News bites: Oil prices drop on news of Japan earthquake

In Libya, there’s major fighting in a key oil town.

“Libyan rebels withdrew their last main checkpoint to the east of Ras Lanuf on Friday after forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi launched a withering land, sea and air offensive to retake the oil town,” Reuters reports.

Meanwhile, Exxon’s CEO is not happy with BP.

United Press International reports: “BP has done a disservice to the oil industry by leveling blame for the Deepwater Horizon accident in April on the entire energy sector, Exxon Mobil said.”

New Jersey lawmakers approved a bill to ban a drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in which sand, water and chemicals are injected into the ground to loosen valuable natural-gas reserves.

“In unanimously voting out the bill (S-2576), lawmakers made it clear they hoped to send a signal to both [Gov. Chris Christie (R)] and Pennsylvania officials over the growing concern they and many residents share over natural gas drilling occurring in the neighboring state,” the website NJ Spotlight reports.

The Navy will have to adapt to the effects of climate change, a new report says.

“A report commissioned by the United States Navy concludes that climate change will pose profound challenges for the sea service in coming decades, including a need to secure Arctic shipping lanes, prepare for more frequent humanitarian missions and protect coastal installations from rising seas,” The New York Times reports.

Here’s an interesting new climate change messaging study:

“A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan, show [sic] that more Americans believe in ‘climate change’ than in ‘global warming,’ ” Reuters says.