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Oil & Gas Press Clips: May 4, 2017

TOP STORY

  • A federal safety board blamed Exxon-Mobil for a Torrance oil refinery explosion that injured four people and threatened to release thousands of pounds of acid into nearby neighborhoods more than two years ago. (CBS Los Angeles)

 

CALIFORNIA 

Is Aliso Canyon needed to keep the power on as summer draws closer?
San Diego Union Tribune | Rob Nikolewski

Southern California Gas Company has sent a letter to state energy officials warning of reliability risks this summer if restrictions on the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage site in the Los Angeles area remain in place. But critics say the investor-owned utility is crying wolf.

NatGas Squeezed in California Climate Change Push, Say Edison Execs
Natural Gas Intel | Richard Nemec

Between aggressive carbon-reduction measures and a ban on using coastal waters for generation plant cooling, natural gas-fired electric generation will increasingly play a smaller role in California’s power mix, executives at Edison International (EI) said Monday during a quarterly earnings conference call.

2015 Torrance Oil Refinery Blast Could Have Been Catastrophic, Blames ExxonMobil
CBS Los Angeles

A federal safety board blamed Exxon-Mobil for a Torrance oil refinery explosion that injured four people and threatened to release thousands of pounds of acid into nearby neighborhoods more than two years ago. According to a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, the blast on Feb. 18, 2015 could have been prevented and could have been catastrophic.

California is right to close its door to offshore drilling — Trump can’t be trusted with our beaches
Los Angeles Times | George Skelton

President Trump was the clincher: He wants more offshore oil drilling, so forget it. California is right to put up the barricades. This guy just can’t be trusted. He shows no respect for history or the truth. No way should California place its beautiful beaches in his soiled hands.

Climate change activist ‘surprised’ after being unanimously approved for LA City Council board
My News LA | Ryan Posner

The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday unanimously approved the appointment of environmental activist Aura Vasquez to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. Vasquez, director of climate justice at the Center for Popular Democracy, represents a departure from previous commission appointees, who tend to come from the world of politics or business. “I was surprised that they would pick somebody like me. I have been an environmental activist and organizer my whole life, since I was 11 years old,” Vasquez said.

 

OPINION, REPORT, & PRESS RELEASE

Will environmental destruction be President Trump’s lasting legacy?
Los Angeles Times | Gloria J. Richards

Americans have naively come to think of our political leaders as thoughtful individuals who want only the best for our country and planet, even if we don’t always agree on how to approach that objective. That does not seem to be the case with President Trump. Rather than a friendly elephant draped in red, white and blue, his version of the Republican Party seems best represented with a huge dollar sign. Reversing any and all policies designed to protect our environment for the benefit of mineral and oil extractors and other profit seekers serves almost exclusively the wealthy.

 

NATIONAL

Trump appointees offer muscular support for oil and gas
Houston Chronicle | Chris Tomlinson

The Trump administration is promising to slap a testosterone patch on the oil and gas industry to help it bend nature and the world to its will. “How do we incentivize American energy dominance? And I choose my words carefully: dominance,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke declared. “There is a difference in energy independence, and there is a difference in energy dominance. We’re in a position to be dominant. And if we, as a country, want to have national security, and an economy that we all desperately need, then dominance is what America needs.”

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Oil & Gas Press Clips: May 3, 2017

TOP STORY

  • California would completely phase out the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity under a new proposal detailed by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) on Tuesday. (Los Angeles Times)

 

CALIFORNIA 

California Senate leader unveils new proposal to phase out use of fossil fuels to generate electricity
Los Angeles Times | Chris Megerian

California would completely phase out the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity under a new proposal detailed by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) on Tuesday. Meeting the goal would require dramatic changes to the state’s electricity infrastructure over the next two decades, including an end to burning natural gas, the source of nearly half of California’s power.

Westside Oil Drilling Site Facing Questions Over Permits
ABC 7 | Melissa MacBride

Operators of an oil drilling site at a Westside golf course are facing criticism over alleged violations of Los Angeles city regulations. For more than 50 years, Hillcrest Beverly Oil Corporation has been drilling for oil on city-owned land between the Rancho Park Golf Course and the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center. The city began an investigation after getting a tip that the company had installed a gas burner at the site.

