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  1. Oil and Gas: Judge lets federal flaring rules take effect during lawsuit

      CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — New nationwide rules to curtail the practice of burning off excess natural gas from oil and gas wells on federal land took effect as scheduled Tuesday after a judge said he saw no urgent reason to block them while a lawsuit moves ahead. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl in Casper said Monday that he couldn't immediately conclude the Interior Department had overstepped its authority with the rules, which seek to reduce air pollution and waste by requiring gas to be captured and sold rather than flared. Certain provisions in the rules don't take full effect for a year, Skavdahl pointed out. That allows time for the lawsuit contesting the rules filed by Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, the Western Energy Alliance and Independent Petroleum Association of America to be resolved — assuming Donald Trump and his administration don't revoke the rules after he takes office Friday. Environmentalists praised Skavdahl's decision, saying it will allow the government to begin collecting royalties on gas currently going to waste. Those royalties could be used for schools and infrastructure, Environmental Defense Fund lead attorney Peter Zalzal said. Petroleum developers flare excess gas from newly drilled wells while they assess productivity and install pipelines to carry the gas off to sale. The practice costs the government about $23 million a year in lost royalties, according to a 2010 U.S. Government Accountability Office report. Forty percent of the gas could be captured economically with existing technology, said the report referred to by Skavdahl in his decision not to suspend the rules. Though Skavdahl rejected its request to suspend the rules, the Western Energy Alliance predicted the judge ultimately would agree with the three states and industry groups that the rules exceed Interior's proper authority. The petroleum industry has done much on its own to reduce methane emissions, alliance President Kathleen Sgamma said. "Federal regulation in the form of delayed pipeline and gas gathering line permits often leads to producers having to flare methane for longer periods of time than would otherwise be necessary," Sgamma said in a release. Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead said in a statement that he was disappointed Skavdahl didn't suspend the rules but appreciated the judge also was skeptical about the Bureau of Land Management's "attempt to regulate matters outside its expertise." Last summer, Skavdahl struck down rules for hydraulic fracturing on public lands, ruling Congress hadn't given the U.S. Bureau of Land Management such authority. How Trump and his nominee for Interior secretary, Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke, will approach the flaring rules remains to be seen. Zinke has advocated for more oil and gas drilling and coal mining on Western lands.

    Online Articles

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    Thu, 19 Jan 2017

  2. US judge denies preliminary injunction in BLM venting, flaring suit

    A federal district court judge in Wyoming denied a preliminary injunction against the US Bureau of Land Management’s venting and flaring rule. Petitioners—which included the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the Western Petroleum Association, and the states of Wyoming, North Dakota, and ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 17 Jan 2017

  3. Coal News: McConnell outlines environmental wish-list for Trump action

    The top Republican in the Senate outlined a series of actions he hopes President-elect Donald Trump will take to overturn environmental regulations imposed by President Barack Obama, including a rule to protect streams from coal-mining debris.

    Online Articles

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    Thu, 12 Jan 2017

  4. Safety equipment: Fuel and service trailers

    Utility equipment: Thunder Creek MTT Trailers provide bulk diesel transport without CDL/HAZMAT requirements.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 21 Dec 2016

  1. Coal News: Riverstone completes $1.8B buyout of Talen Energy

    Online Articles

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    Sat, 10 Dec 2016

  2. Stronger federal oversight of gas storage essential, US House panel told

    Problems stopping a leak at Southern California Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon storage facility near Los Angeles show stronger federal oversight is needed, two US House Democrats from the state told a US House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 26 Feb 2016

  3. BLM final rule aims to curb venting, flaring on onshore federal lands

    The US Bureau of Land Management issued a final rule aimed at reducing releases of natural gas into the atmosphere from oil and gas operations on onshore public and Indian tribal lands. Oil and gas associations were immediately critical. Two groups even sued in federal court, charging that the rule ...

    Online Articles

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    Wed, 16 Nov 2016

  4. PPL on track to spend more than $1 billion on power grid upgrades

    PPL on Nov. 1 announced 3Q16 reported earnings (GAAP) of $473 million, or 69 cents per share, an increase from 3Q15 reported earnings of $393 million, or 58 cents per share

    Online Articles

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    Wed, 2 Nov 2016

  5. TVA Fined for Fire Violations at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant

    An NRC investigation found that five contract workers failed to conduct roving fire watch patrols as required under federal regulations for the nuclear plant near Athens, Alabama.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 30 Nov 2016

  6. Clean Power Plan can proceed pending review

    In what environmentalists hailed as a victory for efforts to curb climate change, an appeals panel in Washington on Jan. 21 rebuffed efforts to delay enforcement of President Barack Obama's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions until legal challenges are resolved. 

    Online Articles

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    Fri, 22 Jan 2016

  7. Clean Power Plan to proceed pending legal review

    Under the Clean Air Act, certain challenges to new EPA rules skip the federal district court and go directly to the appeals court

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 22 Jan 2016

  8. Energy News: Kansas suspending work on limiting plants' carbon emissions

    Kansas is suspending its work on a plan for complying with federal regulations meant to combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions from power plants.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 10 May 2016

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