Washington Landmarks Begin To Re-Open As Government Shutdown Ends

The appointment of Senator. Lisa Murkowski as Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee will have a major impact on U.S. Energy Policy particularly in relation the Keystone XL Pipeline, hydraulic fracturing, air quality regulations and LNG Export development. Murkowski emerged victorious from the Alaska Senate race and will ensure these issues become a priority with the new Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who stated during his victory speech, “For too long, this administration has tried to tell the American people what is good for them and then blame somebody else when their policies didn’t work out.” [CNN]

Oil prices saw a small increase in the United States on Wednesday. Saudi Arabia decreased oil prices to the United States with fears of a price war with OPEC developing. [New York Times]

Denton became the first town in the State of Texas where voters approved a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing. The vote is highly symbolic and potentially consequential considering Denton is the top crude producer in the state, with the majority of legislators in favor of fracking, “Denton, Texas is where hydraulic fracturing was invented,” said Bruce Baizel, Earthworks energy program director. “If this place in the heart of the oil and gas industry can’t live with fracking, then who can?” [Reuters].