Latest Ellen Knickmeyer News

Americans' energy use surges despite climate change concern

Apr. 18, 2019 5:41 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans burned a record amount of energy in 2018, with a 10% jump in consumption from booming natural gas helping to lead the way, the U.S. Energy Information Administration says. Overall consumption of all kinds of fuels rose 4% year on year, the largest such increase in eight years, a...

Former US Interior boss parlays post into private career

Apr. 16, 2019 7:23 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Former U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is quickly parlaying his time in President Donald Trump's cabinet into a lucrative private career. He's landed a more than $100,000-a-year post at a Nevada mining company and is pursuing involvement in natural gas exports that have surged...

Mining project on federal lands hires former Interior head

Apr. 16, 2019 2:54 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has a new job: a more than $100,000-a-year post with a gold-mining firm that's pursuing project approvals involving the federal agency that Zinke left fewer than four months ago. Zinke told The Associated Press on Tuesday that his work for Nevada-based...

Interior watchdog probes agency's newly confirmed chief

Apr. 15, 2019 6:35 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Interior Department's internal investigators have begun probing allegations of conflicts of interest involving Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, they confirmed Monday, just four days after the Senate confirmed the former corporate lobbyist to lead the agency. Deputy Interior...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump knew WikiLeaks until he didn't

Apr. 13, 2019 8:47 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump knew WikiLeaks until he didn't. With his government seeking to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Trump is drawing a blank on a hacking organization he praised to the rafters during the 2016 campaign because of the discomfort it caused his Democratic...

Senate panel backs Interior pick despite conflict allegation

Apr. 4, 2019 3:07 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel voted Thursday to put a veteran former lobbyist in charge of the Interior Department, despite a last-minute round of intense debate on allegations that he was using his federal position to benefit former industry clients. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee...

Trump EPA weighs reviving massive Mississippi flood project

Apr. 3, 2019 4:44 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Mississippi's governor toured massive flooding in the state, the Trump administration said Wednesday that it is giving another look to a long-dead flood control and drainage project in the Mississippi Delta that had been killed by the George W. Bush administration because of its...

2nd Texas chemical fire in about 2 weeks kills worker

Apr. 2, 2019 11:32 PM EDT

HOUSTON (AP) — A tank holding a flammable chemical caught fire at a Texas plant Tuesday, killing one worker, critically injuring two others and sending panicked employees fleeing over a fence to safety. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez confirmed the fatality in a tweet and said the two injured had been...

Energy chief Perry OKs deal to share nuke tech with Saudis

Mar. 28, 2019 8:41 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has approved seven applications for U.S. companies to sell nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia, the Energy Department said Thursday. Energy Secretary Rick Perry told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Energy Department has approved 37...

Senate Democrats grill Interior pick on past lobbying work

Mar. 28, 2019 1:16 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The former oil and gas lobbyist nominated to head the Interior Department declined on Thursday to commit to recusing himself from future regulatory decisions involving past clients, telling senators "you want to have your A quarterback on the team." David Bernhardt appeared before the...