NEW CASTLE, Colo. (AP) — Four in 10 new oil and gas wells near national forests and fragile watersheds or otherwise identified as higher pollution risks escape federal inspection, unchecked by an agency struggling to keep pace with America's drilling boom, according to an Associated Press review that shows wide state-by-state disparities in safety checks.
Roughly half or more of wells on federal and Indian lands weren't checked in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, despite potential harm that has led to efforts in some communities to ban new drilling.
In New Castle, a tiny Colorado River valley community, homeowners expressed chagrin at the large number of uninspected wells, many on federal land, that dot the steep hillsides and rocky landscape. Like elsewhere in the West, water is a precious commodity in this Colorado town, and some residents worry about the potential health hazards of any leaks from wells and drilling.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating Wednesday’s crash of a helicopter approaching an oil platform south of Houma, La., in which Westwind Helicopters said two men were killed, the Houston Chronicle reports.
A report from California's government says the state's agencies are ill-prepared to oversee inspections and respond to emergencies related to a current surge in oil shipments by rail, Bloomberg reports.
Several railroads being required to turn over details of their oil train shipments are asking states to keep the information secret, but The Associated Press reports that six have declined: Wisconsin, Montana, Illinois, North Dakota, Idaho and Washington.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A rolling classroom on rails, complete with four tanker cars and a flatbed rigged with a variety of valves and fittings, made a whistle stop Thursday at the Port of Albany as part of a multi-state tour providing enhanced safety training to first responders in light of increased shipments of North Dakota crude oil.
The railroad is conducting a three-day training program at Albany's Hudson River port before taking its Safety Train to other cities along a route through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The key last-ditch safety device that failed to prevent the 2010 BP oil spill remains a potentially catastrophic problem today for some offshore drilling, according to a federal safety board investigation.
The report issued Thursday by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board details the multiple failures and improper testing of the blowout preventer and blames bad management and operations for the breakdown. They found faulty wiring, a dead battery and a bent pipe in the hulking device.
"The problems with this blowout preventer were worse than we understood," safety board managing director Daniel Horowitz said in an interview. "And there are still hazards out there that need to be improved if we are to prevent this from happening again."
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal investigative board concludes that the last-ditch safety device that didn't stop the 2010 BP oil spill had multiple failures, wasn't tested properly and still poses a risk for many rigs drilling today.
The report issued Thursday by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board zeroes in on what went wrong with the blowout preventer and blames bad management and operations. And that, they said, led to the dumping of 172 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Investigators have long known that the device failed. But safety board managing director Daniel Horowitz says the problems were worse than officials had figured and are potentially still a problem for some active rigs now.
The massive blowout preventers use multiple mechanisms to choke off the oil flow.
GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — The pilot guiding a freighter into the foggy Houston Ship Channel when it crashed into an oil-filled barge earlier this year says he did not see the barge until it was too late to avoid a collision.
The tugboat captain said earlier Tuesday at a federal hearing investigating the accident that the larger vessel increased its speed and she couldn't maneuver quickly to avoid the crash.
The pilot says he needed the speed to navigate strong currents.
There are problems with industry reports claiming that existing safety standards are enough to regulate Bakken crude being shipped by rail, officials and lawmakers, including Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Monday, Reuters reports.
TransCanada may have taken issue with an AP report that linked new mandates to welding problems on the southern leg of its Keystone pipeline, but the company is promising to implement a number of additional measures in response to a third party engineering analysis of pipeline safety risks, E&E reports.
The power substation in San Jose where a sniper attack last year raised concern about the security of the country’s grid has been breached again, according to Pacific Gas and Electric, which said thieves cut through a fence and stole some equipment, The New York Times reports.
A corn ethanol plant at the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon, which Valero Energy Corp. bought in March, has restarted, FuelFix reports. It is expected to boost the company’s output to 1.3 billion gallons a year, making Valero the country’s third-largest ethanol producer.
Oil looks set to finish out the week higher in the wake of another positive piece of data on the U.S. economy, news of an unexpected rise in consumer confidence. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery was up 66 cents to $95.21 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London Brent crude settled 35 cents higher to $102.81, Bloomberg reports.
Fighting in Tripoli may have been escalating, but in the east of Libya, the key oil port of Es Sider is once again getting a flow of crude from oilfields after exports there resumed last week following a one-year hiatus, an official told The Wall Street Journal.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., listed her parents’ home in New Orleans as her address in filing last week to qualify for the ballot in Louisiana, prompting some critics to question her residency status, The Washington Post reports.
Clean Air Act violations for the release of phosgene, methyl chloride and oleum at a West Virginia facility between 2006 and 2010 will cost DuPont $1.3 million in fines, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department said in announcing a settlement, The Hill reports.
A project to build a big $25 billion water tunnel system in Northern California poses water quality problems to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and a possible threat to smelt and salmon, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a letter accompanying comments posted online, the Los Angeles Times reports.