Trump to Promote US Natgas Exports in Russia's Backyard
President Donald Trump will use fast-growing supplies of U.S. natural gas as a political tool when he meets in Warsaw on Thursday with leaders of a dozen countries that are captive to Russia for their energy needs. In recent years, Moscow has cut off gas shipments during pricing disputes with neighboring countries in winter months. Exports from the United States would help reduce their dependence on Russia. Trump will tell the group that Washington wants to help allies by making it as easy as possible for U.S.
Helen Delich Bentley Dies at 92
Helen Delich Bentley, a former journalist and a U.S. Republican congresswoman from Maryland who gained global attention by smashing Japanese goods to protest Tokyo's trade policies, died over the weekend at the age of 92, officials said. Bentley upset a longtime Democratic congressman to win a U.S. House of Representatives seat in 1984, a year in which Ronald Reagan's landslide victory in the presidential race helped bring several new faces from the party to Congress. The five-term congresswoman was a staunch advocate for the port of Baltimore and the state's maritime industry.
Hagel Resigns as Defense Secretary
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigned on Monday, the first major change to President Barack Obama's Cabinet since his Democrats were routed in midterm elections three weeks ago. Obama announced the resignation at a White House event with Hagel at his side. Hagel will remain in the job until a successor is in place. Hagel was appointed less than two years ago as Obama pushed his signature program of winding up wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a process that is being upended this year with U.S. re-engagement in Iraq and greater military cooperation with Kabul.
Brazil Presidential Candidate Silva Moots Price on Carbon
Brazilian presidential candidate Marina Silva plans to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions and implement a national carbon market if elected, according to policy proposals released on Friday. In the document, the coalition behind Silva's candidacy said the measures would help Brazil rein in emissions, which are on the verge of rising again after years of successfully being cut. Brazil had reduced its carbon emissions from 2.85 billion tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) in 1995 to 1.48 billion in 2012, mainly due to a sharp reduction in deforestation after the adoption of tougher legislation and a satellite-based system to monitor forest loss. But large increases in thermal power generation and agricultural production have recently threatened to reverse the trend.
Ohio Governor Freezes State's Clean Energy Law
Ohio Governor John Kasich on Friday signed legislation to freeze a six-year old law that required utilities to sell increasing amounts of green energy, making the state the first in the country to roll back a clean energy mandate. Kasich, a Republican mentioned as a possible contender for the 2016 presidential race, signed Senate Bill 310, which passed in the state's legislature with strong support from some of Ohio's biggest industrial power users, such as Alcoa, and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. A number of other companies with operations in the state, including Honda Motor, Honeywell and Whirlpool , opposed the freeze, and have said it will risk new jobs in the state. The original 2008 Ohio law called on utilities to sell more green power each year.
Brazil Senate Examining Petrobras Scandal
Brazil's Senate opened an inquiry on Wednesday into alleged corruption and mismanagement at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, a probe that could complicate President Dilma Rousseff's bid for reelection in October. A panel of senators will look into the costly purchase of a refinery in Pasadena, Texas, for which critics say Petrobras paid 20 times the market value. The senators will also probe allegations that Petrobras officials took bribes in exchange for steering contracts to SBM Offshore NV…