Bill would return California carbon-fee money to consumers
Associated Press | Jonathan J. Cooper

California Senate Democrats on Monday proposed a significant overhaul of the state’s cap-and-trade program that would use money raised from taxing polluters to give rebates to consumers. The proposal is the Legislature’s latest attempt to extend one of California’s primary efforts to reduce carbon emissions, which is scheduled to expire in 2020.

It’s farmer vs. oil companies in case of alleged water contamination
CBS News

Every day, oil companies in California dump millions of gallons of wastewater underground. Most of it is getting injected deep under the Central Valley, which also happens to be the state’s agricultural heartland. CBS San Francisco reports that some farmers, like Mike Hopkins, suspect that wastewater might be what’s killing their crops, and impacting our food supply.

 

OPINION, REPORT, & PRESS RELEASE

California should resist oil drilling plan
Daily Democrat | Editorial Board

So much for President Donald Trump’s promise to focus his presidency on returning “power to the people.” The president signed an executive order Friday that could expand offshore oil drilling off the Pacific Coast despite the fact that 90 percent of Californians routinely say in polls that protecting the condition of the state’s coastline is important to them. It’s essential that California take every action possible to protect the state from Trump’s efforts to expand drilling off the coast.

Don’t remove oil platform
Ventura County Star | George Steinbach

The State Lands Commission has recently announced that Platform Holly in the Santa Barbara Channel will now be decommissioned. Since it was installed in 1966, Holly has been operating as an oil and gas platform, but that is only part of the story. Holly has also been, from its earliest days, a vibrant and thriving marine habitat. We know this from divers and fishermen who have visited the platform.

 

NATIONAL

Deadly house explosion in Colorado traced to uncapped pipe from gas well
Los Angeles Times | David Kelly

An abandoned natural gas line that had been cut but not capped caused an explosion last month that destroyed a home, killed two people and critically injured another in Colorado, investigators said Tuesday. “It was an unusual and tragic set of circumstances,” said Ted Poszywak, chief of the Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District, which led the investigation.

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Oil & Gas Press Clips: May 2, 2017

TOP STORY

  • An oil drilling site at a Westside golf course has flouted Los Angeles City rules by repeatedly installing new equipment without city approval, according to a recently released report. (Los Angeles Times)

 

CALIFORNIA 

Oil drilling site at Westside golf course broke L.A. rules, report finds
Los Angeles Times | Emily Alpert Reyes

An oil drilling site at a Westside golf course has flouted city rules by repeatedly installing new equipment without city approval, according to a recently released report. Community activists say that the reported violations are a symptom of a systemic problem for the city: its failure to adequately monitor drilling sites across Los Angeles.

Weighing the environmental impact of new offshore oil and gas drilling in California
89.3 KPCC

President Trump signed an executive order last week which could give the green light to new oil and gas drilling in the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, this would potentially include California offshore drilling, a topic that’s sparked opposition from state leaders including Gov. Jerry Brown, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. In addition, the order could reverse an Obama Administration environmental plan to exclude any new drilling leases off the California and Alaska coast until 2022.

SoCalGas warns of natural gas shortage to meet surging demand, as Aliso Canyon wells remain closed
Los Angeles Daily News | Susan Abram

Operators of the natural gas wells in Aliso Canyon are warning California regulators they have concerns about meeting energy and electricity demands this summer and for the upcoming winter. In a letter sent to three agencies that oversee planning and managing the state’s energy supplies, the Southern California Gas Co. said natural gas storage facilities in Santa Barbara, Valencia, and Playa del Rey contain 40 percent less inventory than usual. In addition, SoCalGas’ inability to inject natural gas into functioning wells in Aliso Canyon places upcoming service during peak demand, at risk, according to the letter, sent Friday.

California Farmer Sues Oil Companies For Allegedly Contaminating Water Supply, Killing Crops
CBS SF Bay Area | Christin Ayers

Every day oil companies in California dump millions of gallons of wastewater underground. Most of it is getting injected deep under the Central Valley, which also happens to be the state’s agricultural heartland. Now we’re learning some farmers, like Mike Hopkins, suspect that wastewater might be what’s killing their crops, and impacting our food supply.

