Enbridge U.S. oil line to be shut for four more days
NEW LENOX, Illinois (Reuters) - A key segment of Enbridge Inc's oil pipeline system in the U.S. Midwest will remain shut down for up to four more days after a deadly vehicle accident in Illinois caused an oil leak and fire, likely squeezing supplies for refiners in the region, the company said on Sunday. The shutdown of Enbridge's 318,000 barrel a day Line 14/64, part of a network that carries oil produced in Canada to Griffith, Indiana, from Superior, Wisconsin, is also expected to pressure already-weak prices for Canadian crude this week as supplies back up in Alberta, market sources and analysts said.
OAKLAND, California (Reuters) - A magnitude 4.0 earthquake shook the San Francisco Bay area on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The quake, which was initially reported at a 4.3 magnitude, was centered about 15 miles northeast of San Francisco, and was at a depth of 5.5 miles, the USGS said.
Calm weather offers respite after deadly storms
LONDON, Kentucky (Reuters) - Calm weather gave dazed residents of storm-wracked U.S. towns a respite on Sunday as they dug out from a chain of tornadoes that cut a swath of destruction from the Midwest to the Gulf of Mexico, killing at least 39 people. The fast-moving twisters spawned by massive thunderstorms splintered blocks of homes, damaged schools and a prison, and tossed around vehicles like toys, killing 21 people in Kentucky, 13 in neighboring Indiana, three in Ohio and one in Alabama, officials said. Georgia also reported a storm-related death.
BP's $7.8 billion deal may speed payments for U.S. spill
NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - The estimated $7.8 billion deal struck by BP Plc with businesses and individuals suing over the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill could speed up payments to thousands of claimants and offers lawyers a potential windfall in legal fees. London-based BP announced the deal on Friday with the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, or PSC, which represents condominium owners, fishermen, hoteliers, restaurateurs and others who say their livelihoods were damaged by the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and subsequent oil spill.
IMO set to collide with EU over vessel CO2 emissions
LONDON (Reuters) - The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is making little headway on market-based measures to curb carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping, putting it on a policy collision course with the European Union, observers said. A committee of the 170-member United Nations shipping body was unable to make "tangible progress" after a week of talks that ended late on Friday, a delegate told Reuters.
Portugal prays for rain as drought adds to crisis
LISBON (Reuters) - After Portugal's driest February in 80 years, farmers are praying for a miracle as drought ravages pastures and sparks forest fires, exacerbating the country's economic crisis. Worse still, official forecasters expect the freak weather pattern to prevail at least through the end of March, which would worsen a drought now classified as severe and extreme throughout mainland Portugal.
Obama warns on "false choice" between growth, environment
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, defending himself against election-year attacks over his energy policies, said on Friday that his critics were trying to set up a "false choice" between protecting the environment and boosting the economy. Republicans, citing Democrat Obama's rejection of TransCanada's Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, have accused Obama of pandering to environmental groups important to his political base at the expense of job-creating energy projects.
USDA offers farmers more money to idle sensitive land
CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. officials said on Friday they would offer higher payments to certain owners of environmentally sensitive farm land if they idle it in a conservation program instead of using it to grow crops. The offer from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is an attempt to slow an exodus of millions of acres from conservation programs at a time when high crop and land prices are enticing farmers to put the land into production. Increased payments will be available to owners of up to 1 million acres of the highly sensitive grasslands and wetlands under a new initiative that is part of the federal Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP.
U.N. aviation body says emissions proposal by year-end
(Reuters) - The head of the United Nations body that oversees civil aviation said on Friday that his agency still plans to have a proposal on measures to address emissions from aviation by the end of 2012, even as critics push for faster change. "I read the press like anyone. I listen to all of the criticisms which have been stated by some about the pace," Secretary General Raymond Benjamin told Reuters in an interview marking his reappointment for a new three-year term at the helm of the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
German solar incentive cut to be delayed: sources
BERLIN (Reuters) - Plans by Germany to cut solar power subsidies by up to 30 percent will be postponed to April 1 from March 9 and may be watered down for large-scale power plants, according to members of parliament in the centre-right coalition. The deputies in Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), their Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the Free Democrats (FDP), junior coalition partners, agreed in a position paper, obtained by Reuters, to delay the cuts by three weeks.