Tension in Iran and local disaster drive up energy prices; EPA’s Wehrum to step down

Energy Stocks Diverge From Oil Prices
Jessica Menton, The Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2019

Energy stocks in the S&P 500 have shed 15% over the past 12 months amid fears of oversupply and worries about slowing demand in a weakening global economy. The most recent declines come as U.S. crude prices have rallied roughly 9% over the past week amid rising friction between Washington and Tehran, though oil prices pulled back from multi-week highs Tuesday.

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Iranians, Already Dealing With Punishing Sanctions, Get Hit With More

EPA’s air pollution chief to step down amid ethics probe
Alex Guillén, POLITICO, June 26, 2019

The former utility lobbyist who has led many of President Donald Trump’s major deregulatory efforts is stepping down from the Environmental Protection Agency, a move that comes after POLITICO’s reporting on his connections to the industry. House Democrats began an investigation in April into EPA air pollution chief Bill Wehrum’s ties to his old law firm, Hunton Andrews Kurth, and especially the Utility Air Regulatory Group, an influential collection of coal-heavy utilities that lobbied against climate regulations. As POLITICO reported in February, 25 power companies and six industry trade groups agreed to pay the firm a total of $8.2 million in 2017, the same year President Donald Trump tapped Wehrum to join the EPA.

Biggest East Coast Refinery to Close, Driving Up Fuel Prices
Jeffrey Bair and Barbara J Powell, Bloomberg, June 26, 2019

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said Wednesday the refinery will close within the next month. The complex produces 335,000 barrels a day, meeting about 3% of gasoline demand in a densely populated region. Futures in New York jumped more than 5% on a Reuters report Tuesday night that the refinery would close. PES will lay off half of its 640 union workers and 130 salaried employees Wednesday, said a person familiar with the plans.

Listen: The Pebble Mine
Zakiya McCummings, June 21, 2019