News bites: Strong lobbying push came before $1.6 billion solar loan

The Wall Street Journal looks at the strong, politically connected lobbying campaign by BrightSource Energy, which won a $1.6 billion Energy Department loan guarantee to build a huge solar power project in California’s Mojave Desert.

From the Journal:

The recipient of the Obama administration's biggest loan guarantee for solar energy won federal money after an intense push in early 2011 that included hiring a former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden to lobby the administration, according to federal records and people involved in the approval process.

The lobbying blitz came as the $1.6 billion loan to BrightSource Energy Inc.—a centerpiece of the administration's program to promote nascent green-energy projects—faced a do-or-die moment, and the company called on its Democratic connections to help push the deal forward, according to emails, records and those familiar with the loan.

Reuters explores one of the effects of looming energy sanctions against Iran.

“Iran's top crude oil buyers in Asia have just weeks to come up with ways to keep imports flowing without falling foul of the toughest Western sanctions to date against Tehran's oil trade. Solutions have proved elusive so far,” the news service reports.

Bloomberg explains why the recent slide in oil prices could be temporary.

The New York Times reports on a study that finds climate change could threaten electricity output.