New York Times - For many Alaskans, Monday was “a huge disappointment, a really big disappointment,” as Gov. Bill Walker put it, reflecting on the tax revenue, jobs and investments that may be lost as Royal Dutch Shell abandons its plan to drill for oil in the Alaskan Arctic. But for many people here in Washington State and elsewhere, it was a day of exuberance, one that offered evidence that the harbor blockades, city resolutions, lawsuits and relentless cries of “Shell No!” had helped force Shell’s hand.
New York Times - After a brief trading of angry recriminations, Senate Republicans and Democrats voted Monday to advance a temporary spending measure that would avert a shutdown of the federal government on Wednesday night but also signals a battle in the weeks ahead. The measure, which still requires final approval by the Senate and by the House, where some rank-and-file Republicans had pledged to block it, would keep agencies operating roughly at last year’s spending levels through Dec. 11. The vote was 77 to 19, with 60 votes needed to proceed, and 31 Republicans joined 44 Democrats and two independents in favor. The bill does not include language cutting off federal financing for Planned Parenthood, a step that many Republicans had demanded while they investigate allegations surrounding the organization’s role in providing aborted fetuses for use in medical research.
New York Times - House Speaker John A. Boehner announced his resignation on Friday, prompting a race for the next leaders in the House of Representatives. Here is a look at the lineup of potential candidates and at their advantages and disadvantages.
Washington Post - In a new study, scientists say that the risk of major hurricane or storm-driven flooding in New York City is already considerably higher than it was 1,000 or even 100 years ago, thanks both to a considerable rise in sea level, but also, they say, to changes in the nature of storms. “We see more intense storms with a greater ability to produce high storm surges at The Battery in NYC during the anthropogenic era than during the pre-anthropogenic era,” the researchers write. The paper, just out in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is by Andra Reed of Penn State University and a group of other researchers that includes Reed’s colleague Michael Mann, hurricane expert Kerry Emanuel of MIT, and Ning Lin of Princeton.
Washington Post - At first glance, it’s hard to imagine anything capable of surviving in the frigid waters off the shore of Antarctica. But, in fact, the Antarctic coastline is home to a unique ecosystem that’s been in place for millions of years, dominated by soft-bodied filter feeding organisms, such as sea stars and marine worms. But new research, led by Richard Aronson, a professor of biological sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology, finds that rising water temperatures off the coast of Antarctica, brought about by global climate change, could be pitting the delicate marine ecosystem against an unexpected threat: an invasion of shell-crushing crabs.
Wall Street Journal - Oil bulls can’t catch a break. The long-awaited decline in U.S. oil output has begun, data show, but many investors and analysts are still waiting for prices to stage a sustained recovery. The rapid growth in America’s production over the past several years was a major driver behind the plunge in the benchmark U.S. oil price, which is down 53% from a year ago. Once that output slowed, oil would bounce back, bullish investors reasoned. But their hopes have been thwarted by robust output from other parts of the world, from Russia to Saudi Arabia and Iraq, that has kept a lid on prices.
Wall Street Journal - Oil prices gained on Tuesday on expectations that a slowdown in U.S. oil production will accelerate, though the continued supply from the rest of the world kept a cap on the gains. Other major producers, from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to Russia, are continuing to pump oil at speed as they look to defend their market share. “U.S. crude oil production has begun to turn lower more sharply than we had expected, making it likely that non-OPEC production growth will turn from expansion to contraction in 2016 for the first time since 2008,” analysts at Deutsche Bank said in a report. “Even so, we estimate the oil market will remain oversupplied in 2016.”
Wall Street Journal - Kenneth Adelman has had to learn to be patient. An electric-car enthusiast and retired “computer geek,” in February 2012 he was the first person to plunk down a $40,000 deposit for Tesla Motors Inc. ’s Model X sport-utility vehicle. At the time, Mr. Adelman didn’t know the Model X’s total price, but Chief Executive Elon Musk said the vehicle would be in his hands by the end of 2013. He is still waiting. After nearly two years’ worth of delays, Tesla kicks off Model X deliveries Tuesday. Although first on the order list, Mr. Adelman, 52 years old, doesn’t know when he will get his vehicle and he is showing little concern. “I’m happy to have waited for the X to be all that it could be,” Mr. Adelman, who also owns a Tesla Roadster and Model S sedan, said in a recent interview. He is confident the vehicle is a “home run.”
Wall Street Journal - In his third policy announcement this month aimed at accelerating economic growth, Jeb Bush is calling to remove the nation’s 40-year-old ban on oil exports, approve the Keystone XL pipeline and eliminate a raft of environmental regulations. Mr. Bush is expected to outline his energy platform Tuesday afternoon at Rice Energy, a Pennsylvania oil and gas company. Mr. Bush is promising that this agenda, along with his plans unveiled earlier this month to lower tax rates and roll back regulations on business, would generate 4% annual economic growth—a target the U.S. hasn’t hit in a sustained way since the late 1990s. Mr. Bush’s energy ideas are mainstays among Republican presidential hopefuls on the campaign trail. All of the GOP candidates for president support the Keystone pipeline and many, including retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, businessman Donald Trump and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, support lifting the ban on crude-oil exports to foreign markets.
Politico - Three years ago, Chuck Schumer called Paul Ryan's plans for deficit reduction a "fraud.” Now the future Democratic leader wants to cut a deal with him. The New York senator isn’t playing it safe as he prepares to lead his caucus in 2017. Despite getting hit by liberals for siding with Republicans on the Iran nuclear deal, Schumer is in talks with the conservative Ryan (R-Wis.) and vulnerable Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman to deliver a major infrastructure bill that’s eluded Congress for a decade.
Politico - One of the biggest environmental fights right now involves the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to strengthen protections against ozone pollution—a proposal that’s in the crosshairs of major polluters and their allies in Congress. This week the Obama EPA faces a court ordered deadline to set a final standard on ozone, commonly called smog, a greenhouse gas that forms from the exhaust of power plants, factories, cars and trucks. The Administration has a decision to make: will it stand strong and set standards at the protective level doctors say we need to safeguard our lungs? Or, will it cave in to over-the-top and baseless claims by polluters and set a weak standard?