 

OPINION, REPORT, & PRESS RELEASE

The Trump administration is an oil junkie — and it’s looking to score off California’s coasts
Los Angeles Times | David Helvarg

President Trump signed an executive order Friday aimed at expanding offshore oil drilling in U.S. waters, including areas in the Atlantic and Arctic Ocean made off-limits by President Obama. For good measure, and no doubt as a poke in the eye to a state that voted overwhelmingly against him, his directive includes the possibility of new drilling leases off the California coast.

 

NATIONAL

Executive order on drilling raises concern
Fox 11

President Donald Trump has ordered that exploration for oil off Florida’s Atlantic Coast can proceed, while his interior secretary says options in the Gulf of Mexico may be explored as well. “We are unleashing American energy and clearing the way for thousands and thousands of high paying American energy jobs,” said President Trump. Seven years after the BP oil spill, which cost the Gulf’s fishing industry $250 million, President Trump reversed a President Obama ban on exploration in the Atlantic.

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Oil & Gas Clips: May 1, 2017

TOP STORY

  • Offshore oil drilling is shaping up as the next big fight in the California vs. Trump war. State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson is proposing new legislation to block Trump’s efforts next week to prevent new leases in state waters for construction of new pipelines or other infrastructure needed for expansion of oil and gas development. (Los Angeles Times)

 

CALIFORNIA 

Taxpayers need to see PUC communications
The Hanford Sentinel | Liza Tucker

On Thursday, the California Public Utilities Commission denied access once again to scores of communications that it exchanged with Southern California Edison, the office of Governor Jerry Brown, and others over the ratepayer shakedown to cover the shuttering of a flawed Southern California nuclear power plant. The CPUC is illegally withholding information concerning the conduct of the people’s business, according to public interest attorneys, Mike Aguirre and Maria Severson who requested the records.

Climate change and economic pressures force Garcetti to form LA sustainability council
My News LA | Ryan Posner

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday announced the formation of the L.A. Sustainability Leadership Council to help guide the city’s environmental efforts. The council was formed in partnership with UCLA and its chancellor, Gene Block, and will work to advance the mayor’s Sustainable City pLAn, UCLA’s Sustainable Grand Challenge and other environmental initiatives in the region. Garcetti will co-chair the council with Block.

Trump signs order that could open California coastal waters to new drilling
Los Angeles Times | Evan Halper

President Trump has signed an executive order that could open large parts of the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic oceans to new oil and gas drilling, creating yet another clash with California, where leaders are vowing they will do everything in their power to block new drilling off the state’s shores.

California just took a step to block Trump’s efforts on offshore oil drilling
Sacramento Bee | Angela Hart

Offshore oil drilling is shaping up as the next big fight in the California vs. Trump war. In response to President Donald Trump’s latest executive order aimed at expanding offshore oil drilling in federal waters and opening up other areas to new oil and gas exploration, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson is proposing new legislation to block Trump’s efforts. Jackson, a Democrat from Santa Barbara, said she’ll unveil legislation next week to prevent new leases in state waters for construction of new pipelines or other infrastructure needed for expansion of oil and gas development.

 

OPINION, REPORT, & PRESS RELEASE

New York takes the lead on methane pollution as Washington retreats
The Buffalo News | Robert M. Ciesielski

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced in his State of the State message a methane gas study to inventory emissions and identify methods to capture or eliminate release of the gas. This is especially needed concerning leakage by the fracked gas and pipeline industry.

 

NATIONAL

Ohio sees big increase in 2016 natural gas production
The Associated Press 

Ohio has overtaken West Virginia to become the nation’s sixth-largest natural gas producer, according to a new report by the Energy Information Administration. The Columbus Dispatch has reported that companies produced nearly 1.5 trillion cubic feet of gas last year in Ohio compared with 1 trillion cubic feet in 2015. The increase is attributed to new pipelines and top producing wells sending more gas to market.

Oil And Gas Industry Power Builds Wells Near Schools In Colorado, Trumping Environmental Concerns
International Business Times | David Sirota & Josh Keefe

he political power of the oil and gas industry has been on display in Colorado this Spring. When an explosion earlier this month incinerated two men in a Colorado home near an aging oil well, the catastrophe could have prompted lawmakers to pass an initiative forcing the oil and gas industry to site such wells farther away from schools. But it was too late: Only days before the disaster, Republican lawmakers bankrolled by fossil fuel industry corporations had killed the bill to do just that.

