President Obama on Tuesday vetoed legislation authorizing construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, rebuffing the new Republican-led Congress amid a furious battle over Homeland Security funding.
The veto — just the third of Obama’s presidency and his first of major legislation — was made in private and without fanfare, reflecting tensions in the Democratic Party over whether the controversial pipeline should be approved.
“Through this bill the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest,” Obama said in his veto statement. [more]
Gas prices are expected to keep falling after another milestone. A new survey found the average cost of regular gas is at its cheapest point in more than 5.5 years, dropping 25 cents to just $2.47 per gallon. But the good news for drivers is scary for some American towns, reports CBS News correspondent Vicente Arenas.
Record US oil production is driving global supply up and prices down to less than $60 a barrel, but many in the industry fear this boom could ultimately end in a bust and that has oil dependent communities fearing tough times ahead.
On a weekday morning at the Boom-A-Rang diner in Seminole, Oklahoma, the talk is all about the plunging price of crude. [more]
Crude oil prices are down 40% in recent months. There's a surplus of 2 million barrels being pumped each day. Estimates are that demand for oil will fall in 2015.
And yet in the face of all this, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, is holding its oil production steady. So far, the 12 OPEC countries appear willing to absorb huge losses in the hope that plummeting prices will make US. shale oil extraction unprofitable. If it can squeeze out some US producers, OPEC hopes to regain its dominance and force the United States back into foreign oil dependence.
The United States has an effective potential countermove: Congress should lift the 40-year ban on exporting crude oil and keep US producers in the game. [more]
As a House panel met to weigh the impacts of lifting a 40-year old ban on crude oil Thursday, economists called on President Obama to repeal it.
A number of lawmakers in the Senate, including Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Heidi Heitkamp back repealing the ban, and Murkowski has said the president should do it, not Congress.
Economists from the American Council for Capital Formation renewed calls for Obama to lift the ban as production in the US has grown to unprecedented levels, but are also open to congressional action.
Earlier this week, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) introduced legislation to do just that. [more]
The world’s biggest oil companies faced ruin in the summer of 1931. Crude prices had plummeted. Wildcatters were selling oil from the bonanza East Texas field for a nickel a barrel, cheaper than a bowl of chili. On Aug. 17, Governor Ross Sterling declared a state of insurrection in four counties and sent 1,100 National Guard troops to shut down the fields and bring order to the market. A month later the Railroad Commission of Texas handed out strict production quotas.
History is repeating itself, with a twist. The stressed-out giants of today are Saudi Arabia and its fellows in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. The descendants of the 1930s wildcatters are today’s producers of oil from shale, who are driving down the world price of crude by flooding the market with millions of barrels of new oil each day. [more]