BLM misses unapproved oil and gas drilling, IG finds

The Interior Department is failing to crack down on the unauthorized tapping of federal oil and gas deposits in the West, which is expected to grow with the use of horizontal drilling, an internal watchdog reports.

The Office of Inspector General said in a report issued this week that taxpayers risk losing royalty payments from illegal production, especially in North Dakota and Oklahoma, where federal parcels are fragmented among private lands.

Jack Gerard/Energy Guardian Photo

Oil industry, rail groups call for longer crude tanker phaseout

A top oil industry group and the American Association of Railroads want up to seven years to retrofit or retire rail cars used to haul flammable crude oil from the booming Bakken Shale region of North Dakota and Canada.

The head of the American Petroleum Institute, Jack Gerard, told reporters Tuesday that his group and the association are jointly calling on the Transportation Department to allow an initial four years to retrofit the oldest, weakest cars, and three more years to tackle newer cars. That's far longer than the two-year timetable the industry would face under a safety rule proposed by Secretary Anthony Foxx in July.


API, AFPM to give their take on new oil-by-rail rules

The public comment period on a new Transportation Department rule to boost the safety of oil shipments by rail ends Tuesday, with industry groups set to reiterate their stances that Bakken crude can be safely transported if properly classified and handled.

The American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers were to file their comments by the deadline, and both planned to hold conference calls planned with reporters to highlight their views.

Big environmental cases absent from SCOTUS docket this term


The U.S. Supreme Court isn’t due to make any rulings on high profile environmental cases this term, although it could still decide to take up a review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s air standards for hazardous pollutants, and several cases involving other agencies have the potential to affect EPA’s rulemaking, E&E reports.

Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor Photo

McCarthy: Opponents making 'crazy' arguments against waters rule

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy on Monday accused opponents of a proposed streams and wetlands pollution rule of spreading "crazy" ideas about its reach, in her latest defense of the action.

"As with everything EPA does these days, there are a variety of -- how shall I say it -- crazy misunderstandings," McCarthy said at the Water Environment Federation annual conference of water managers in New Orleans.

California may restrict common pesticide

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — California farmers who spray a widely used insecticide on some of the state's most abundant crops may soon have to overcome the nation's steepest restrictions or find another pest killer, officials said Thursday.

Regulators are proposing heavy restrictions — but not an all-out ban — on chlorpyrifos, used to treat crops like grapes and almonds. The pesticide, in use since 1965, has sickened dozens of farmworkers in recent years. Traces have been found in waterways, threatening fish, and regulators say overuse could make targeted insects immune to the pesticide.

New EPA water rule aimed at dentists and mercury

The Hill

A rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency would require some dentists to use amalgam separators in their offices to remove mercury, which is used in fillings, before any wastewater is disposed of, The Hill reports.

GOP coal bill carries $97M price tag, CBO says

The Hill

A bill introduced by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., to protect the coal industry by putting restrictions on Environmental Protection Agency water regulation would cost $97 million because it would make EPA’s reviews more expensive, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Congressional Budget Office, The Hill reports.

EnergyGuardian Photo

McCarthy predicts changes to carbon rule as states complain

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy vowed to meet a June deadline to complete a controversial power plant carbon rule, even as she deals with complaints that it holds some states to tougher emissions targets.

"We've received a lot of suggestions that really fall within the category of fairness," she told reporters on Thursday, adding that states are questioning: "Are we being asked too much, is somebody else not being asked enough?"

"We'll take a look at those comments and we think there are some adjustments that could be made," McCarthy said.

EPA photo

Climate summit shows U.S. is leading: McCarthy

Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy on Thursday is to come out swinging in declaring that President Barack Obama is rallying the international community to address global warming, based on the United Nations Climate Change Summit this week.

"I was at the climate summit this week, and one thing is clear: U.S. climate action is changing the game," McCarthy is to say to the Resources for the Future group in Washington, according to advance excerpts of her speech. "Our leadership is spurring action and commitments from government and business leaders from around the world."


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