Anadarko Petroleum shuts down 3,000 wells in Colorado after a deadly house explosion
Los Angels Times | David Kelly

An investigation into what initially seemed like a tragic household accident that killed two people is now looking at a natural gas and oil well just 178 feet from the Martinez home along with thousands of similar wells across Weld County and beyond. On Wednesday, well owner Anadarko Petroleum, the state’s largest oil and gas producer, shut down 3,000 wells throughout northern Colorado, including seven near the blast site.

Water Butts Heads With Fracking, Oil & Gas Industry In Oklahoma … Or Not
Clean Technica | Tina Casey

The fracking boom has combined with conventional oil and gas drilling to raise a sea of troubles against the doorstep of Oklahoma. Water scarcity is one of those troubles. In a new report aimed at avoiding chronic water shortages, a state task force is recommending that drillers recycle their wastewater instead of injecting it underground. A recycling requirement would cut into drilling profits, particularly so for fracking (aka hydrofracturing). Fracking deploys large volumes of water compared to conventional drilling and consequently produces large volumes of wastewater.

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Oil & Gas Press Clips: April 27, 2017

TOP STORY

  • A top Californian Republican and some of his colleagues are taking the unusual step of embracing the state’s complex system of regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, pledging to work with Democrats at the same time President Trump rolls back national policies on global warming. (Los Angeles Times)

 

CALIFORNIA 

The fight against climate change in California gains an unlikely ally: Republicans
Los Angeles Times | Chris Megerian

California’s ambitious efforts to fight climate change have been almost exclusively supported by Democrats, but that could be changing. A top Republican and some of his colleagues are taking the unusual step of embracing the state’s complex system of regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, pledging to work with Democrats at the same time President Trump rolls back national policies on global warming.

Los Angeles County gets a ‘C’ on UCLA’s latest environmental report card
Los Angeles Times | Dan Weikel

A new UCLA environmental report card gives Los Angeles County a “C” in energy use and persistent air pollution, while rating parts of the region slightly higher for addressing other challenges. The 2017 Sustainable LA Environmental Report Card for Energy and Air Quality handed the region that mediocre grade based on what it calls a failure to reduce fuel use, increasing commute times and some of the worst smog in the nation.

Workshop on underground injection rules to be held May 24
Bakersfield Californian

The Department of Conservation is in the early stages of revamping its underground injection rules and the public is invited to comment. In Bakersfield, a workshop will be held May 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Four Points Sheraton on California Avenue. Underground injection refers to the use of water and steam in the production of oil and natural gas as well as the disposal of water that comes up during production.

States Fight Trump Administration Favors to Oil, Gas & Coal
Courthouse News Service | Victoria Prieskop

California and New Mexico sued the Department of the Interior on Wednesday for postponing enforcement of rules on royalty payments for natural resources extracted from public lands, including closing a loophole that let coal companies sell coal to their own subsidiaries at below market value, then inflate the price at resale.

AG sues feds for unpaid oil and gas royalties
Albuquerque Journal | Kevin Robinson-Avila

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas sued the federal government on Wednesday over unpaid oil and gas royalties, while also announcing a new investigation into “anti-competitive practices” in the cattle industry. Balderas and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra jointly filed suit in U.S. District Court in California against the U.S. Department of the Interior for postponing implementation of a rule that updates how federal royalties on oil, gas and coal extraction is calculated.

 

OPINION, REPORT, & PRESS RELEASE

Trump administration’s proposal for California fracking ignores ancient wisdom
Ventura County Reporter | Mati Waiya

Offshore fracking would offend our Chumash ancestors. The outrageous proposal to extract more oil from under Santa Barbara Channel by injecting high-pressure water and toxic chemicals to fracture the earth would baffle and sadden them. Frankly, it baffles and saddens me, even with my modern understanding of the fossil-fuel industry. That the federal government would approve this practice without the detailed environment studies the law requires is a sign that society has forgotten some fundamental truths.

 

NATIONAL

Oil, tech giants tell Trump to stay in Paris deal
The Hill | Devin Henry

Oil giants BP and Shell and a group of utilities and tech companies are pushing President Trump to stay in the Paris climate deal. In a letter sent to Trump on Wednesday, the firms said the deal benefits U.S. companies by putting them on an even playing field with foreign competitors, creates jobs through clean energy work and minimizes the risks climate change poses to them.

