TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libyan government forces and loyal militia fighters besieged a North Korea-flagged tanker Sunday that a rival militia hoped to use to export oil in defiance of central authorities, officials said.
Al-Habib al-Amin, the country's culture minister and a top aide to Libya's prime minister, told reporters in a televised news conference that government forces including navy vessels were deployed to al-Sidra port to stop the tanker.
"It's final and decisive. Any attempt (by the tanker) to move, it will be turned into scrap," al-Amin said.
Libya's parliament authorized a special military force to move within the week to wrest control of oil ports from militias, but the military is expected to struggle against the seasoned militia members, Reuters reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Government regulators are taking too long to write new rail safety regulations in light of recent fiery oil train accidents and a deadly commuter train derailment, frustrated senators said Thursday.
Railroads are also taking too long implement safety improvements Congress ordered under legislation passed seven years ago, lawmakers complained at a hearing of the Senate's surface transportation panel.
TORONTO (AP) — The crude oil that exploded during a fatal derailment in Quebec last year that killed 47 people had characteristics similar to that of unleaded gasoline, a highly flammable liquid, Canada's transportation safety agency said Thursday.
The Transportation Safety Board said in a newly released report that the crude tested by Canada's transportation agency had a low flash point, which refers to the temperature at which the crude gives off enough vapor to ignite in air.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal regulators offered more details on testing requirements for oil transported by rail on Thursday and warned companies against skirting the rules after a spate of explosions caused by crude train derailments in the U.S. and Canada.
The new order from the U.S. Department of Transportation builds on a Feb. 25 declaration that the industry's unsafe handling practices have made crude shipments an imminent hazard to public safety and the environment.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York state Department of Transportation has fined CSX Railroad $10,000, saying it failed to report two oil train derailments within an hour of when they happened as required by state law.
A Feb. 25 derailment in Kingston involved empty rail cars that had contained crude oil. A Feb. 28 derailment at the Selkirk yard near Albany involved a train loaded with crude oil. The cars remained upright and nothing spilled.
American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard, at a House hearing, criticized the recent emergency order regarding testing of crude before transporting it, calling the wording confusing, but PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman said it was ambiguous in order to give shippers flexibility, National Journal reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Rail tank cars being used to ship crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken region are an "unacceptable public risk," and even cars voluntarily upgraded by the industry may not be sufficient, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday.
The cars, known as DOT-111s, were involved in derailments of oil trains in Casselton, N.D., and Lac-Megantic, Quebec, just across the U.S. border, NTSB member Robert Sumwalt said at a House Transportation subcommittee hearing.
Forty-seven people were killed and 30 buildings destroyed in the blaze ignited by the Lac-Megantic accident. The Casselton accident, which occurred half a mile outside the town, created a massive fire that burned for more than 24 hours.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators issued an emergency order Tuesday requiring more stringent testing of crude oil before shipment by rail to determine how susceptible the cargo is to explosion or fire, a response to a string of train accidents since last summer involving oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana.
The order also would place crude oil under more protective sets of hazardous materials shipping requirements, rather than allowing some shipments to be treated as less dangerous, the Transportation Department said.
That means the fuel may no longer be carried by tank cars that lack certain safety features, according to government officials. That includes 1,100 cars that account for about 3 percent of the total crude fleet, according to the Association of American Railroads.
Oil continues to wash up on some Louisiana beaches four years after the Deepwater Horizon sinking sent oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and a number of area residents remain angry and resentful despite BP paying out billions of dollars in compensation, Reuters reports.
Environmental Protection Administrator and Boston native Gina McCarthy and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will throw out the first pitches at the Red Sox game Tuesday, to mark Earth Day, The Hill reports.
A subsidiary of American Energy Partners, the company run by shale pioneer Aubrey McClendon, is renting seven rigs from his former firm Chesapeake Energy to drill for gas in the Utica Shale, Bloomberg reports.
The total U.S. rig count for the week remained at 1,831, according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc., which said that oil rigs declined while gas and miscellaneous rigs increased, Bloomberg reports.
Vermont Yankee owner Entergy has applied to scrap the 10-mile emergency planning zone around it, because of the nuclear plant's closing by year's end, raising concerns from citizen groups, The Recorder reports.
Critics complain that proposals to increase security of the nation’s power grid, drafted by the industry in the wake of an attack on a California substation last year, won’t do enough to stop anyone intent on sabotage, The Wall Street Journal reports.