Freight trains carrying crude oil will be barred from being left unattended, under new rules being proposed by the Department of Transportation intended to prevent runaway train disasters like the derailment in Lac-Megantic, The Hill reports.
House Science, Space and Technology subcommittees hearing, "Bakken Petroleum: The Substance of Energy Independence." DOE Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Christopher Smith, PHMSA Deputy Administrator Timothy Butters to testify.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP acted "recklessly" and bears most of the responsibility for the nation's worst offshore oil spill, a federal judge concluded Thursday, exposing the energy giant to roughly $18 billion in additional penalties.
BP's market value plummeted by $7 billion after the ruling as its shares suffered their worst percentage decline in almost three years. By Thursday afternoon, company shares had fallen almost 6 percent to $45.05.
BP PLC, which vowed to appeal, already agreed to pay billions in criminal fines and compensation to people and businesses affected by the disaster. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's ruling that BP acted with "gross negligence" deals instead with civil responsibilities, and could nearly quadruple what the London-based company has to pay in fines for polluting the Gulf of Mexico.
The judge held a non-jury trial last year to apportion blame for the Macondo well spill, which killed 11 men on the Deepwater Horizon rig and spewed oil for 87 days in 2010.
He ruled that BP bears 67 percent of the blame, Swiss-based drilling rig owner Transocean Ltd. bears 30 percent, and Houston-based cement contractor Halliburton Energy Services is responsible for 3 percent.
An electrical panel malfunction that led to a toxic gas emission from a Valero refinery in Texas City early Sunday won’t signal a repeat of wider problems that plagued the facility in 2011, officials told FuelFix.
Former contractor Kenneth Abbott and the environmental group Food & Water Watch will likely appeal a ruling by U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes that dismisses their multibillion dollar suit against BP for its safety practices in the Gulf of Mexico’s Atlantis field, their attorney said, FuelFix reports.
WHITING, Ind. (AP) — An explosion at BP oil refinery in northwestern Indiana along Lake Michigan rattled nearby homes and sparked a fire that was later extinguished, but it didn't cause any major injuries or halt production at the facility, a company official said Thursday.
The explosion Wednesday night at the Whiting refinery, which is just east of Chicago, was caused by "an operational incident" on a processing unit, BP America spokesman Scott Dean said. It happened about 9 p.m. and was extinguished by the plant's fire department within a couple of hours.
One employee was taken to a hospital as a precaution, but was later released, Dean said. Refinery operations were "minimally" affected by the fire, he said.
A lawsuit filed by former contractor Kenneth Abbott and the environmental group Food & Water Watch, claiming that BP misled regulators about the safety of its operations in the Atlantis field in the Gulf of Mexico, has been dismissed by U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes, FuelFix reports.
TORONTO (AP) — The weak safety culture of a now-defunct railway company and poor government oversight were among the many factors that led to an oil train explosion that killed 47 people in Quebec last year, Canada's Transportation Safety Board said in a new report released Tuesday.
TSB chair Wendy Tadros said 18 factors played a role, including a rail company that cut corners and a Canadian regulator that didn't do proper safety audits.
The safety board issued its report 13 months after a runaway train carrying 72 carloads of volatile oil from North Dakota derailed, hurtled down an incline and slammed into downtown Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Several train cars exploded and 40 buildings were leveled, including a popular bar that was filled with revelers enjoying a summer Friday night. The unattended train had been parked overnight on a rail line before it came loose.
SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department said Friday it will file no criminal charges following a four-year investigation into the April 2010 explosion that killed seven workers at the Tesoro Corp. refinery in Anacortes.
The decision was shared with victims' relatives earlier in the day, said Jenny Durkan, the U.S. attorney in Seattle.
Prosecutors examined whether criminal environmental and worker safety laws and regulations had been violated, but there was no evidence that reached the "exacting bar for criminal prosecution," Durkan said in a news release.
The Department of Transportation’s plan to improve oil train safety figures that old tank cars barred from carrying Bakken crude could be recycled for use transporting Canadian tar sands oil, but industry experts have dismissed that idea as unfeasible, Reuters reports.
The GOP chorus denouncing the Environmental Protection Agency move to lower the ozone standard was joined by House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., senior figures on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who is chairman of the Republican Senate caucus, The Hill reports.
Ahead of the OPEC meeting in Vienna, oil prices recovered Wednesday from earlier drops triggered by word of a greater-than-expected increase in U.S. crude inventories as well as a comment from Saudi Arabia's oil minister that there would be no need for a production cut. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery slipped just 3 cents to $74.06 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London Brent was 5 cents lower to $78.28, Bloomberg reports.
Freeport LNG has closed on financing deals – from Japanese sources -- for two of three planned liquefaction trains at its export facility, and should begin construction on its plant in Quintana, Texas this week, with operation projected to start in 2018, FuelFix reports.
Uranium prices are on track for an 18 percent increase in 2014, which would be the first annual gain for the energy commodity in four years and make it the best performing category in the sector, Bloomberg reports.
Nearly all of the claims dealt with through the settlement process after the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico spill were handled correctly, according to a third party audit released Tuesday by claims administrator Patrick Juneau, The Times-Picayune reports.
The legal fight over the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the U.S. rule could revolve around what’s meant by the words “adjacent” and “neighboring,” as well as how the regulation defines a flood plain, E&E reports.
After a shareholder lawsuit filed to stop the $2.86 billion merger announced in June between C&J Energy Services and the fracking business of Nabors Industries, a judge in Delaware Tuesday ordered a 30-day suspension to allow for competing offers, but C&J said it would appeal, FuelFix reports.
Oncor’s proposal to install battery storage across the grid in Texas is coming in for criticism from a state lawmaker – Republican State Sen. Troy Fraser said his support for the $5.2 billion project came before he realized an increase in transmission rates would be part of the package, The Dallas Morning News reports.
Speaking about the failure of Google’s renewable energy project RE<C, two engineers, writing in IEE Spectrum recently, said trying to fight climate change using only existing technologies like wind and solar energy won’t work, Fox News reports.