The Hill's top 10 energy stories of 2011

House GOP: White House rushed $535M Solyndra loan guarantee

Republicans blasted top Obama administration officials for greenlighting a $535 million loan guarantee to a now-bankrupt California solar panel company, alleging that the White House rushed approval of the taxpayer-backed loan without adequate oversight.

Defiant Chu refuses Republican calls to apologize for role in Solyndra fiasco

Energy Secretary Steven Chu refused to take the fall for the Solyndra controversy during a grueling November hearing where he rejected calls that he apologize for approving the $535 million loan guarantee.

Jaczko goes nuclear, say underlings

The country’s top nuclear power regulators launched an open revolt in December against the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, alleging that he has overstepped his authority, verbally abused staff and withheld key information from colleagues.

'Systemic' industry failure to blame for Gulf oil spill, commission concludes

The massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill stemmed from a “failure of management” by BP and the other companies involved in the construction and operation of the ill-fated Macondo well, a national commission investigating the cause of the disaster found in January.

House votes to block EPA climate regs
The House voted in April to block Environmental Protection Agency climate regulations, a win for Republicans who have put hobbling the agency's greenhouse gas rules at the top of their policy agenda. But the measure stalled in the Senate.

Bromwich takes on drilling reform

In May, E2 profiled Michael Bromwich, who at the time was the Interior Department’s top offshore drilling regulator. Bromwich found himself charged with a massive task: reforming the agency’s notoriously troubled offshore drilling branch while managing politically explosive decisions about deepwater drilling.

Under pressure on gas prices, Obama shifts on domestic drilling

The White House said in May that it will take a series of steps — including expediting drilling plans on government lands in Alaska — designed to show that the administration is serious about expanding domestic oil production and lowering gas prices.

Obama back in treacherous political waters with new offshore drilling plan

The Interior Department unveiled in November a proposed five-year offshore oil-and-gas leasing plan that’s far less expansive than what the Obama administration envisioned before the BP oil spill.