In the wake of destructive oil train derailments, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., is urging Senate appropriators to set aside more money for the Transportation Department's rail safety programs, in particular to pay for sufficient inspectors, The Hill reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Responding to a series of fiery train derailments, federal regulators said Wednesday they will propose that trains transporting crude oil have at least two-man crews and requirements aimed at preventing parked train cars from coming loose and causing an accident like one in July that killed 47 people.
The Federal Railroad Administration had asked a freight rail industry advisory committee to make recommendations on whether two-man crews should be required, but the industry officials were unable to reach a consensus after working on the issue for months. Federal officials said they decided to move ahead with the two-crew member requirement anyway.
"Safety dictates that you never allow a single point of failure," Joseph Szabo, head of the railroad administration, said in a statement.
The Washington Post, in re-examining Canadian oil sands leases, has clarified that Koch Industries has the biggest U.S. presence in the region, but that two Canadian firms may have slightly larger territory.
Norway's Statoil is looking to new technology to cut its carbon dioxide emissions from processing Canadian oil sands, with a goal of reducing them by 20 percent in a six-year-period, Bloomberg reports.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Lawyers for a south Louisiana flood control board say they'll change their contingency fee contract in a suit accusing 97 oil and gas companies of contributing to coastal erosion if the companies will pay them as part of a settlement.
The lawsuit, which Gov. Bobby Jindal opposes, seeks to hold the industry accountable for damage done by dredging for pipelines and canals and other activity in fragile coastal wetlands.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Some South Dakota farmers say North Dakota's Bakken oil field has created a shortage of rail engines and crews to move harvested grain to market.
A group of farmers during a Tuesday press conference said the issue has reached a critical point. They say they want President Barack Obama to issue an executive order calling a railroad company to send engines to South Dakota to haul the hundreds of railcars that are waiting to be moved.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Motorists across the Carolinas are hoping the oil industry will soon put the brakes on rising gasoline prices.
AAA Carolinas says the average price of gas in North Carolina has jumped 15 cents in the last month from $3.38 on March 8 to $3.53 on Tuesday. It says in South Carolina the increase was 17 cents, from $3.19 a month ago to $3.36 on Tuesday.
The auto club says North Carolinians are paying the highest price for gas since last July 27, when the state average was $3.54. After starting 2014 at $3.31, gas prices fell to a year-low of $3.28 on Feb. 8 before starting to rise.
In comments filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, oil companies and trade groups are speaking out against proposals to set new and more rigorous standards on oilfields, one official with Continental Resources likening the idea to “prescribing painkillers for a paper cut,” FuelFix reports.
The Missouri Farm Bureau has filed with the state Public Utilities Commission opposing Clean Line Energy's application to be granted eminent domain status for a proposed route for its Grain Belt Express transmission line, which would bring wind-generated electricity from Kansas to Illinois, KQTV reports.
House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton leveled fresh criticism of President Obama’s energy policies after a report from the Congressional Research Service found that oil and gas production declined on federal leases, The Hill reports.
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude gained 1 cent to settle at $103.76 a barrel on the Nymex after the Energy Information Administration reported a hike in U.S. inventories last week, while in London Brent rose 24 cents to close at $109.60 a barrel, the highest level in six weeks, according to Bloomberg.
Former President Jimmy Carter signed a letter with other Nobel laureates declaring the proposed pipeline would contribute to global “climate upheaval,” and should be rejected by the Obama administration, Bloomberg reports.
Keystone XL opponents Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., submitted comments to the State Department urging Secretary John Kerry to face up to “the reality of climate change” and reject the proposed project.
Clean energy investment is on the rise again after two years of declines, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which estimates new money coming into the sector increased by more than $4 billion, or 9 percent, in the first quarter, led by demand for rooftop solar panels.
Bonds may be the best way to raise money for clean energy projects, says a report from the Brookings Institution, although the think tank notes that few developers have used bonds because of difficulties in accessing the markets, E&E reports.
On expectations that the California Public Utilities Commission will adopt its proposed decision barring utilities from charging fees to connect solar systems that use battery storage, SolarCity anticipates returning to file applications to connect the systems in the state, Bloomberg reports.
Only about 200 of Ford's F-150 pickups that can run on compressed natural gas have been sold, FuelFix reports, noting that company officials predict interest will grow once the vehicle gets more established in the market.