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Oil & Gas Press Clips: April 26, 2017

TOP STORY

  • President Donald Trump will open the door to new oil and natural gas drilling in Pacific waters off the coast of California with a directive Friday that sets up a certain clash with environmentalists. (Bloomberg)

 

CALIFORNIA 

Trump Said to Order Review of Oil Drilling Off California Coast
Bloomberg | Jennifer A. Dlouhy

President Donald Trump will open the door to new oil and natural gas drilling in Pacific waters off the coast of California with a directive Friday that sets up a certain clash with environmentalists. Trump will order the Interior Department to review locations for offshore oil and gas exploration and consider selling drilling rights in territory that former President Barack Obama put off limits, according to people briefed on the order who spoke on the condition of anonymity before it is issued.

Southern California Environmental Update #3 – April 2017
J.D. Supra

This is the third update on environmental regulatory and legal developments in Los Angeles and adjacent counties, as well as the Southern San Joaquin Valley.

 

OPINION, REPORT, & PRESS RELEASE

Protecting and Expanding California Climate Change Policies Tops Agenda for Upcoming Sustainability Summit at The Getty
Business Wire

As California continues to lead the nation in combatting climate change, an expected 450 local business, government and non-profit leaders will gather at the 11th Annual Sustainability Summit to explore how investment in sustainability generates new jobs, spurs innovation, and boosts the economy.

 

NATIONAL

Climate Denial in Schools
Vice | Emmalina Glinskis

Legislation proposed across the country since Donald Trump’s election threatens to bring climate change denial into the classroom under the guise of “academic freedom.” Currently, six states have legislative measures pending or already on the books that would allow anti-science rhetoric, including the rejection of global warming, to seep its way into schools’ curricula. While these types of proposals have become fairly routine in certain states, some of the most recent crop have advanced farther than in the past.

Rick Perry approves first natural gas export project as secretary
Washington Examiner | John Siciliano

Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Tuesday approved the first permit under his tenure to ship natural gas to overseas markets, even as large U.S. manufacturers are warning the Trump administration that those exports could lead to skyrocketing energy prices in America. “This announcement is another example of President Trump’s leadership in making the United States an energy dominant force,” Perry said in approving the Golden Pass export terminal in Texas for shipping liquefied natural gas abroad.

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Oil & Gas Press Clips: April 25, 2017

TOP STORY

  • California’s fight against climate change would be overhauled under legislation advanced by an Assembly committee on Monday. The legislation would link the state’s efforts against greenhouse gases and other pollutants, which cause public health problems such as asthma. (Los Angeles Times)

 

CALIFORNIA 

Agencies to leave methane monitoring at Porter Ranch to private companies
89.3 KPCC | Sharon McNary

When America’s worst-ever natural gas leak stank up the air around Porter Ranch in late 2015 forcing thousands of families to flee a pervasive rotten-egg smell and potential health impacts, a few public and private entities installed monitors to sniff the air and publicly display methane measurements in close to real time.

California’s landmark climate-change program would also fight air pollution under proposal
The Mercury News | Katy Murphy

As the Legislature weighs the future of cap and trade, California’s groundbreaking program to cut greenhouse gas emissions that expires in 2020, it is considering key changes pushed by environmentalists and fought by Big Oil and other industry groups in a proposal that cleared its first committee hearing Monday. Air pollution — not just climate-warming greenhouse gases — would be melded into the complex cap-and-trade program under Assembly Bill 378, by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia. Garcia heads the Assembly’s Committee on Natural Resources, which passed the proposal.

California lawmakers push to link public health efforts to climate programs
Los Angeles Times | Chris Megerian

California’s fight against climate change would be overhauled under legislation advanced by an Assembly committee on Monday. The legislation, a revised version of a measure introduced earlier this year, would link the state’s efforts against greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming, and other pollutants, which cause public health problems such as asthma. Facilities such as oil refineries would face tighter restrictions, and the cap-and-trade program — which requires companies to buy permits to emit greenhouse gases — would become less flexible.

