[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/04/06/west.virginia.mine.explosion/smlvid.mine.rescue.wchs.jpg caption="An explosion at one of Massey Energy's coal mines in West Virginia killed at least 25 workers and left 4 missing." width=300 height=169]
Shares of Massey Energy plunged more than 8% Tuesday, one day after an explosion at one of the company's coal mines in West Virginia killed at least 25 workers and left 4 missing.
The blast took place at the Upper Big Branch Mine, about 30 miles south of Charleston, during a shift change Monday afternoon.
Massey (MEE) stock was down 11% at 1:15 p.m. ET Tuesday. Still, the company's shares are up almost 20% year-to-date. Massey's headquarters are in Richmond, and the company operates 44 mines, making it the fourth largest coal company in the U.S.
The cause of the explosion, the deadliest U.S. mining disaster in 25 years, was unknown Tuesday.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/01/art.aprilfools.cnn.jpg caption="Republicans are praising President Obama on April Fools Day." width=300 height=169]
National Republicans praised President Obama Thursday and declared that he has "kept all his promises" and is "truly the greatest president ever."
No, this is not an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” It's an April Fools Day joke from the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
In a new Web video, the GOP organization tasked with regaining control of the Senate this November, cheers Obama for solving global warming "by replacing cars with low-emission unicorns” and achieving an unemployment rate of "negative 39 percent," among other “accomplishments.”
President Obama is announcing plans Thursday to boost
domestic energy production, which is expected to include new offshore oil exploration and drilling. The White House says its new strategy will "set America on a path to energy independence." While drilling isn't likely to win many fans among environmentalists, it could help bring Republicans on board with the president's energy initiatives since the GOP has pushed hard for more domestic drilling to reduce dependence on foreign oil.
Fact Check: How dependent is the U.S. on foreign oil, and where does most of it come from?
- The United States is the world's third largest crude oil producer, but still imports the majority of oil it uses. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 43 percent of the oil used in the United States is domestically produced and 57 percent is imported.
- In 2008, the United States produced 10 percent of the world's petroleum and consumed 23 percent, the USEIA reports.
- Almost half of U.S. crude oil and petroleum-product imports came from the Western Hemisphere (North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean, including U.S. territories) during 2008, according to the USEIA. That includes Canada, which alone provided just over 20 percent of U.S. imports. About 20 percent of imports came from the Persian Gulf countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, with just under 14
percent from Saudi Arabia alone.
- The Energy Information Administration says the increase in U.S. crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere, combined with increasing biofuel and coal-to-liquids (CTL) production, will reduce the need for imports over the long term. It projects U.S. petroleum-import dependence will fall from 58 percent in 2007 to 40 percent by 2030.
- The United States already produces a significant percentage of the world's oil, though its huge appetite for petroleum will keep it dependent on foreign sources for the foreseeable future. But progress is being made. And the president's proposals for new drilling could win GOP support for some of his other energy initiatives, in addition to boosting oil supplies.
Special to CNN
(CNN) - Wednesday's speech from President Obama unveiling his new strategy on offshore drilling, which will keep some sensitive coastal areas open for drilling, hits close to home for me.
I grew up in Chadwick Beach, on the New Jersey shore. My parents took us camping up and down the Eastern Seaboard. In the summer, as a teenager, I'd spend all day every day at the beach and in the ocean, surfing and bodysurfing. Although I remember all the good times along the shore, I also remember the bad, including when hypodermic needles and frothy chemical waste from nearby plants began washing up on the sand.
Now I foresee even more of the bad for places along the East Coast shoreline, as well as the thousands of miles of coast that will be exposed to oil spills, from this latest plan to open up offshore drilling areas.
Several environmentalists expressed disappointment and dismay Wednesday over President Obama's decision to open key Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters to oil and gas drilling.
"I'm extremely disappointed," said David Rauschkolb, a Florida restaurant owner who organized anti-drilling rallies last month at several Gulf Coast beaches.
"Florida's legacy is clean water, clean beaches, sunshine and tourism. Every oil rig is a threat to tourism and coastal well-being. ... All it takes is one spill."
One leading critic of offshore drilling, New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, vowed to fight Obama's plan.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/03/31/obama.energy/story.jpg caption="President Obama will announce plans to open sections of the eastern Gulf of Mexico for oil and natural gas drilling." width=300 height=169]
CNN Wire Staff
In a move that could help win Republican support for other energy initiatives, President Obama will announce plans Wednesday to open large sections of the eastern Gulf of Mexico and an area off the Virginia coast for oil and natural gas drilling.
"To set America on a path to energy independence, the president believes we must leverage our diverse domestic resources by pursuing a comprehensive energy strategy," said a statement provided by an administration official, who did not want to comment on the record ahead of the president's announcement.
"The president will announce today additional measures that will boost domestic energy production and promote clean energy innovation," the statement said.
The GOP has long championed additional domestic drilling to lessen America's dependence on outside energy sources. And while the plan could help win Republican support for other White House initiatives, it won't find many fans among environmentalists.