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Cheney-Linked Company to Drill in Occupied Golan Heights

cheneyThe Israeli government awarded a local subsidiary of U.S.-based Genie Energy the rights to explore for oil and natural gas in about 150 square miles of the southern section of the Golan Heights. The United Nations last year extended the mandate for the region's U.N. Disengagement Observer Force mission, one of the oldest peacekeeping missions, for another six months.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said keeping Blue Helmets stationed in the area was essential to peace given the potential for conflict spilling out of the Syrian civil war. Genie Energy said there may be a significant amount of oil and natural gas in the license area. When Israel set its sights on offshore natural gas, Hezbollah warned that Israel shouldn't encroach on Lebanese territory.

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Shell Oil drilling vessel is adrift in Gulf of Alaska

drilling vesselAn unmanned mobile oil drilling rig owned by Royal Dutch Shell is adrift -- again -- south of Kodiak Island after it lost towlines Sunday afternoon from two vessels trying to hold it in place against what have been pummeling winds and high seas, according to incident management leaders.

A team of 250 people from the Coast Guard, the state of Alaska, Shell, and one of its contractors was hunkered down Sunday, mainly in Midtown Anchorage's Frontier Building, trying to resolve the ongoing crisis with Shell's drilling rig, the Kulluk.

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Coal to equal oil as world's top energy source within 10 years

Coal to equal oilThe International Energy Agency (IEA) says that coal will catch up with oil as the world's leading energy source by 2022. In a report, the Agency says that increased demand from India and China are fuelling the push.

Natural gas offers the best hope of reducing carbon emissions in the short term the report concludes. It comes as the European Union acknowledged that it has been unable to fund a single project to capture and store CO2.

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Solar panel companies in federal probe

solar panelsThree U.S. solar panel firms are being investigated to determine if they inflated costs to get government payments, The Washington Post reported Friday.

The Treasury Department's office of inspector general has subpoenaed the financial records of SolarCity, SunRun and Sungevity to determine if they qualified for more than $500 million in federal grants and tax credits they received for performing work, sources familiar with the probe told the Post.

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Nuclear Power Whistleblowers Charge Federal Regulators With Favoring Secrecy Over Safety

nuclear whistleblowersRichard H. Perkins and Larry Criscione are precise and formal men with more than 20 years of combined government and military service. Perkins held posts at the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration before joining the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Division of Risk Analysis in 2008. Criscione landed at the agency a year later, after five years aboard the USS Georgia as a submarine warfare officer.

Now both men are also reluctant whistleblowers, stepping out publicly to accuse the NRC of being both disconcertingly sluggish and inappropriately secretive about severe -- and in one case, potentially catastrophic -- flood risks at nuclear plants that sit downstream from large dams.

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Possible generator tampering found at San Onofre nuclear plant

San Onofre nuclear plantOperators of the San Onofre nuclear power plant say someone may have tampered with an emergency generator but there's no danger because both reactors at the Southern California plant are shut down.

The Orange County Register ( http://bit.ly/U5Cfjs ) says the operator, Southern California Edison, announced Thursday that coolant was found in the oil system of the Unit 3 backup diesel generator.

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US may soon become world's top oil producer

US oil productionU.S. oil output is surging so fast that the United States could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest producer.

Driven by high prices and new drilling methods, U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. This will be the fourth straight year of crude increases and the biggest single-year gain since 1951.

The boom has surprised even the experts.

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