Proposals to tighten safety standards for crude carried by rail were published in the Federal Register Friday by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, kicking off a period for public comment that will run for 60 days, The Hill reports.
The Department of Transportation’s proposed regulation tackling oil train safety may have been dealing mostly with tank car construction, but the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is also reporting on the volatility of Bakken crude, E&E reports.
Trying to phase out old DOT-111 tank cars within two years, as proposed in new Department of Transportation regulations, could trigger a shortage and hurt oil and ethanol production, industry officials warned, Platts reports.
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Officials need to improve communication with residents of North Dakota's booming oil patch during potentially dangerous situations, an emergency manager and residents said, after an oil field service supply facility storing toxic chemicals exploded this week and authorities failed to alert the public for more than six hours.
"They should have done more," Aaron Volesky, a resident of Williston, North Dakota said of the slow release of information. No one was injured or killed in the explosion and fire, which started about midnight Monday and raged most of Tuesday. Flights to and from the town of 20,000 people were canceled for several hours Tuesday as a plume of smoke shot hundreds of feet into the air.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Responding to a series of fiery train crashes, the government proposed rules Wednesday that would phase out tens of thousands of older tank cars that carry increasing quantities of crude oil and other highly flammable liquids through America's towns and cities.
But many details were put off until later as regulators struggle to balance safety against the economic benefits of a fracking boom that has sharply increased U.S. oil production. Among the issues: What type of tank cars will replace those being phased out, how fast will they be allowed to travel and what kind of braking systems will they need?
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Wednesday will announce new rules covering oil train safety, sources told The Wall Street Journal, which says the plan has railroads concerned about possible speed restrictions and oil companies worried about limits on tank car volumes.
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — A once-massive blaze at an oil supply and logistics company that housed flammable chemicals in Williston, North Dakota, has been extinguished, according to the town's fire department.
Most firefighters returned from the facility belonging to Red River Supply late Tuesday, though one truck remained early Wednesday to monitor hot spots, said fire department shift captain Steven Kerzmann.
"The fire is out, but you've got some smoldering embers that might pop up here and there," he said.
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Three massive fires since the beginning of June have highlighted the threat lightning poses in the North Dakota oil patch, and in each case it was tanks that store the toxic saltwater associated with drilling — not the oil wells or drilling rigs — that were to blame.
The lightning-sparked fires destroyed the groups of silo-like storage tanks at the three locations, which are among more than 440 sites in North Dakota where so-called saltwater is stored before being pumped into permanent disposal sites miles underground. In each case, the fires burned for days, spewing noxious black smoke into the air and literally salting the earth.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Thursday lifted a stay on the Environmental Protection Agency’s implementation of its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, although legal arguments on challenges to some aspects of the regulation are set to take place next March, E&E reports.
Producers for American Crude Exports, or PACE, for short, is made up of more than a dozen independent oil companies who would like to see the decades-old U.S. ban on crude exports overturned, Reuters reports.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff has cleared the Constitution pipeline on its environmental impact, leaving Commissioners to make the final decision on the project, which is intended to add some 650 million cubic feet of natural gas capacity in New York and New England, FuelFix reports.
If the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves changes that PJM Interconnection will suggest to the rules, it’s possible the wholesale electricity market manager might find a way to keep a demand response program going despite legal challenges, E&E reports.
Rising global supply and sluggish demand were continuing to weigh on oil prices. U.S. benchmark crude for December delivery dropped $1.08 to settle at $81.01 a barrel on the Nymex, $1.74 lower than the price a week ago, while Brent finished at $86.13, a loss of 70 cents on the day and 3 cents less than last Friday’s settlement price, Reuters reports.
ConocoPhillips, alongside partners including BP and Exxon Mobil, has announced what it says is the first new drilling in the North Slope’s Kuparuk River Field in nearly a dozen years, a well to come on line in 2016 that will add 8,000 barrels a day of production, Platts reports.
In one of the most hotly contested and expensive House races in the country, Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is battling against Republican candidate Evan Jenkins and powerful conservative groups backed by the Koch brothers, The New York Times reports.
Kristin Jacobs – who has turned in a strong performance in her campaign to be elected to the Florida House of Representatives in a flood-prone Miami district – is one of a number of candidates who are successfully pressing climate change as an issue even when polls say it’s not a top voter concern, The New York Times reports.
Opower says pilot programs run in Vermont and Southern California over the summer, which involved contacting customers to ask them to go easier on their air conditioning and then reporting back to them on how much electricity they saved compared to their neighbors, cut usage by nearly 3 percent on a number of hot days, The Washington Post reports.