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US Senate passes debt bill in boost to permitting

  • Market: Coal, Crude oil, Emissions, Natural gas, Oil products
  • 02/06/23

The US Senate has passed a bipartisan bill to suspend the limit on federal debt and accelerate the permitting of energy projects, ensuring its enactment before a potential first-ever US default.

The measure will now go to President Joe Biden, who has vowed to sign the bill. Biden spent weeks negotiating the deal with US House of Representatives speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) and has supported its passage. Failure to pass the bill by 5 June could have caused a US default that economists warned could roil the global financial system and trigger millions of domestic job losses.

But in a relatively undramatic ending to weeks of anxiety and threats of a downgrading of the US credit rating, the Senate voted 63-36 late on 1 June to approve the bill after lawmakers voted down a series of amendments that would have jeopardized passage before the default deadline. The broad bipartisan support came as Republicans and Democrats each tried to claim victory in negotiations over the debt limit, which is currently capped at $31.4 trillion but will now be suspended until January 2025.

The final vote will take off the table an issue that has all but paralyzed Washington over the last month and forced Biden to cut short an overseas trip. Biden began bipartisan talks with congressional leaders before deciding to negotiate directly with McCarthy and his staff. House Republicans initially sought deep cuts to spending and the repeal of most of last year's Inflation Reduction Act, but the final deal leaves that law largely intact and only limits spending for fiscal years 2024-25.

The permitting revisions in the bill have won praise from oil industry and renewable energy groups, who see a chance to target the delays that can arise when projects are subject to review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Reviews can drag on for years for major projects such as the now-canceled 830,000 b/d Keystone XL pipeline, frustrating developers that cannot move forward until the process is complete.

The debt limit bill will impose a two-year deadline for federal agencies to prepare complex NEPA reviews, with the option for developers to enforce missed deadlines in court. The bill also gives developers more of a role in preparing reviews and broadens the use of "categorical exclusions" that offer fast-tracked reviews of similar projects.

In a surprise to many energy lobbyists, the debt limit agreement unveiled last week includes language to issue federal permits for the $6.6bn Mountain Valley Pipeline, which has been held up because of lawsuits from environmentalists.

The 300-mile natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to Virginia is now on track to be completed this year, so long as it receives new state water permits to replace ones that were thrown out in court.

The approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline delivered a victory to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairman Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), whose vote for the Inflation Reduction Act was tied to a commitment to vote on a permitting bill that would also authorize the project. But the inclusion of the measure triggered backlash from climate groups and frustrated Biden allies such as US senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), who say the pipeline should not be allowed to sidestep the standard permitting process.

Oil industry groups and renewable energy interests are pushing Congress to take up a broader permitting bill later this year that would trade speeding permitting of electric transmission lines sought by Democrats with changes to support oil and gas pipelines sought by Republicans.


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14/07/24

Trump survives apparent assassination attempt: Update

Trump survives apparent assassination attempt: Update

Updates with changes throughout Washington, 14 July (Argus) — Former US president Donald Trump was grazed by a sniper bullet during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday but survived what appears to have been an assassination attempt. The suspected shooter was killed by US Secret Service agents. A rally attendee was also killed, and two other spectators were critically wounded in the incident at a campaign stop in Butler County, Pennsylvania, the Secret Service said. Televised images showed Trump with what appeared to be blood on his right ear and face being escorted from the stage by Secret Service agents. Trump managed to pump his fist while being rushed off the stage. He was taken to a local medical facility for treatment. "I was shot with a bullet that pierced the upper part of my right ear," Trump said later on his social media platform Truth Social. "I knew immediately that something was wrong in that I heard a whizzing sound, shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin. Much bleeding took place, so I realized then what was happening." Trump said "it is incredible that such an act can take place in our Country." President Joe Biden said he was grateful to hear Trump was "safe and doing well" and said he was trying to reach out to his political opponent. "There's no place for this kind of violence in America," Biden said. "We must unite as one nation to condemn it." The suspected shooter fired multiple shots toward the event stage from an "elevated" position outside of the rally security perimeter, the Secret Service said. Secret Service personnel "neutralized" the shooter, the Secret Service said. Trump is scheduled to accept his party's nomination for president next week at the Republican national convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By Haik Gugarats and David Ivanovich Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Injured Trump rushed from campaign rally


13/07/24
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13/07/24

Injured Trump rushed from campaign rally

Washington, 13 July (Argus) — Former US president Donald Trump was rushed from the stage of a campaign rally with an apparent injury to his head after an incident possibly involving gun shots. Televised images showed Trump with what appeared to be blood on his right ear and face being escorted from the stage by US Secret Service agents during a campaign stop in Butler County, Pennsylvania. Trump managed to pump his fist while being rushed off the stage. "President Trump thanks law enforcement and first responders for their quick action during this heinous act," his campaign said. "He is fine and is being checked out at a local medical facility. More details will follow." Trump is scheduled to accept his formal nomination as the Republican candidate for president next week when the Republican Party holds its convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The White House said President Joe Biden was being briefed by the chief of the Secret Service and other officials on the incident at Trump's rally. By Haik Gugarats Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Gas struggles hinder Brazilian industry: Study


12/07/24
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12/07/24

Gas struggles hinder Brazilian industry: Study

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India to offer 25 oil, gas blocks in 10th round: Update


12/07/24
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12/07/24

India to offer 25 oil, gas blocks in 10th round: Update

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Japan’s Shikoku to shut Ikata reactor for maintenance


12/07/24
News
12/07/24

Japan’s Shikoku to shut Ikata reactor for maintenance

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