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  1. Oil and Gas: Firefighters knock down blaze at California oil refinery

      TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — An explosion and fire erupted Saturday at a California oil refinery , exactly two years after a blast that crippled the plant and led to higher gasoline prices, authorities said. No injuries were reported from the Torrance Refining Co. near Los Angeles, and there were no evacuations or damage to any buildings outside the refinery, Assistant Fire Chief Steve Treskes said. Three dozen firefighters using heavy streams of water battled flames that rose 40 feet in the air, and the fire was knocked down in about 30 minutes, Treskes said. "All safety systems at the refinery operated properly, and all personnel are safe and accounted for," Betsy Brien, a spokeswoman for the refinery owner, New Jersey-based PBF Energy Inc. , said in a statement. There was no immediate word on damage or the cause of the blast. However, most of the refinery continued to operate, Brien said. The blast came on the anniversary of a Feb. 18, 2015, explosion that slightly injured four contractors, destroyed a large part of the refinery, rocked the neighboring community 20 miles southwest of Los Angeles and sent a fine white ash raining down on nearby homes and cars. Later in the day, about 400 people gathered at the refinery in a previously planned protest to mark the anniversary and demand a ban on the use of a highly toxic and volatile chemical, modified hydrofluoric acid, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported ( http://bit.ly/2lwBWri ). The 2015 explosion involved a pollution-control device called a precipitator. Federal regulators later concluded that the explosion could have been prevented if managers had taken into account aging safety equipment and shut down a key, spark-generating part of the refinery before attempting repairs elsewhere. The blast tossed an 80,000-pound piece of equipment within feet of another unit where tens of thousands of pounds of modified hydrofluoric acid were stored in tanks. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board concluded that there was a potential to release a toxic cloud and cause "serious injury or death to many community members." California regulators also fined ExxonMobil — then-owner of the refinery — more than $500,000 for safety violations. Most of the refinery was shut down for more than a year, leading to a shortage of gas that meets California's stricter pollution regulations and higher prices at the pump. Two other incidents were reported in the fall of 2015. One involved a leak of modified hydrofluoric acid and the other a leak in a pressurized pipe that created a large steam cloud. No injuries were reported. The refinery sits on 750 acres and produces 1.8 billion gallons of gasoline a year, which accounts for about 8.3 percent of the state's total refining capacity.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 21 Feb 2017

  2. Oil and Gas: Deadline looms for Dakota Access pipeline protest camp

    As dawn breaks over an encampment that was once home to thousands of people protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline, a few hundred holdouts rise for another day of resistance.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 22 Feb 2017

  3. Utility Company: 1,200 customers lose gas service in poor Pittsburgh suburb

    Utility crews have been working to restore natural gas service to about 1,200 customers in a poorer Pittsburgh suburb.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 22 Feb 2017

  4. Coal News: China police arrest mine manager in explosion death cover-up

    Police in central China's Hunan province have arrested a coal mine manager on suspicion of under-reporting the death toll from an explosion this week.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 21 Feb 2017

  1. Solar Power: Nigerians starved of electricity access turn to solar

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 22 Feb 2017

  2. Oil and Gas: Deadline to leave pipeline protest camp won't be extended

    The Army Corps of Engineers said it won't extend a Wednesday deadline for Dakota Access oil pipeline opponents to vacate their encampment on federal land in North Dakota.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 23 Feb 2017

  3. Natural Gas Pipeline: Natural gas leaks from pipeline in Alaska's Cook Inlet

    Natural gas for at least 10 days has leaked from an underwater natural gas pipeline in Alaska's Cook Inlet and floating ice has prevented divers from reaching the site.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Sat, 18 Feb 2017

  4. Power Transmission: Keep loved ones – and metallic balloons – close to your heart

    In addition to disrupting electric service, metallic balloons contacting power transmission lines can create a public safety risk.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 14 Feb 2017

  5. Coal News: Mine maintenance chief charged with falsifying record

    Authorities say the maintenance chief at a western Kentucky coal mine has been indicted on charges of falsifying a safety record and lying to federal inspectors.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 14 Feb 2017

  6. Coal News: 8 dead, 3 missing after central China coal mine blast

    A coal mine explosion Tuesday in central China has left eight people dead and three injured, state media reported.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 15 Feb 2017

  7. Oil and Gas: North Dakota pipeline protest spurs South Dakota legislation

    Gov. Dennis Daugaard's office is pursuing legislation to make it clear that the governor's emergency response powers apply to destructive protests, create new trespassing penalties and make it a crime to obstruct highways based on lessons North Dakota learned from large demonstrations over the ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 17 Feb 2017

  8. Oil and Gas: Charges refiled against pipeline protester after hung jury

    Charges have been refiled against an Oregon man who tried to shut off an oil pipeline north of Seattle last fall to make a statement about climate change.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 14 Feb 2017

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