By Alistair Bell and Jonathan Allen WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - An old friend of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton played an outsized role in advising her on U.S. politics and even her dealings with President Barack Obama's White House despite holding no formal government position. The State Department released emails on Monday that showed adviser Sid Blumenthal sent Clinton exhaustive memos on domestic issues, taking a more active role in advising her than was previously known.
Amid the rolling mountains surrounding this quiet town in southwest New York state, tucked away on miles-long stretches of underused rail tracks, hundreds of idle oil tank cars attest to the extent of fallout from oil's rout. The oil tank cars - a year ago sought-after to haul crude from North Dakota to New Jersey - now stand idle as a result of two converging trends: the reversal in U.S. shale oil production and the completion of new pipelines. Short-line railroads from Utah to Pennsylvania are making millions of dollars every month by providing refiners, producers and traders a place to park their unused tank cars.