News bites: Exxon’s oil woes, investments at risk from climate change, and more

Exxon, you’re not alone. “It's a conundrum shared by most of the other large Western oil-producing companies, which are finding most accessible oil fields were tapped long ago, while promising new regions are proving technologically and politically challenging,” the Journal notes.

Exxon can take comfort that regulating oil drilling is tough too.

“Concerns about how the Interior Department manages the nation's oil and gas resources have earned it a spot on a closely watched list of the government's most at-risk offices and programs,” The Washington Post reports.

The story adds: “After last year's Gulf Coast oil spill, the department might be unable to manage oil and gas leases while overhauling the agencies and offices responsible for them, according to the Government Accountability Office's biennial ‘High-Risk Report.’”

Climate change is tough, too. Check out this Reuters piece:

“Climate change could put trillions of investment dollars at risk over the next 20 years, a global study released on Wednesday said, calling for pension funds and other investors to overhaul how they allocate funds,” they report.

“Risks from more extreme weather, continued delay in climate policy by governments and uncertainty over the shape of a new global climate pact were major concerns, while renewable energy, agriculture and infrastructure could be opportunities.”

Another thorny problem: figuring out what to do with nuclear waste.

“The attorneys general of New York, Connecticut and Vermont sued the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Tuesday, challenging a new commission policy stating that nuclear waste can be safely stored at a nuclear power plant for 60 years after a reactor goes out of service,” the Times reports.

“The three states argued that the policy, adopted in December, violated two federal laws requiring that a full environmental review be carried out at each nuclear site before permission for long-term storage could be granted.”

Elsewhere, Dow Jones reports on federal efforts to advance a major power transmission project.

“The U.S. Energy Department has approved a $340 million loan guarantee for NV Energy (NVE) and Great Basin Transmission LLC to develop a transmission line that will carry electricity in northern Nevada,” the news service reports.

The piece adds: “The guarantee, announced Tuesday, marks the first time the Energy Department has finalized a loan guarantee for a transmission project. The guarantee is being financed by dollars in the stimulus package.”

“The so-called One Nevada Transmission Line, or ON Line project, will run 235 miles and will carry about 600 megawatts of electricity, including power generated from renewable energy sources, according to the department.”