#oil and gas
President Trump Issues XL Pipeline End Run

President Trump Issues XL Pipeline End Run

Last Friday, with no fanfare or boasting, the President signed a new Executive Order approving the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which had been held up in extended litigation over whether environmental reviews of the project were sufficient.  The new order replaced a previous permit and executive order from early 2017 reversing the Obama Administration and green-lighting the controversial project.  

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Texas chemical explosion kills worker, 3rd plant explosion in 3 weeks

Texas chemical explosion kills worker, 3rd plant explosion in 3 weeks

Yesterday in Crosby, Texas (about 25 miles northeast of Houston) a tank holding a flammable chemical caught fire at a KMCO chemical plant, killing one worker, critically injuring two others and sending panicked employees fleeing over a fence to safety. This was the third explosion in the petrochemical industry in the past 3 weeks (the […]

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Judge Tosses Trump Plan To Drill Offshore In Alaska

Judge Tosses Trump Plan To Drill Offshore In Alaska

A federal judge in Alaska dealt a major blow late Friday to the Trump Administration’s plan to allow drilling for oil and gas in the ocean waters off the North Slope of Alaska and in deep-sea canyons in the Atlantic Ocean.  President Obama used his statutory authority under the law governing ocean oil and gas drilling to “withdraw” these areas from ANY subsequent plan to lease them out, but three months after taking office, President Trump “revoked” the Obama decision. 

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A Pair of Capitol Hill Hearings Making News

A Pair of Capitol Hill Hearings Making News

Yesterday President Trump’s nominee to run the Interior Department, David Bernhardt, had his confirmation hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and he was questioned hard by the Democrats about his alleged conflicts of interest and how his close ties to the oil and gas industry might color his views as Secretary. 

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New Poll: Most Americans Support Reducing Fossil Fuel Use

New Poll: Most Americans Support Reducing Fossil Fuel Use

In the latest Gallup poll, 60% of Americans favor reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, including 37% of Republicans and 60% of Independents.  Interestingly for the prospects of passing Green New Deal legislation, 60% of Americans also believe it is “very likely” (22%) or “likely” (38%) that the country will dramatically reduce fossil fuel usage in the next 10 to 20 years, and roughly the same percentage favor policy proposals that aim to do it. 

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A Judge in Wyoming Shuts Down Trump Oil and Gas Drilling Plan

A Judge in Wyoming Shuts Down Trump Oil and Gas Drilling Plan

A federal judge late Tuesday halted the Trump Administration’s oil and gas drilling plans on 300,000 acres of federal lands in Wyoming because of the Administration’s failure to take climate change into account in its review of the environmental impacts of drilling, according to The Washington Post.

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Sage Grouse Habitat To Be Opened For Drilling

Sage Grouse Habitat To Be Opened For Drilling

Late last week, the Trump Administration announced its decision to open up for oil and gas drilling nine millions of acres of critical habitat for the Sage Grouse, a bird whose endangered status hinged on whether the habitat would be saved. 

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Right Whales Are The Right Whale to Save – Just Ask Vineyard Wind

Right Whales Are The Right Whale to Save – Just Ask Vineyard Wind

There are fewer than 415 North Atlantic Right Whales remaining with only 100 females of breeding age left in the population. This is one of the most endangered species on the planet, thanks to man-made threats like ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. According to the U.S. Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Beth Allgood, “There may be only five years remaining to save these whales. This is one of the most pressing conservation challenges of our time.”

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Trump Administration Allows 1,700 Safety Exceptions For Offshore Drilling Operations

Trump Administration Allows 1,700 Safety Exceptions For Offshore Drilling Operations

The Trump Administration has allowed 1700 “exceptions” of the “Well Control Rule” that the Obama Administration put in place in 2016 to improve drilling safety as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Today, in a hearing on Capitol Hill, the Interior Department defended these actions saying that the exceptions were granted only if the requester demonstrated that the exception to the rule was equally protective. 

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Funding Well May Be Running Dry For Frackers

Funding Well May Be Running Dry For Frackers

According to The Wall Street Journal, fracking companies are seeing their sources of capital on Wall Street dry up as investors are looking elsewhere given that many of the frackers have been operating at a loss for more than a decade.  The lack of capital to keep these companies liquid is forcing them to cut costs and plan for slower growth.  This is particularly true for small companies with lots of debt, but it is also happening to larger companies that are desperately trying to meet earnings targets set by their Wall Street lenders. 

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Environmental Groups Seek To Block Seismic Testing in the Atlantic

Environmental Groups Seek To Block Seismic Testing in the Atlantic

As part of their challenge to bar the government from drilling for oil and gas off the southeastern coast, a coalition of environmental groups asked a federal judge in South Carolina to force the government to suspend seismic airgun blast testing, which are used to deposits of oil and gas under the sea floor, until the case can be fully heard in court.  They are challenging the government’s permits, which would allow for the drilling to harm and even possibly kill of a number of marine mammals, including the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, which is on the verge of extinction. 

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Drill Baby Drill In the Everglades

Drill Baby Drill In the Everglades

The Florida Everglades may soon be the site of new oil and gas drilling operations.  A Miami real estate developer has, after a four-year legal battle, received a permit to drill an exploratory oil well in the Everglades, just west of populous Broward County suburbs.

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