WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government on Friday vowed to take a stronger role in protecting chemical-industry workers and local residents from accidents and explosions at chemical plants in the aftermath of a deadly April 2013 explosion in Texas.
The steps include more safeguards around chemical plants, improved first-responder training and emergency-preparedness measures, and computer upgrades at the Environmental Protection Agency.
Because it’s been late getting the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard together, the Environmental Protection Agency has extended the deadline to September 30 for refiners and others to demonstrate compliance with the 2013 standard, Platts reports.
Attempts by a future president to roll back the carbon rule introduced during Barack Obama’s tenure wouldn’t be likely to succeed, senior White House adviser John Podesta said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Friday, The Hill reports.
President Barack Obama's nominee to become the nation's top electricity regulator isn't buying assertions coming from critics of power plant carbon regulations, who contend reliability could be undermined by the 30 percent emissions cut proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Norman Bay, nominated to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said in written answers to questions raised by members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that planning by industry, regulators and grid operators "can help anticipate and address any potential implications for resource adequacy and reliability."
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — An environmentalist billionaire who has pledged to spend tens of millions of dollars targeting Republicans who reject climate change announced Friday that he is now creating a fund to help victims of extreme weather disasters, starting with wildfires in the American West.
Tom Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, launched the Climate Disaster Relief Fund that will draw on the couple's personal profits from investments in Kinder Morgan, one of the largest energy companies in North America.
Climate change leads to warming temperatures, drought and insect outbreaks, which exacerbate costly wildfires, Steyer said in a statement.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon rule will inevitably be challenged in court, but legal experts say many aspects of it should be easily defensible, and it’s constructed so that a rejection of one provision wouldn’t derail others, E&E reports.
Misbehavior of employees at the Environmental Protection Agency has attracted a lot of attention on Capitol Hill in the wake of the John Beale scandal, but E&E notes incidents at the Interior Department, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Defense Department.
Despite burgeoning supplies of condensates as a result of the shale boom, no companies have asked the Commerce Department to change the definition of condensates to free them from the crude export ban, the agency said in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Platts.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — When workers began spilling into western North Dakota for high-paying oil jobs and nowhere to live, they set their eyes on the unregulated prairie of the state's largest oil-producing county — quickly turning it into a mass of trailer parks and scattered RVs.
Crew camps were set up haphazardly along unnamed roads across McKenzie County thanks to its lack of zoning rules for housing. Thousands of people had no address.
"Before, we just had 'hillbilly addressing,'" said Jerry Samuelson, the county's emergency manager. '"Go down to a farmer's mailbox and turn right.' That was when everybody knew everybody."
COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Seventy years after Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, President Barack Obama returned Friday to this hallowed battleground in what he called a "powerful manifestation of America's commitment to human freedom" that lives on in a new generation.
"Our commitment to liberty, our claim to equality, our claim to freedom and to the inherent dignity of every human being — that claim is written in the blood on these beaches, and it will endure for eternity," Obama said on a morning that dawned glorious and bright over the sacred site he called "democracy's beachhead."
The anniversary commemoration was a gathering point for world figures in the midst of a current geopolitical crisis, with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending events along with leaders who are standing against his aggressive moves into Ukraine. All eyes promised to be on Putin and Obama, who were expected to have some interaction during a lunch for world leaders at the Chateau de Benouville.
The power substation in San Jose where a sniper attack last year raised concern about the security of the country’s grid has been breached again, according to Pacific Gas and Electric, which said thieves cut through a fence and stole some equipment, The New York Times reports.
A corn ethanol plant at the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon, which Valero Energy Corp. bought in March, has restarted, FuelFix reports. It is expected to boost the company’s output to 1.3 billion gallons a year, making Valero the country’s third-largest ethanol producer.
Oil looks set to finish out the week higher in the wake of another positive piece of data on the U.S. economy, news of an unexpected rise in consumer confidence. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery was up 66 cents to $95.21 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London Brent crude settled 35 cents higher to $102.81, Bloomberg reports.
Fighting in Tripoli may have been escalating, but in the east of Libya, the key oil port of Es Sider is once again getting a flow of crude from oilfields after exports there resumed last week following a one-year hiatus, an official told The Wall Street Journal.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., listed her parents’ home in New Orleans as her address in filing last week to qualify for the ballot in Louisiana, prompting some critics to question her residency status, The Washington Post reports.
Clean Air Act violations for the release of phosgene, methyl chloride and oleum at a West Virginia facility between 2006 and 2010 will cost DuPont $1.3 million in fines, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department said in announcing a settlement, The Hill reports.
A project to build a big $25 billion water tunnel system in Northern California poses water quality problems to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and a possible threat to smelt and salmon, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a letter accompanying comments posted online, the Los Angeles Times reports.