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Texas Oil & Gas Group Asks Court to Halt Fracking Ban

Nov 6, 2014

A North Texas city that sits atop a natural gas reserve is preparing for an extended court battle after voters made it the first in the state to ban further hydraulic fracturing — a fight that cities nationwide considering similar laws will likely be watching closely.

An industry group and the state's little-known but powerful General Land Office responded quickly to the measure Denton approved Tuesday night, seeking an injunction in District Court to stop it from being enforced.

Denton Becomes First City in Texas to Ban Fracking

Nov 5, 2014
(Fort Worth-Telegram)

In a state where the oil and gas industry is king, Denton on Tuesday was poised to become the first city in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing with voters approving a grassroots initiative against the controversial drilling method.

With 37 of 39 precincts reported by late evening, about 59 percent of voters in this college town of 123,000 had cast ballots for an ordinance that will drastically restrict drillers’ attempts to tap the rich natural gas reserves within the city limits. Calling the ordinance unconstitutional, state and industry officials have pledged to contest it in court and state lawmakers have said they may pass legislation to block it.

Elections Give Keystone XL a Filibuster-Proof Majority

Nov 5, 2014

Republicans will command a filibuster-proof Senate majority in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline after Tuesday’s election victories — and they could be within striking distance of assembling a veto-proof bloc for the project, increasing their leverage over President Barack Obama.

The GOP says Keystone will be the subject of one of the first votes in the newly GOP-controlled Senate, when Republicans will be able to join forces with several Democrats who have already publicly backed the Alberta-to-Texas oil pipeline.

TransCanada Says Keystone Pipeline Costs Increase to $8B

Nov 4, 2014

TransCanada Corp. (TRP) said delays in receiving U.S. approval for its Keystone XL project have increased costs by 48 percent to $8 billion, raising the price customers will have to pay to ship oil on the proposed pipeline.

TransCanada has been waiting since 2008 for a U.S. decision on the line that would carry crude from Alberta’s oil sands across the border to Gulf Coast refineries. The Calgary-based company has spent about $2.4 billion on the project as of Sept. 30, it said in a statement today. It had previously estimated the 1,179-mile (1,897-kilometer) project would cost $5.4 billion.

TransCanada is seeking to boost its crude transportation business to bring expanding supplies from oil-sands projects to refiners and export terminals. Output from Western Canada is forecast to more than double to 4.8 million barrels a day by 2030 from 1.9 million last year, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. In addition to Keystone XL, TransCanada has proposed the C$12 billion ($10.5 billion) Energy East line that would bring crude to Canada’s Atlantic Coast.

Even with the price increase, Keystone XL will still be the cheapest transportation option to move Canadian oil to the Gulf Coast, Paul Miller, TransCanada president of liquids pipelines, said on a conference call today. That includes using the proposed Energy East line and then loading it onto tankers for the trip south, he said.

Enbridge Estimates Michigan Oil Spill Cleanup at $1.2 Billion

Nov 4, 2014
(Wood TV 8)

Enbridge estimates the total cost of cleanup from the 2010 oil spill into the Kalamazoo River at $1.21 billion.

This is an increase of $85.9 million compared to Enbridge's estimate in December 2013.

The $1.21 billion was split into three categories: $551.6 million for response personnel and equipment, $227 million for environmental consultants, $429.4 million in professional, regulatory, and other.

The Enbridge pipeline broke near Marshall in July 2010 dumping 800,000 gallons of crude oil into the river. It was the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history. Enbridge is still cleaning up the mess.

Hyundai and Kia Could Pay Record $350 Million Climate-Related Penalty

Nov 4, 2014

Hyundai and Kia motor companies will pay as much as $350 million for overstating the fuel efficiency of their cars, as the Obama administration struck the biggest blow yet in its effort to enforce the regulations central to its strategy for combatting climate change.

The Justice Department and the EPA on Monday announced that the two Korean automakers—both part of the Hyundai Motor Group—had agreed to pay a $100 million fine and forfeit another $200 million in emissions credits in the largest civil penalty ever levied under the Clean Air Act. The total cost to the companies could reach $350 million, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told reporters at a press conference.

Sunoco's Louisiana Oil Spill Revised Up to 189,000 Gallons

Nov 3, 2014
(AP via Fuel Fix)

Oil is flowing again through a 1,000-mile pipeline that broke in northwest Louisiana nearly four weeks ago.

Sunoco Logistics Partners LP spokesman Jeff Shields tells The Times of Shreveport that the total spill is now estimated at 189,000 gallons. That's up 21,000 gallons from the previous estimate. Sheilds says the partnership got a more accurate estimate after refilling the Mid-Valley Pipeline.

Fossil Fuels Should Be 'Phased Out by 2100,' IPCC Says

Nov 2, 2014
(BBC News)

The unrestricted use of fossil fuels must end soon if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change.

That's one of the key messages in a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The IPCC outlines an approach that could see most of the world's electricity produced from low carbon sources by 2050.

Fossil fuels, without carbon capture and storage (CCS), would be phased out "almost entirely" by 2100.

TransCanada to File 'Energy East' Tar Sands Pipeline Application

Oct 30, 2014
(Wall Street Journal)

TransCanada Corp. will file an application Thursday with Canada’s main energy regulator for a proposed pipeline that would ship landlocked western Canadian crude to eastern Canadian refineries, and get the crude to Gulf Coast refineries.

The Calgary-based pipeline operator had initially planned to submit the application this summer but decided to make pre-emptive routing changes to address potential objections from communities along the way, the company’s chief executive told The Wall Street Journal this week. CEO Russ Girling also noted the complexity of putting together the 30,000-page application for the project, dubbed Energy East.

After Fracking-Well Blowout in Ohio, Most of 400 Families Evacuated Allowed Back Home

Oct 30, 2014
(The Columbus Dispatch)

From his fishing boat on a rural Jefferson County pond, Mike Poole could see the natural-gas wellhead less than a tenth of a mile away.

Poole spent part of his Tuesday afternoon on that boat with a friend and his dog. The well, at that time, was just part of the landscape.

By Tuesday evening, though, it had forced him from his home in Bloomingdale, Ohio.

Poole, who lives above the Mingo Sportsmans Club less than a mile from the well, was one of about 400 families to be evacuated after the well ruptured on Tuesday night, spewing natural gas and methane into the air.