Brief — Aliso Canyon
Natural Gas Intel

Nearby residents and environmental activists working to permanently close the Aliso Canyon underground natural gas storage facility urged the Los Angeles City Council Friday to use a city-owned water/power utility to study alternatives for relying on the facility. More than a dozen residents spoke and a group of residents from the Save Porter Ranch and Food & Water Watch cited a recent study by EES Consulting which concluded that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) can meet summer and winter peaks without the Southern California Gas Co. storage facility.

 

NATIONAL

Fracking isn’t contaminating groundwater, study finds
Fox News

A major anti-fracking argument by environmentalists may not have the facts to back it up, a new study conducted by Duke University found. Fracking has not contaminated groundwater in northwestern West Virginia, according to the peer-reviewed study published this month in a European journal. “Based on consistent evidence from comprehensive testing, we found no indication of groundwater contamination over the three-year course of our study,” explained Avner Vengosh, the professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

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Oil & Gas Press Clips:

TOP STORY

  • Canadian and U.S. political leaders vowed to press ahead with a joint cap-and-trade program involving California, Quebec and Ontario despite what some fear are mounting legal and political hurdles to establishing North American carbon market. (The Globe and Mail)

 

CALIFORNIA 

Fire at PG&E substation leaves thousands without power in San Francisco
Los Angeles Times

A fire at a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. substation in San Francisco left tens of thousands of residents without power and halted some rail line services Friday morning. The power outage occurred around 9 a.m. when a fire erupted at PG&E’s Larkin Substation, affecting about 95,000 customers, according to Nicole Liebelt, a spokeswoman for the company.

California, Quebec and Ontario push forward with cap-and-trade program
The Globe and Mail | Tamsin McMahon

Canadian and U.S. political leaders vowed to press ahead with a joint cap-and-trade program involving California, Quebec and Ontario despite what some fear are mounting legal and political hurdles to establishing North American carbon market. The cross-border program is also seen as a critical plank in the Canadian government’s push for a national carbon-pricing plan to meet its target of reducing greenhouse gases by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. But the program has been beset by political and financial uncertainty.

Gov. Brown declares April 22 as Earth Day
KCRA

April 22 is now Earth Day in California. Gov. Jerry Brown issued a proclamation Saturday declaring April 22 to be “Earth Day” in California. In Sacramento, city leaders and the community will celebrate Earth Day Sunday.

 

OPINION, REPORT, & PRESS RELEASE

Why the US Government Allows Companies to Drill for Natural Gas in National Forests
Teen Vogue | Heather Taylor-Miesle

Ohio played a pivotal role in the creation of Earth Day. In 1969, the Cuyahoga River near Cleveland caught fire. The entire nation looked on in horror as a burning river sounded the alarm: Americans had to become better stewards of natural resources. The public outcry over environmental tragedies like the Cuyahoga River fire and an oil spill in Santa Barbara, which took place the same year, lead to the first Earth Day celebration in 1970. This celebration was also a massive rallying cry for action, and pushed decision-makers in that decade to get busy and put public health above big polluter interests.

 

NATIONAL

Changes to Energy Dept. websites downplay renewables as a replacement for fossil fuels
The Washington Post | Chelsea Harvey

The Energy Department is changing its website to cut down on Obama-era language touting renewable energy sources as a climate-friendly replacement for fossil fuels, according to reports from an environmental watchdog group. Whereas the site formerly touted technologies such as wind, solar and geothermal energy as a replacement for sources such as coal, oil and natural gas, the department’s website now focuses on renewable energy’s potential to create jobs, according to the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, a network of academics and nonprofit groups that has been monitoring federal websites.

Top Trump adviser calls for reviving controversial natural gas project on Oregon’s coast
The Washington Post | Chris Mooney and Damian Paletta

A top adviser to President Trump on Thursday appeared to throw the administration’s support behind a controversial proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Oregon that had been rejected by regulators during the Obama administration. “The first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to permit an LNG export facility in the Northwest,” said Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council.

Schlumberger’s U.S. fracturing business ramps up activity
Houston Chronicle | Collin Eaton

A big boost in U.S. oil company spending this year will unleash Schlumberger’s full fleet of hydraulic fracturing equipment by the fourth quarter, CEO Paal Kibsgaard said after the company reported Friday that it swung back to a profit in the first three months of the year. The world’s largest oil field services company has begun hiring new workers to man its new trucking fleet to haul large payloads of sand, used in fracking fluids that blast open shale rock as they boost domestic oil production.

