Refining industry not on board with railcar proposal


Though the American Petroleum Institute and the Association of American Railroads agreed to a deal to phase out old crude-carrying train cars in exchange for safer ones, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers isn't on board, saying their members own many of the tank cars affected, Reuters reports.


Groups seek ban of oil in older railroad tank cars

SEATTLE (AP) — Two environmental groups are asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to immediately ban shipments of volatile crude oil in older railroad tank cars, citing recent explosive oil train wrecks and the department's own findings that those accidents pose an "imminent hazard."

The petition filed Tuesday by the Sierra Club and ForestEthics seeks an emergency order within 30 days to prohibit crude from the Northern Plains' Bakken region and elsewhere from being carried in the older tank cars, known as DOT-111s.


Energy, rail industry reach agreement for sturdier tanker cars


The American Petroleum Institute and the Association of American Railroads have reached an agreement to make thicker tanker cars for shipping oil and schedule plans for retiring older cars; if the agreement is endorsed by the Transportation Department, it will become a key component of a larger rail safety overhaul, Reuters reports.


Influence game: Shaping railroad safety rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — A string of fiery train derailments across the country has triggered a high-stakes but behind-the-scenes campaign to shape how the government responds to calls for tighter safety rules.

Billions of dollars are riding on how these rules are written, and lobbyists from the railroads, tank car manufacturers and the oil, ethanol and chemical industries have met 13 times since March with officials at the White House and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Near spill, reservation wrestles with oil's impact

MANDAREE, N.D. (AP) — Growing up, Ruth Anna Buffalo would follow the dirt track behind her house into the rugged North Dakota badlands, swimming in creeks picketed with beaver dams, finding artifacts and climbing bluffs overlooking Lake Sakakawea. For the young, the lake and the land around it were a wonderland.

Buffalo's grandfather, though, looked at the lake with pained eyes. Created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' building of the Garrison Dam in the 1940s and '50s, it flooded out a significant portion of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and swallowed his town of Elbowoods. Families were forced to leave their homes for higher ground.


Iraqi Kurds take over 2 northern oil fields

BAGHDAD (AP) — Kurdish security forces took over two major oil fields outside the disputed northern city of Kirkuk before dawn Friday and said they would use some of the production for domestic purposes, further widening a split with the central government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The takeover of the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk oil fields were the latest land grabs by Kurds, who have responded to the Sunni militant insurgency that has overrun large parts of Iraq by seizing territory of their own, effectively expanding the Kurdish autonomous zone in the north. Those moves have infuriated al-Maliki's government while stoking independence sentiment among the Kurds.


US appeals granting of new trial to ex-BP engineer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Federal prosecutors are appealing a judge's decision to grant a new trial to a former BP engineer convicted of obstructing justice in an investigation of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The notice of appeal in the case of Kurt Mix was filed Friday in U.S. District Court, where Mix was tried, and at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


Report suggests oil companies unprepared for cyber threats


The Ponemon Institute found that only 17 percent of security executives at energy and manufacturing firms surveyed have deployed key cybersecurity initiatives, despite the fact that most of the companies have experienced a compromise in the past year, FuelFix reports.


Lightning hits 3rd North Dakota saltwater facility

ALEXANDER, N.D. (AP) — A lightning strike sparked a fire and explosion that destroyed the third North Dakota saltwater disposal facility in recent weeks, sending thick black smoke billowing into the sky and leaving the smell of oil in the air.


Salerno: Offshore safety culture improving, but challenges remain

As the Gulf of Mexico sees increased offshore oil and gas activity four years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the Interior Department’s top offshore safety regulator says drilling safety culture is improving.

However, there are still challenges to be overcome as the industry and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement move ahead with new regulatory systems, agency director Brian Salerno said Sunday.


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