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Today's Climate

January 29, 2015

The Senate is set to greenlight its Keystone XL bill on Thursday, just 48 hours after Democrats forced Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to postpone victory on the oil pipeline he has made the GOP's first priority for 2015.
Gov. Tom Wolf plans to sign an executive order ending a short-lived effort by his predecessor to expand the extraction of natural gas from rock buried deep below Pennsylvania's state parks and forests, his office said Wednesday.
(BBC News)
Royal Dutch Shell is reviving plans to drill for oil in Arctic in a move likely to intensify its battle with environmentalists.
(New York Times)
Chevron and BP said on Wednesday that they would work together to explore, appraise and, possibly, develop 24 offshore leases in a deepwater part of the Gulf of Mexico known as the lower tertiary.
(Los Angeles Times)
Each year, the American Assn. of Drilling Engineers hosts a meeting here affectionately called the Liar's Club.
(Wall Street Journal (sub. req'd))
India's government will sell up to 10 percent of Coal India Ltd. on Friday, helping raise more than a third of the $10 billion it hopes to get by auctioning minority stakes in several companies this fiscal year.
(Financial Times)
Glencore is considering a partial shutdown of a coal unit in South Africa in what would be the most decisive response so far to weak coal prices by one of the world's largest exporters.
(The Tyee)
Hydraulic fracturing, a technology used to crack open difficult oil and gas formations, appears to have set off a swarm of earthquakes near Fox Creek, Alberta, including a record-breaking tremor with a felt magnitude of 4.4 last week.
North Dakota's oil industry is pushing to change the state's radioactive waste disposal laws as part of a broad effort to conserve cash as oil prices tumble.
Britons are more likely to agree the climate is changing than at any time in recent years, with nearly nine in 10 people saying climate change is happening and 84 percent attributing this somewhat or entirely to human activity, new research has found. Two-thirds say they are concerned by global warming.
(National Journal)
Behemoth defense contractor Northrop Grumman is the latest blue-chip corporation to end its affiliation with the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group that has endured the departure of several prominent tech companies in recent months,National Journal has learned.

January 28, 2015

(Akron Beacon Journal)
An ethane pipeline ruptured and produced a fireball on Monday morning in northern West Virginia.
(Wall Street Journal (sub. req'd))
In the coming days, the world's biggest publicly traded oil companies will report fourth-quarter earnings, offering the best look yet at the bite lower crude prices have taken out of Big Oil.
(Think Progress)
The multi-billionaire Koch brothers are planning to spend a staggering $889 million in the 2016 election cycle, more than double what they spent in 2012. Politico called it "a historic sum that in many ways would mark Charles and David Koch and their fellow conservative megadonors as more powerful than the official Republican Party."
(National Catholic Reporter)
The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to make a brief Vatican visit at the end of the week on the topic of addressing climate change.
(Mother Jones)
Here's some good news: According to a new study, the major broadcast news networks are covering climate change more than they have in years. Now here's the bad news: Much of that coverage includes misleading arguments from commentators who reject the scientific consensus that humans are warming the planet.
(Casper Star-Tribune)
A legal settlement reached by environmental groups, Wyoming regulators and the oil services giant Halliburton will make it harder for companies to withhold information from the public about the chemicals used in fracking.
(Denver Post)
The Erie Board of Trustees Tuesday night voted not to impose a moratorium on new oil and gas drilling permits on a 4-3 vote.
(VICE News)
Anti-fracking protests have escalated in the small Algerian town of In Salah since the start of January, and have now spread to neighboring towns in the region. The demonstrations have continued despite the government's announcement that plans to tap shale gas reserves have been temporarily shelved amid growing public concern over the environmental impact.
Lancashire council will decide on Tuesday whether to grant permission for the first new fracking sites in the U.K. in four years, amounting to a major expansion of shale gas industry.
(Minneapolis Star Tribune)
Pipeline operator Enbridge Energy on Tuesday defended its proposal to build a northern Minnesota crude oil pipeline in the face of persistent suggestions by state agencies that another route, farther south, might be better.
(Washington Post)
On Monday, Senate Republicans came up short—temporarily, anyway—in their push to pass legislation that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Democrats successfully filibustered the bill, but if a number of senators had not been absent, that strategy might have failed.
(National Journal)
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican who is eyeing a run for president, will not seek a vote on an amendment to lift the ban on crude-oil exports during Senate debate on the Keystone pipeline.

January 27, 2015

(Fuel Fix)
The Obama administration is poised to unveil a draft plan for selling offshore oil and gas leases that is expected to rule out auctioning drilling rights in parts of the Atlantic Ocean as well as in some Arctic waters and along the West Coast between 2017 and 2022.
President Barack Obama's call to restrict oil exploration on 12 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge probably won't have much practical impact for an area already off-limits to drillers, though it's created a new fault line with the Republican-led Congress.
(The Hill)
The Obama administration told an appeals court that 12 states cannot preemptively challenge its landmark proposed climate rule for power plants.
(National Journal)
Wyoming's House of Representatives approved legislation Monday by a 39-21 vote that paves the way for public school educators to teach students that the climate is changing as a result of human activity.
(The Telegraph)
Fracking will be banned in national parks and new red tape imposed on shale gas companies, the Government has announced, in a major concession to Labour and opponents of the industry.
(Tulsa World)
In a case expected to set a precedent for future earthquake claims in Oklahoma, the state Supreme Court will consider whether two oil companies can be held liable in state court for injuries a Prague woman suffered during the 2011 earthquake.
(Chicago Tribune)
Lyle Weber paid off a sizable chunk of his son's college loan three years ago with money he got from an oil company intending to drill on his farmland.