies that hold nonproducing oil and gas leases, part of the administration’s effort to provide taxpayers with higher revenue from minerals development.   (Source: Bloomberg)

Obama Urges China, Neighbors to Avoid Escalating Maritime Dispute

U.S. President Barack Obama (White House photo)

U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday urged China and its neighbors to peacefully resolve a dispute over oil drilling in the South China Sea and avoid escalating tensions. "It is important for us to be able to resolve disputes like maritime disputes in accordance with international law, and encourage all parties concerned to maintain a legal framework for resolving issues, as opposed to possible escalation that could have an impact on navigation and commerce," Obama told reporters.

Obama Calls on China to 'Peacefully' Address South China Sea

U.S. President Barack Obama (Official White House photo)

U.S. President Barack Obama urged China to peacefully resolve its maritime disputes with neighboring countries and to maintain freedom of navigation in the region, a reference to the ongoing dispute in the South China Sea, the White House said in a statement on Friday.   In talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping alongside the Nuclear Security Summit on Thursday, Obama discussed U.S. support for human rights in China and called for the ability of companies to be able to compete fairly in China, it said.     (Reporting by Susan Heavey)

Obama: Land Reclamation in S. China Sea Counterproductive

President Barack Obama said on Monday that land reclamation projects in the South China Sea are unproductive and called for an end to aggressive action in the region.   "We think that land reclamation, aggressive actions by any party in that area are counterproductive," Obama said in a town-hall discussion at the White House with a group of young leaders from southeast Asian nations.   "China is going to be successful. It's big, it's powerful, its people are talented and they work hard. And it may be some of their claims are legitimate," Obama said.   "But they shouldn't just try to establish that based on throwing elbows and pushing people out of the way," he said.     (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Bill Trott)

White House: Iran Talks Deadline Could Slip

The White House said Tuesday's deadline for negotiators in Vienna to come to a final, firm agreement on Iran's nuclear program could slip. When asked if President Barack Obama's administration expects the deadline "to slip," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Monday, "I wouldn't set any expectations at this point ... I would say that it's certainly possible." Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Doina Chiacu

US Seeks to Ease Cuba Travel, Shipping Rules

Republican and Democratic U.S. senators will introduce amendments to a Senate bill on Thursday that would end some major U.S. restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba, according to documents seen by Reuters. The measures being put forward at the Senate Appropriations Committee, if approved, would be the first legislation to make it through any congressional committee to facilitate President Barack Obama's push to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba. (Reporting and writing by Patricia Zengerle)

US Senate Panel Ends Restrictions on Travel to Cuba

U.S. Senate panel passes amendment to end restrictions on travel to Cuba   The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted 18-12 on Thursday to end restrictions on Americans travel to Cuba, a committee spokesman said.   Four committee Republicans joined 14 Democrats to back the amendment.   It became the first legislation to make it through any congressional committee to facilitate President Barack Obama's push to normalize relations with Cuba.     (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Bill Trott)

Obama, Leaders Discuss Possible Sanctions, Force for South Sudan

U.S. President Barack Obama and regional leaders discussed options on Monday that included sanctions and a "regional intervention force" if South Sudan's warring parties do no agree a peace deal by August 17, a U.S. official said.   Obama met with leaders from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, and the African Union to discuss the crisis.   The group agreed on the urgency of the situation in South Sudan but did not reach a consensus on what to do if a peace deal is not reached, the official said.     (Reporting by Jeff Mason; editing by Ralph Boulton)

Obama says to Anticipate Refugee Problems for Decades

President Barack Obama

  Citing the migrant crisis in the European Union, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday that the world should expect refugee problems for decades. Speaking at a town hall event with U.S. military members, Obama said military conflicts and climate change will contribute to refugee crises. (Reporting by Julia Edwards; Editing by Sandra Maler)

House Panel Passes Bill to Repeal US Oil Export Ban

A bill to repeal the 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports was passed on Thursday by the House of Representatives energy panel.   The legislation, which passed 31 to 19, is opposed by President Barack Obama. It is expected to be passed by the full House in coming weeks. A similar bill in the Senate faces an uncertain future as backers need several Democrats to support it.     (Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Eric Walsh)