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Oil & Gas Press Clips: April 21, 2017

TOP STORY

  • In some of his harshest words to date against President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday rallied a ballroom full of climate policy wonks and activists, telling them to ignore the “Alice in Wonderland” scene in Washington and continue fighting climate change. (Los Angeles Times, The Mercury News, SF Gate, Fox News)

 

CALIFORNIA 

Stopping carbon will be like stopping a heroin addiction’: Gov. Brown urges stronger action on climate change
Los Angeles Times | Chris Megerian

If anyone was hoping for a feel-good message from Gov. Jerry Brown at this week’s Navigating the American Carbon World conference on climate change, they didn’t get one. “Don’t relax,” he told the audience of environmental advocates, business representatives and government officials on Thursday. “Don’t feel good about yourself.” Brown’s speech was a trademark blend of religious references, political barbs and warnings about the future if global warming isn’t addressed.

Jerry Brown rallies climate change conference: ‘Stopping carbon will be like stopping a heroin addiction’
The Mercury News | Casey Tolan

In some of his harshest words to date against President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday rallied a ballroom full of climate policy wonks and activists, telling them to ignore the “Alice in Wonderland” scene in Washington and continue fighting climate change. But he stressed that the battle against global warming will be a long, difficult road. “Stopping carbon will be like stopping a heroin addiction,” Brown said in a keynote speech at the Navigating the American Carbon World conference. “We are addicted to carbon in the sense that we are repeatedly using it and we get a tremendous high — a whole way of life.”

Billionaire, Activist Tom Steyer Urges Participation in LA’s March for Science
ABC 7 | Adrienne Alpert

NextGen Climate founder and billionaire Tom Steyer has urged for participation in the March for Science on Saturday. The consequences of climate change were depicted Steyer’s television ads for the presidential election. Steyer envisions a return to choking smog and natural disasters under President Donald Trump’s relaxed environmental regulation.

Los Angeles Seeks to Stop Oil and Gas Boom
Breitbart | Chriss W. Street

Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson has introduced a motion to end oil drilling and production near public places in a measure that could kill America’s next oil and gas fracking boom. Over the objections from the oil industry, Wesson introduced a motion on April 19 to conduct a study regarding how the Department of City Planning, with the assistance of the city attorney and the city’s petroleum administrator, could change the city’s zoning code to require a setback for oil and gas activities within public and residential facilities.

 

NATIONAL

EPA chief delays methane rule at behest of oil and gas firms
Associated Press | Michael Biesecker

The Environmental Protection Agency is again moving to derail Obama-era regulations aimed at reducing pollution from the fossil fuel industry. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Wednesday he’s issued a 90-day delay for oil and gas companies to follow a new rule requiring them to monitor and reduce methane leaks from their facilities.

Texas oil and gas industry in ‘new cycle of expansion’
Chron | David Hunn

The oil and gas industry, after suffering through the worst downturn in at least three decades, is embarking on “a new cycle of expansion” as companies send dozens of new rigs into Texas oil fields, drill hundreds of more wells and hire thousands of workers.

Fracking Pipeline Spilled Millions Of Gallons Of Mud Into Ohio Wetlands
Associated Press

A Texas company building a high-pressure natural gas pipeline has been issued violations notices by the state of Ohio for spilling drilling mud in separate wetlands. An Ohio Environmental Protection Agency notice says Rover Pipeline spilled around 2 million gallons of the mud used as a lubricant into wetlands while drilling beneath the Tuscarawas River in Stark County, about 60 miles south of Cleveland. An EPA spokesman says no mud got into the river.

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Oil & Gas Press Clips: April 18, 2017

TOP STORY

  • STAND-LA, a group opposed to oil drilling in Los Angeles neighborhoods, said that Council President Herb Wesson plans to introduce a motion calling for a study on phasing out the practice. Should the motion lead to a law banning the practice, it could have wide-ranging implications for the local industry, which has over 1,000 oil wells in the city. (My News LA)

 

CALIFORNIA 

Phillips 66 won’t appeal oil-by-rail decision, but the fight’s not over yet
San Luis Obispo | Monica Vaughan

Phillips 66 won’t appeal San Luis Obispo County’s decision rejecting its oil-by-rail plan to the California Coastal Commission, but it will continue the fight in court, a company spokesman said Monday. The energy company had until Friday to appeal the Board of Supervisors’ decision denying a proposal to build the infrastructure — including a rail spur and unloading dock — that would allow delivery of 6.6 million gallons of crude oil each on as many as three trains per week from throughout North America to its Nipomo Mesa refinery.

