The U.S.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation on Thursday to force federal exploration lease sales off the Virginia coast and in the Gulf of Mexico that were canceled or delayed by the Obama administration following the BP oil spill.

The legislation, which was pushed by Republican lawmakers, has little chance of making it into law.

A federal appeals court on Friday rejected a challenge to the government's decision to allow California to cut greenhouse gas emissions from new cars sold in the state.

The U.S.

The Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday it will delay for three years requiring biomass-fired boilers to have permits for emitting carbon dioxide emissions.

"We are working to find a way forward that is scientifically sound and manageable for both producers and consumers of biomass energy.

The White House in the spring blocked release of government worst-case estimates of the amount of oil spewing from BP's well in the Gulf of Mexico, the presidential commission looking into the accident said on Wednesday.

The commission said government officials told its staff that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wanted to release some of its long-term, worst-case spil

The U.S. government will begin requiring big companies to monitor and report greenhouse gas emissions, officials said on Tuesday, a move that could make it easier for federal regulators to cut emissions if Congress does not pass a climate change bill.

Major automakers asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency not to approve higher blends of ethanol in gasoline until the agency has adequate test results showing the fuel would not damage vehicles.

The U.S. Interior Department said on Monday it would prohibit certain mining for two years on nearly 1 million acres of federal lands near the Grand Canyon while it studies whether to withdraw the land from new mining claims for 20 more years.

Historic climate change legislation, headed for a close vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, is expected to face another tough battle and likely changes in the Senate.

The House bill would slash U.S. carbon emissions produced by utilities, manufacturers and other companies by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said on Friday the U.S. government will spend $15.2 million to modernize equipment for monitoring U.S. volcanoes and improve warning systems.