News bites: Cuomo as Hamlet on fracking, and more on Obama’s go-it-alone climate push

Tuesday’s big news was President Obama’s vow to use executive measures to battle climate change in the face of congressional gridlock.

His call for climate action in the State of the Union speech was full-throated but lacked specifics.

Check out The Hill's coverage here and here.

Elsewhere around the Web ...

Slate magazine looks at Obama’s climate comments here.

The New York Times reports that New York State officials have again delayed a decision on whether to allow hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the Empire State.

“Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is becoming Hamlet on the Shale,” the paper reports, referring to the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation underlying parts of New York and other states.

Dow Jones reports that Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) “is asking the U.S. Justice Department to hold off on a civil settlement with BP ... over the Deepwater Horizon accident until the company comes to terms with Gulf Coast states on other environmental penalties.”

Reuters reports on the effects of sanctions on Iran’s oil sector. From their story:

“Iranian oil output will likely fall further from its lowest in three decades as the West tightens sanctions on the Islamic Republic, depriving Tehran of hard currency revenues, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday.”

Reuters also reports that a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said hedge funds and other speculators are pushing up energy prices.