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Cash Offers Skyrocket as Much as Seven-Fold for Neb. Landowners Resisting Keystone

Jan 27, 2014
(The Canadian Press)

Cash offers have been skyrocketing, as much as seven-fold, for holdout Nebraska landowners who are willing to sign quickly to allow the Keystone XL pipeline onto their property.

The landowners say they've received written offers from pipeline builder TransCanada Corp. in the last few weeks offering exponentially more money than initially promised, on the condition that they sign soon.

One family says it was initially guaranteed US$8,900 in 2012 to allow the pipeline through its farm. Now, according to an offer sheet dated Jan. 13, 2014, the figure has surged to $61,977.84.

TransCanada Natural Gas Pipeline Explodes Near Winnipeg; 5 Homes Evacuated

Jan 25, 2014
(The Canadian Press)

Five homes have been evacuated as a precaution after a natural gas pipeline explosion early today near the southern Manitoba community of St. Pierre-Jolys.

TransCanada Pipeline says in a statement that a fire broke out around 1:15 a.m. local time on the Canadian Mainline natural gas pipeline system near the community about 25 kilometres south of Winnipeg.

It says the pipeline has been shut down and roads leading to the site have been closed.

NTSB to Industry: Reroute Oil Trains Away From Population Centers

Jan 23, 2014
(Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) expressed growing concern Thursday that accidents involving oil trains can cause “major loss of life,” and recommended that they be rerouted where possible to avoid populated areas.

The safety board's proposal, a direct response to last July’s oil train disaster in Quebec, reverberates in the Twin Cities, where 100-car crude oil trains have become a common occurrence.

But diverting oil tankers away from cities, especially historic rail hubs such as Minneapolis and St. Paul, represents a daunting challenge because most major tracks pass through urban areas.

Close Call on Philadelphia Oil Train Derailment Fuels Calls for Safety

Jan 22, 2014

It could be a few more days before crews finish clearing derailed train cars, including five crude oil tankers, from a bridge over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

As of Tuesday evening, crews were working continuously in snowfall to transfer oil from the derailed cars to empty tank cars nearby on the same tracks, according to the rail company CSX.

"CSX's priority is on safety and the environmentally responsible transfer operation," spokeswoman Melanie Cost said in an e-mailed update.

EU Calls for 40% Cut in Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2030

Jan 22, 2014

The European Union proposed cutting the region’s greenhouse-gas emissions by 40 percent in 2030 to accelerate efforts to reduce global warming.

The European Commission outlined its strategy to reduce pollution and curb rising energy costs and called for an overhaul of the bloc's policies in the next decade, the EU’s executive arm said in a statement today. The current goal is to cut emissions by 20 percent in 2020 from 1990 levels.

Crude Oil Spills on U.S. Railways in 2013 Topped Total Since 1975

Jan 22, 2014
(The Washington Post)

More crude oil was spilled in U.S. rail incidents last year than was spilled in the nearly four decades since the federal government began collecting data on such spills, an analysis of the data shows.

Including major derailments in Alabama and North Dakota, more than 1.15 million gallons of crude oil was spilled from rail cars in 2013, according to data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Japan Says New Leak Is Discovered at Crippled Fukushima Reactor

Jan 21, 2014
(New York Times)

Highly radioactive water found in a reactor building at the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant offers new evidence that the reactor's containment vessel was breached during the accident, the plant’s operator said Monday.

The operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, said a remote-controlled robot had found water on the floor of the heavily contaminated No. 3 reactor building that was even more radioactive than expected.

Enbridge's Alberta Clipper Pipeline Halted After Pump Station Spill

Jan 19, 2014

Enbridge Inc said on Saturday that it had shut down its 450,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Alberta Clipper pipeline, the largest source of U.S. oil imports, after an oil spill at a Saskatchewan pump station.

The estimated 125 barrel spill was mostly limited to the Rowatt pump station, located south of Regina, though some windborne oil sprayed onto the property of a nearby landowner, said Enbridge spokesman Graham White.

Enbridge is investigating the cause along with the National Energy Board, said White, noting that the estimated size of the spill is preliminary and could change.

'No’ on Keystone XL Is Better Than Silence, Canada's Foreign Minister Says

Jan 17, 2014
(The Globe and Mail)

Even a "no" on Keystone XL is better than no answer, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says, reflecting growing Canadian frustration with White House dithering over the proposed massive project to create a route to market for Alberta’s landlocked heavy-crude reserves.

It marked a clear shift in Canadian policy. Barely 100 days ago, Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed not to take "no for an answer" on the controversial and long-delayed project to funnel about a million barrels of Alberta's carbon-laced crude to refineries alongside Texas and Louisiana ports.

Poll Finds Canada Support for Keystone XL Pipeline Eroding

Jan 16, 2014

TransCanada Corp. (TRP)'s proposed Keystone XL pipeline is losing popular support in Canada, a development that could embolden opponents of the project, according to a poll released today by Nanos Research Group.

Canadian support for the $5.4 billion link between Alberta’s oil sands and U.S. Gulf Coast refineries has declined to 52 percent in December from 68 percent in April, while opposition has increased to 40 percent from 28 percent. The survey of 1,000 Canadians taken between Dec. 14 and Dec. 16 has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, according to the Ottawa-based agency.