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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.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 17 Jan 2017

  2. Oil and Gas: New business group opposes Straits of Mackinac pipelines

    A business group is forming to support environmentalists battling to decommission two oil pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac, where Lakes Huron and Michigan meet.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 13 Jan 2017

  3. Oil and Gas: Oil pipeline protesters unfurl huge banner at Vikings game

    Protesters trying to stymie the Dakota Access oil pipeline sneaked up on a truss connected to the roof and rappelled down to unfurl a huge banner inside U.S. Bank Stadium during the Minnesota Vikings' season finale against the Chicago Bears.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 4 Jan 2017

  4. Oil and Gas: Mahwah tribe seeks support in protest of future oil pipeline

    A Native American tribe based in northern New Jersey is seeking support for the group's protest of a proposed oil pipeline that may potentially run through the Ramapo Valley Reservation.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 29 Dec 2016

  1. Oil and Gas: North Dakota challenges pipeline developer argument vs. fine

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 6 Jan 2017

  2. Oil and Gas: Wisconsin tribe wants pipeline moved from its reservation

    A Chippewa tribe in Wisconsin is calling for 12 miles of pipeline to be removed from its reservation after 64 years of operation, saying they want to protect their land and water from oil spills.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Sat, 7 Jan 2017

  3. Oil and Gas: Sheriff: Cost of supporting protest site is $22 million

    Local sheriff's officials say they've tallied the numbers on the costs and resources needed to maintain law and order at the encampment of demonstrators protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline .

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 11 Jan 2017

  4. Shell Midstream Partners acquires stakes in Gulf of Mexico pipelines

    Shell Midstream Partners has acquired stakes in three companies that operate Gulf of Mexico oil and gas pipelines from BP.  

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Sun, 1 Jan 2017

  5. State officials wanted OCS off California included in permanent ban

    California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and Coastal Commission Chair Dayna Bochco each asked US President Barack Obama on Dec. 13 to add federal waters off the state’s coast to portions of the US Outer Continental Shelf he permanently closed to future oil and gas activity a week later under Section 12-A of ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 28 Dec 2016

  6. Tallgrass Energy Partners acquires Tallgrass Terminals and the operator of Rockies Express Pipeline

    Tallgrass Energy Partners LP has acquired Tallgrass Terminals LLC and Tallgrass NatGas Operator LLC from Tallgrass Development for cash consideration of $140 million.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 3 Jan 2017

  7. Oil Pipeline : Judge hears landowners' challenge to Dakota Access pipeline

    A group of Iowa landowners forced to allow a Texas oil company to put a crude oil pipeline under their farmland is asking the state courts to throw out what they consider "illegal easements" through their land and some say if they win they want the pipeline dug up and removed.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Sat, 17 Dec 2016

  8. Oil Pipeline : Federal government blocks Dakota Access oil pipeline route

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Sunday that it won't grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota, handing a victory to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters, who argued the project would threaten the tribe's water source and cultural sites.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 6 Dec 2016

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