Mabus to Focus on Navy Acquisitions

An April 28 report from Reuters stated that Ray Mabus, President Barack Obama's nominee to become Navy Secretary, vowed to put an intense focus on cost overrun and acquisition reform if confirmed for the job. Mabus said he would be closely involved with the Pentagon's upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review, if confirmed, and said it could lead to changes in the Navy's shipbuilding plan, which now calls for a 313-ship fleet. (Source: Reuters)

Obama Says China Must Stop Land Reclamation in South China Sea

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday China must stop land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea and reaffirmed Washington's commitment to the defense and security of the Philippines, one of the parties to the dispute.   Obama, speaking after a meeting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in Manila, said he looked forward to working with all claimants to the waterway to resolve their disputes.   On Tuesday, Obama visited an American-donated coast guard cutter now owned by the Philippines, one its closest allies in the region.     (Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Obama, Cameron Reject Calls for More Iran Sanctions Now

U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday pushed back against calls for further sanctions on Iran now over its nuclear program, saying such action could harm ongoing negotiations.   In a joint news conference, Obama and Cameron urged U.S. lawmakers to exercise patience and hold off on any legislation calling for further sanctions.   "There is no good argument for us to try to undercut, undermine the negotiations until they've played themselves out," Obama told reporters. "Congress needs to show patience," he added.   (Reporting by Jeff Mason, Roberta Rampton; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US to Give Two Ships to Philippine Navy

President Barack Obama talks with Captain Vince Sibala on the bridge of the BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15), during a tour of the ship in Manila Harbor, Philippines, Nov. 17, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Following a visit aboard Philippine naval ship BRP Gregorio Del Pilar on Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama said the American government plans to transfer two ships to the Philippine Navy, bolstering what Obama called an “ironclad commitment” to the defense of treaty ally the Philippines. Obama said the two vessels – a Hamilton-Class Coast Guard Cutter and research ship – are part of the U.S. effort to increase maritime security assistance to its allies in the Asia-Pacific region, where tensions with China have heated up over recent years.

U.S., India to Seal Nuclear Deal

Deal nearly finalized

  The United States and India have reached a breakthrough on two issues holding up civil nuclear cooperation between them, U.S. President Barack Obama told a news conference in New Delhi on Sunday. The two countries signed a landmark civilian nuclear deal in 2008 but trade was stymied by India's reluctance to pass legislation shielding suppliers from liability in the event of a nuclear accident, a deviation from international norms. (Reporting by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by John Chalmers)  

House Passes Bill Axing Oil Export Ban, Obama Veto Looms

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a wide-ranging bill on energy reforms on Thursday that includes a measure to repeal the 40-year-old oil export ban, but the legislation did not get enough votes to overturn a potential veto by President Barack Obama. The North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act passed 249 to 174, but did not get the 290 votes needed to overcome a veto. The bill would also speed the permitting of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and improve the aging power grid. The White House said late last month that Obama would veto the bill as it would reduce the government's ability to consider LNG projects. That veto threat came before the lawmakers added an amendment to repeal the oil export ban, which Obama also opposes.

White House Opposes Moves to End Crude Oil Exports Ban

The White House said on Tuesday that it continues to oppose legislation that would lift a longstanding ban on U.S. crude oil exports, and urged Republicans to focus on funding the government without attaching unrelated measures ahead of a looming deadline. But White House spokesman Josh Earnest stopped short of saying that President Barack Obama would veto a government funding bill that included the crude oil measure. "Our position on that (measure) is firm - we oppose it - but we also oppose other things that have been floated for possible inclusion in the omnibus," Earnest said.   (Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Jeff Mason)

Obama Looks to Block Arctic, Atlantic Drilling

file image: an offshore production platfom (CREDIT: James Fisher)

U.S. President Barack Obama is preparing to block the sale of new offshore drilling rights in much of the U.S. Arctic and parts of the Atlantic, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the decision. Obama's move, which could come as soon as today, will give him the liberty to withdraw U.S. waters from future oil and gas leasing, Bloomberg said on Monday. It said Obama was expected to invoke a provision in a 1953 law that had been used sparingly until now to preserve coral reefs and marine sanctuaries. Related actions by Canada may be announced around the same time, Bloomberg added.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover May 2018 - Marine Propulsion Edition

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