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  1. Oil and Gas: Oil pipeline safety rule scaled back after cost objections

    This Dec. 10, 2016, file photo, provided by the North Dakota Department of Health shows an oil spill from the Belle Fourche Pipeline that was discovered Dec. 5, 2016 in Ash Coulee Creek, a tributary of the Little Missouri River, near Belfield, N.D. President Barack Obama's administration has scaled back new safety measures for the sprawling network of fuel pipelines that crisscross the United States after complaints from industry over the potential cost. The administration on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, finalized new regulations for almost 200,000 miles of pipelines that transport crude oil, gasoline and other hazardous liquids. A proposed requirement for companies to immediately repair problems discovered on their lines was dropped. (Scott Stockdill/North Dakota Department of Health via AP, File) BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — President Barack Obama's administration scaled back new safety measures for the sprawling network of fuel pipelines that crisscross the United States on Friday, following oil industry complaints that proposed changes would cost companies billions of dollars. The long-delayed regulations cover almost 200,000 miles of pipelines that transport oil, gasoline and other hazardous liquids. They will be subject to review by Congress and the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump, who was highly critical on the campaign trail of regulations that hinder energy development. If the changes stand, pipeline companies will be required to conduct more rigorous inspections of lines in rural areas and install leak detection systems that are meant to speed up emergency response times when accidents occur. An earlier administration proposal for companies to immediately repair cracks and other problems in their lines was dropped, drawing criticism from safety advocates. Documents show the pipeline repair criteria was altered to give companies more flexibility in when to do the work following a December 12 meeting of officials from the Transportation Department and White House with representatives of the oil industry. The American Petroleum Institute complained that the administration's original proposal for repairs, unveiled in late 2015, was too stringent and would cost companies almost $3 billion over the next decade. The industry group argued the high price tag outweighed any benefits from accidents averted. "Based on information no one else was privy to, they weakened the final rule," said Carl Weimer with the Pipeline Safety Trust, an advocacy group based in Bellingham, Washington. "We hope there's still enough to prevent more of the types of spills we've seen over the past four or five years." The trust was formed after three children were killed when a gasoline pipeline broke in 1999, leaking fuel for 1½ hours before it exploded. Thousands of pipeline accidents over the past decade caused $2.5 billion in damages nationwide and dumped almost 38 million gallons of fuels. John Stoody with the Association of Oil Pipelines said it was important for companies to have enough flexibility in repairs that they can concentrate their work where spills could cause the most harm, such as in cities or beneath water bodies. "We should put resources where we have the most impact on pipeline safety," Stoody said. The new regulations go into effect in roughly six months, meaning the Trump administration could seek to block or modify them. Trump's transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Transportation Department spokeswoman Allie Aguilera said the government and industry were "on the same page on safety," suggesting there would be no need to overturn the rule. The American Petroleum Institute issued a statement saying the rule was an improvement over the original proposal, yet retained provisions that would force companies to divert attention from areas of highest risk. Previous industry regulations applied primarily to lines in so-called high consequence areas with large populations or environmentally sensitive features such as drinking water supplies. Lines outside those areas were not required to be inspected with mechanical devices known as "pipeline pigs," which travel inside the pipe looking for flaws. Friday's rule will require the use of pipeline pigs on large transmission pipelines that run beneath the land, but federal officials dropped their proposal to require the use of pigs offshore.

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    Tue, 17 Jan 2017

  2. Renewable Energy: Military's shift away from oil clashes with Trump's promises

    At a sprawling desert base, a Marine recharged his radio's batteries simply by walking, while nearby fellow troops examined a rocket artillery system and a drone — both powered by the sun.

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    Tue, 17 Jan 2017

  3. In energy review, DOE calls for upgrading power grid technology

    DOE said that of the initial report’s 63 recommendations, 21 are fully or partially reflected in federal law and 29 have been fully implemented through actions by the administration

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    Mon, 16 Jan 2017

  4. Moniz: Bid to revive Nevada nuclear waste dump doomed

    Any effort to revive the long-dormant nuclear waste dump at Nevada's Yucca Mountain is doomed to fail because the project lacks support from elected officials in the state 

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    Mon, 16 Jan 2017

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

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    Thu, 12 Jan 2017

  2. Coal News: In EPA rebuke, judge orders quick evaluation on coal jobs

    A judge has ordered federal regulators to quickly evaluate how many power plant and coal mining jobs are lost because of air pollution regulations.

    Online Articles

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    Sat, 14 Jan 2017

  3. Energy chief: Bid to revive Nevada nuclear waste dump doomed

    Any effort to revive the long-dormant nuclear waste dump at Nevada's Yucca Mountain is doomed to fail because the project lacks support from elected officials in the state, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Wednesday.

    Online Articles

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    Fri, 13 Jan 2017

  4. Coal News: US seeks changes to coal program, but Trump could alter path

    U.S. officials said Wednesday that a yearlong review shows coal sales from public lands need to be modernized to deal with climate change and give taxpayers a fair return, but it's uncertain whether the incoming Trump administration will follow through.

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    Fri, 13 Jan 2017

  5. Wind Power: Lawmakers: Utility-scale wind farm poses security threat

    North Carolina legislators want the incoming Trump administration to shut down a nearly complete, $400 million wind farm they believe poses a national security threat because it's too close to a long-distance surveillance radar installation.

    Online Articles

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    Sat, 14 Jan 2017

  6. Obama presses Trump not to back away from clean energy

    President Barack Obama cast the adoption of clean energy in the U.S. as irreversible 

    Online Articles

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    Tue, 10 Jan 2017

  7. Renewable Energy: Obama presses Trump not to back away from clean energy

    President Barack Obama cast the adoption of clean energy in the U.S. as "irreversible," putting pressure Monday on President-elect Donald Trump not to back away from a core strategy to fight climate change.

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    Tue, 10 Jan 2017

  8. Obama triumphant despite election’s ‘seismic repudiation’

    Per custom, the president who pressed an 8-year regulatory siege against the US oil and gas industry is scripting his legacy. But the political legacy can't be ignored.

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    Fri, 6 Jan 2017

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