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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In a notice filed in the Federal Register Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency said it won’t decide until February whether to block work on Alaska’s Pebble Mine, giving itself more time to review the extensive public comments it has received, The Hill reports.
Environment and Public Works Committee chair Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has weighed in on the negotiations over new chemical safety legislation, raising GOP hackles by making public a draft being worked on by ranking Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana along with her critique of it and her own proposal, E&E reports.
Rob Merrifield, the man who’ll be Alberta's next envoy in Washington, told The Globe and Mail in an interview that an oil train disaster similar to the destructive derailment in Lac-Megantic would finally force U.S. officials into approving the Keystone XL pipeline.
Shares in TransCanada, the company behind Keystone XL, have increased 70 percent in the six years the project has been stalled – that’s one of the points Bloomberg Businessweek notes as it looks back over the history of the proposed pipeline.
Ahead of the summit next week in New York, more than 1,400 organizations have been planning for a People’s Climate March Sunday that will be the largest protest on the issue in history, to include the famous and the powerful like U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Rolling Stone reports.
Preliminary reports blamed the radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico on a single ruptured barrel that came from Los Alamos National Laboratory, but Joe Franco, who manages the Department of Energy’s field office in Carlsbad, told a public meeting that there may have been a problem with plutonium contamination from a second container, Reuters reports.
Rising inventories and a dollar gaining on the expectations of an interest rate hike pressured oil prices Friday. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery fell 66 cents to $92.41 on the Nymex but ended the week slightly higher, while in London November Brent settled up 69 cents to $98.39, an increase of 1.3 percent on the week, Bloomberg reports.
German giant Siemens AG is likely to edge out rival bidder Sulzer of Switzerland to take over Texas oil equipment-maker Dresser-Rand, as it’s preparing a cash offer topping $6 billion, people familiar with the situation told The Wall Street Journal.
Ethanol assessments were at their lowest point in more than four years Thursday after an Energy Information Administration report indicating supplies hit an 18-month high of 18.8 million barrels the week ending Sept. 12, Platts reports.
The Scottish “no” vote on independence – which was welcomed by Royal Dutch Shell's CEO – lifts the burden of uncertainty from oil companies, leaving them clear to focus on how to get more out of declining North Sea oilfields, Platts reports.