Why Porter Ranch real estate is selling despite the recent gas leak
Marketplace | Ben Bergman

It’s been just 18 months since a gas well broke, causing tens of millions of pounds of natural gas to spew into the air in Porter Ranch, on the outskirts of Los Angeles. It ranks as the worst methane leak in U.S. history. The leak was capped, but residents continue to complain about getting sick from the gas field. But even with all this, the housing market there is booming, especially on the high end.

Health, safety top concerns at Aliso Canyon facility hearing
Los Angeles Daily News | Brenda Gazzar

Health and safety concerns dominated the discussion Monday night during a packed hearing on the fate of Southern California Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility in the northern San Fernando Valley. Scores of people spoke at the California Public Utilities Commission’s first public participation hearing at the Northridge Woman’s Club on the long-term feasibility of cutting back or eliminating the use of the facility while maintaining energy and electric reliability in Southern California. The majority of speakers Monday night urged the state’s energy regulator to shut Aliso Canyon down altogether or curtail its use.

Safety changes underway to SCV’s SoCal Gas operation
Santa Clarita Valley Signal | Jim Holt

Ongoing safety changes made to natural gas storage and delivery pipes and wells by Southern California Gas Company at its Honor Rancho facility in Valencia are expected to cut natural gas delivery by half. Despite the drop in the amount of natural gas transferred from the site, however, the Santa Clarita Valley operation remains the gas company’s largest distributor of the commodity among its four storage setups in Southern California.

Venoco files for bankruptcy and quitclaims Santa Barbara Channel oil leases
KCBX | Greta Mart

The energy company Venoco announced it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company told the California State Lands Commission it no longer has the financial means to continue operating its oil platform in the Santa Barbara Channel.

 

OPINION, REPORT, & PRESS RELEASE

Oil drilling in Los Angeles neighborhoods ready for bust? 1,000 wells under pressure
My News LA | Toni McAllister

A group opposed to oil drilling in Los Angeles neighborhoods said Monday that Council President Herb Wesson plans to introduce a motion calling for a study on phasing out the practice near homes, schools, parks, churches and healthcare facilities. Should the motion lead to a law banning the practice, it could have wide- ranging implications for the local industry, which has over 1,000 oil wells in the city and more than 580,000 residents living within a quarter mile of one.

 

NATIONAL

Once producing for golf courses, operation transforming into large frac sand mine
Houston Chronicle | Jordan Blum

Emerge Energy Services, a Fort Worth sand mining company, said it is buying a small operation south of San Antonio to transform it into a much larger mine to serve the hydraulic fracturing needs of the oil sector. The mine, owned by Osburn Materials of San Antonio, produces sand for building materials, golf courses and baseball fields. Emerge is buying it for $20 million with plans to spend more to rapidly expand it for the oil and gas sector. Emerge borrowed $40 million to finance the acquisition and expansion, according to regulatory filings.

They Told A Fracking Company To Go Away. 3 Years Later, They’re Still in Court.
The Huffington Post | Sara Stewart

Residents of Grant Township weren’t thrilled about Pennsylvania General Energy’s plan to pump millions of gallons of water and toxic solvents into the well. They worried that the wastewater would leach into Little Mahoning Creek, the source of Grant’s pristine drinking water. At first, no one paid them much mind. But three and a half years later, PGE’s project is still tied up in the courts. With the help of a crusading law firm, Long and Wanchisn have taken a novel approach to keeping the well out of their town ― essentially changing Grant’s charter to declare it an independent legal entity with the authority to define civil rights for its citizens, even if those rights conflict with state laws.

BP Gas Leak Is Under Control in Alaska Oil Field
The New York Times | Clifford Krauss

A damaged BP oil and natural gas well that had been venting gas vapors on Alaska’s remote North Slope since Friday morning has been brought under control, the company and state officials said on Monday. No injuries or harm to wildlife were reported, and apparently only a limited amount of oil sprayed with the gas from the well. Still, environmentalists expressed concern about the leakage of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

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