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1 Killed, 3 Injured in Explosion on Gulf of Mexico Oil Platform

Nov 21, 2014
(Wall Street Journal)

An explosion at an offshore oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico killed one worker and injured three others Thursday afternoon, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said.

Fieldwood Energy LLC of Houston reported the blast around 3 p.m. at its Echo platform about 12 miles off the Louisiana coast. The oil and gas pumping facility wasn't producing fuel at the time and no pollution has been reported, according to the federal regulator.

MoveOn.org Warns Clinton: Back Keystone, Lose Your Base

Nov 20, 2014
(National Journal)

The progressive group MoveOn.org is pressing Hillary Clinton to come out against the Keystone XL oil-sands pipeline, warning that she could lose Democratic voters if she doesn't take a stand against the project.

"Hillary Clinton's refusal to take a position raises the possibility that she is worse on climate change than 80 percent of the incoming Senate's Democratic Caucus," said Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action.

She warned: "If she's considering a run for president and wants the support of the party's base, Hillary Clinton should clarify that she opposes this dirty and dangerous pipeline."

Harvard Students Move Fossil-Fuel Divestment Fight to Court

Nov 19, 2014
(New York Times)

A group of Harvard students, frustrated by the university's refusal to shed fossil fuel stocks from its investment portfolios, is looking beyond protests and resolutions to a new form of pressure: the courts.

The seven law students and undergraduates filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in Suffolk County Superior Court in Massachusetts against the president and fellows of Harvard College, among others, for what they call "mismanagement of charitable funds." The 11-page complaint, with 167 pages of supporting exhibits, asks the court to compel divestment on behalf of the students and "future generations."

Senate Narrowly Fails to Pass Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

Nov 18, 2014
(Reuters)

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday narrowly failed to pass a bill that would have approved construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, rejecting a measure the House of Representatives approved last week.

The vote count was 59-41 in favor, but 60 "ayes" would have been needed to assure passage. Fourteen Democrats voted for the bill, joining all 45 Republicans who voted to support the pipeline.

TransCanada Corp's $8 billion pipeline would help transport crude oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, but is opposed by environmentalists.

Keystone Senate Vote Hangs in Balance After Obama Remarks

Nov 17, 2014
(Reuters)

Supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline in the U.S. Senate scrambled on Monday to gather votes to pass a bill that authorizes the project to help send Canadian oil to the U.S. Gulf, a task made harder after President Barack Obama made his toughest comments yet on the topic.

With her chamber stuck at 59 votes in favor of Keystone XL, Senator Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, worked hard to gather one last vote needed to pass a bill that the House of Representatives approved on Friday. The Senate is expected to vote as early as 6:15 p.m. EST (2315 GMT) on Tuesday on TransCanada Corp's project that would transport more than 800,000 barrels per day of oil.

Canada Breaks With Australia to Contribute to Green Climate Fund

Nov 17, 2014
(Guardian)

Canada – one of the few countries previously in line with Australia's opposition to the international Green Climate Fund – now appears to have changed its mind, with Tony Abbott’s close friend prime minister Stephen Harper saying he is preparing to make a contribution.

Abbott has defied global pressure to commit to the fund, designed to help poor countries adapt to climate change, because Australia is already spending $2.5bn on its domestic Direct Action fund and providing $10bn in capital to a so-called "green bank" – which he is trying to abolish.

World leaders forced Australia to include stronger language about the Green Climate Fund in the G20 communique – and during the summit Barack Obama pledged the US would contribute $3bn to it and the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, offered $1.5bn. But soon after the conference was over Abbott indicated it would make no immediate difference to Australia’s position.

Obama to Congress: Don't 'Short-Circuit' Administration's Keystone Review

Nov 14, 2014
(The Hill)

Lawmakers shouldn't "short-circuit" the existing process for evaluating the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama told reporters on Friday with the Senate poised to vote on the controversial construction project next month.

"I've been clear in the past...and my position hasn't changed, that this is a process that is supposed to be followed," President Obama said at a press conference in Burma.

The president said that until an ongoing court case in Nebraska was settled that could affect the route of the pipeline, it would be difficult for his administration to conduct an accurate study of the effects of construction.

Tar Sands Battle Comes to Minn. as Groups File Suit to Block 'Illegal' Pipeline Scheme

Nov 14, 2014
(Timberjay)

The growing battle to halt the development of the Canadian tar sands is headed for a federal courtroom in Minnesota.

A coalition of organizations, including national and northern Minnesota-based groups have joined forces in a legal action to head off what they claim is an end-around of federal law by Enbridge, a major pipeline operator in the state.

According to a lawsuit filed this week in Federal District Court in Minneapolis, the groups claim that Enbridge and the U.S. State Department colluded in allowing the company to install a new section of pipeline across the U.S.-Canadian border prior to completion of an environmental review process.

While the new section of pipeline enters the U.S. in northeastern North Dakota, the company’s plans to ship as much as 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) of bitumen from Alberta through northern Minnesota to refineries in Superior, Wis., is raising concerns among Indian tribes in the region as well as environmentalists.

Longtime Coal CEO Don Blankenship Indicted

Nov 14, 2014
(The Charleston Gazette)

Massey Energy Co. chief executive Don Blankenship testifies in May 2010 at the U.S. Senate's Health and Human Services subcommittee hearing on mine safety, just a few weeks after 29 miners died at the Massey-operated Upper Big Branch Mine, in Raleigh County.

Don Blankenship, the longtime chief executive officer of Massey Energy, was indicted Thursday on charges that he orchestrated the routine violation of key federal mine safety rules at the company’s Upper Big Branch Mine prior to an April 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners.

A federal grand jury in Charleston charged Blankenship with conspiring to cause willful violations of ventilation requirements and coal-dust control rules—meant to prevent deadly mine blasts—during a 15-month period prior to the worst coal-mining disaster in a generation.

 

Keystone XL Approval Bill Clears Hurdle in U.S. Senate

Nov 13, 2014
(Reuters)

Legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline cleared a procedural hurdle in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, setting up a vote on the project next week.

Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu, who faces a runoff vote in Louisiana on Dec. 6, had pushed for vote on Thursday on the bill.

Her Republican opponent, U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy, pushed for a vote on a similar bill his chamber, as each competed to support TransCanada Corp's pipeline that would send some 800,000 barrels per day of Canadian oil sand petroleum to refineries in Texas.