A public hearing on possible regulations to require stabilization of volatile Bakken crude before it’s transported will be held by the North Dakota Industrial Commission, The Wall Street Journal reports, noting that top federal officials visiting the state Friday were briefed on the proposal.
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.
Dominion Resources has filed papers with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, asking for a start to the review process for the proposed 550-mile natural gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline, The Associated Press reports.
Federal agencies have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent compared to levels in 2008, according to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, but they also remain vulnerable to the effects of climate change in different ways, National Journal reports.
As part of their fight to become the top-ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey and Rep Anna Eshoo of California have raised and distributed more than $1.2 million to their colleagues during this election cycle, National Journal reports.
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are working on a technique using lasers that would more accurately measure greenhouse gas concentrations, E&E reports.
News of production increases in the U.S. and among OPEC members weighed on oil prices Friday. West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery finished the Nymex session down 58 cents to $80.54 a barrel, a drop of 12 percent over the whole of October, while in London Brent lost 38 cents to settle at $85.86, Bloomberg reports.
Increased demand is leading SolarWorld Americas to spend $10 million expanding its solar modules plant, and the company announced it will be hiring 200 additional workers as well, The New York Times reports.
To encourage the development of advanced nuclear reactors – anticipated to be more efficient – the Department of Energy is spending $13 million to help major companies including AREVA, GE Hitachi and Westinghouse in their research of the technology, The Hill reports.