News bites: Oil rises on prospect of Fed action, Obama loan prober is campaign donor, and more

The Associated Press reports that oil prices rose Thursday morning because markets are “driven by hopes that the Federal Reserve is leaning toward action to help the U.S. economy’s stalled recovery.”

The former Treasury Department official who led an outside review of federal green energy loans has donated to President Obama’s campaign since the inquiry. AP has the story. Here’s a blurb:

The campaign contributions to Mr. Obama started just weeks after Herbert M. Allison Jr., in congressional testimony in March, minimized concerns that the Energy Department was at high risk in more than $23 billion in federal loans awarded to green energy firms.

Two weeks later, Allison began giving to the Obama campaign. His contributions to Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee totaled $52,500 by last month.

The Washington Post unwraps a study that shows relaxing the national ethanol mandate would reduce food prices.

Reuters reports that Europe has been unable to repeat the shale gas production boom that has swept the United States. But that failure “could make way for greener fuel than gas,” the story states.