News bites: Report hits Jaczko on Yucca Mountain, Germany's nuclear power challenge, and more

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s inspector general says the agency’s chairman withheld information from other commissioners as part of his efforts to halt the planned Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump, The New York Times reports.

“The report, by the commission’s chief internal investigator, does not accuse the agency’s chairman, Gregory B. Jaczko, of breaking any laws, but is likely to add to a political controversy over the Obama administration’s decision to kill the repository program,” the paper notes.

Stay tuned: The report will fuel Republican attacks on the White House decision not to pursue the long-planned – and long-delayed – waste repository. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is a longstanding foe of the project, but House Republicans are investigating the decision to abandon Yucca, and say it’s more rooted in politics than sound nuclear waste policy.

The Washington Post looks at the “tricky task” facing Germany as the country tries to phase-out nuclear power without backing off its planned carbon emissions reductions.

Reuters reports that Saudi Arabia is offering more crude oil to Asian refiners, calling it “evidence that [Saudi Arabia] is taking steps to unilaterally increase supplies after OPEC talks collapsed earlier this week.”

Bloomberg reports that Exxon Mobil is snapping up more natural gas assets.

NPR looks at a new federal report that ties thinning snowpack in the Rocky Mountains to global warming.

AFP looks at a new UN report that warns climate change will limit the amount of water needed for farming.