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A Quick Whirl Around The Fracking World: 6 Nov 2014

A Quick Whirl Around The Fracking World:

*USA.  Will the Republican majority in the US Senate pass a filibuster-proof bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline?  Sen. John Hoeven (R, ND) says they will, and soon.   Btw, the overall cost of TransCanada’s Keystone XL is now an estimated $8 billion.  Update:  During his post-election news conference, President Obama made some intriguing comments about the Keystone XL pipeline:  “There’s an independent process.  It’s moving forward.”  He referred to the NE lawsuit that’s supposed to be decided in the new year.   Obama also mentioned concern for climate change, and that “this is Canadian oil, this isn’t U.S. oil.”  To him, Keystone is “one small aspect of a broader trend”.

*USA.  Question’s being asked whether the continuing drop of oil prices internationally might spell the end of the fracking boom in the US.  If so, small drillers will be particularly hard hit according to one observer: “At current prices, the average oil company isn’t profitable at all, and the weaker ones, loaded with debt, are the walking dead.”

*USA.  Good news:  researchers claim they “have figured out how to trace leaks and spills of fracking fluids—and even detect their presence in treated water.”  Researchers foresee their method, if further tests are successful, could be widely used by regulators.

*USA.  What to do when some pesky rules stand in your way of exporting oil?  BHP Billiton, following the lead of Pioneer Natural Resources and Enterprise Product Partners, plans to export oil from TX.  How’d they do that?  The US Commerce Department, while not “officially” abandoning the prohibition on exporting oil, “has been encouraging companies to pursue independent exports” so long as they meet something called “self-classification”.  Ah, loopholes.

*Washington, DC.  Around 100 activitists were at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this past Monday, “protesting the agency’s . . .  approving permits related to natural gas projects and facilities.”  All three entrances to FERC were blocked for awhile and 25 people were arrested—for “incomoding”.

*AK.  Dedication, and GOTV campaigns paid off:  69% of Alaskans voted to raise the minimum wage to $8.75 next year, and 65% gave the legislature the ok “to ban proposed mining in the Bristol Bay watershed [that’s the Pebble Mine, folks!] if . . . the project would endanger wild salmon stocks”.  Update: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) will be chairing the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.  Interesting bit of insight into what we can expect.

*CA.  This is a biggie.  Despite Chevron’s pouring $3 million (or about $72/voter) into the race, voters in Richmond were victorious in electing a progressive city council.  The new mayor, for example, had a 16-point lead over his Chevon-backed rival.

*CA.  Despite tons (actually, $1.8 million) of oil industry money, San Benito County voters passed Measure J—the anti-fracking item on Tuesday’s ballot.   Santa Barbara County’s anti-fracking measure failed but  Mendocino County passed theirs, too!

*IL.  Today, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules meets and “is expected to greenlight fracking by issuing a ‘certificate of no objection’ to regulations governing the controversial practice”.  The committee is charged with making sure “that the proposed rules align with the fracking law [of June 2013] and do not favor private interests.”

*NC. Members of a state commission who oversaw public hearings on fracking are recommending that rules be revised to allow unannounced inspections of hydraulic fracturing operations”.  That’s the main recommendation; there are others.

*NC.  100,000+ North Carolinians have submitted their opinions about fracking, though there are few places in the state known to be potential fracking sites.  Could it be that NC’s “obsession with fracking has brought serious consequences . . . the lack of attention that we are paying to sustainable energy”?

*NY.  Pressure from both sides of the fracking divide is being applied to one Andrew Cuomo, NY governor, “after having stalled long enough to get his re-election out of the way without any major controversy.”

*OH.  Athens voters approved a fracking ban, although similar measures were rejected in Gates Mills, Kent and Youngstown.

CommunityMyFDL Front Page

A Quick Whirl Around The Fracking World: 6 Nov 2014

A Quick Whirl Around The Fracking World:

*USA.  Will the Republican majority in the US Senate pass a filibuster-proof bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline?  Sen. John Hoeven (R, ND) says they will, and soon.   Btw, the overall cost of TransCanada’s Keystone XL is now an estimated $8 billion.  Update:  During his post-election news conference, President Obama made some intriguing comments about the Keystone XL pipeline:  “There’s an independent process.  It’s moving forward.”  He referred to the NE lawsuit that’s supposed to be decided in the new year.   Obama also mentioned concern for climate change, and that “this is Canadian oil, this isn’t U.S. oil.”  To him, Keystone is “one small aspect of a broader trend”.

*USA.  Question’s being asked whether the continuing drop of oil prices internationally might spell the end of the fracking boom in the US.  If so, small drillers will be particularly hard hit according to one observer: “At current prices, the average oil company isn’t profitable at all, and the weaker ones, loaded with debt, are the walking dead.”

*USA.  Good news:  researchers claim they “have figured out how to trace leaks and spills of fracking fluids—and even detect their presence in treated water.”  Researchers foresee their method, if further tests are successful, could be widely used by regulators.

*USA.  What to do when some pesky rules stand in your way of exporting oil?  BHP Billiton, following the lead of Pioneer Natural Resources and Enterprise Product Partners, plans to export oil from TX.  How’d they do that?  The US Commerce Department, while not “officially” abandoning the prohibition on exporting oil, “has been encouraging companies to pursue independent exports” so long as they meet something called “self-classification”.  Ah, loopholes.

*Washington, DC.  Around 100 activitists were at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this past Monday, “protesting the agency’s . . .  approving permits related to natural gas projects and facilities.”  All three entrances to FERC were blocked for awhile and 25 people were arrested—for “incomoding”.

*AK.  Dedication, and GOTV campaigns paid off:  69% of Alaskans voted to raise the minimum wage to $8.75 next year, and 65% gave the legislature the ok “to ban proposed mining in the Bristol Bay watershed [that’s the Pebble Mine, folks!] if . . . the project would endanger wild salmon stocks”.  Update: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) will be chairing the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.  Interesting bit of insight into what we can expect.

*CA.  This is a biggie.  Despite Chevron’s pouring $3 million (or about $72/voter) into the race, voters in Richmond were victorious in electing a progressive city council.  The new mayor, for example, had a 16-point lead over his Chevon-backed rival.

*CA.  Despite tons (actually, $1.8 million) of oil industry money, San Benito County voters passed Measure J—the anti-fracking item on Tuesday’s ballot.   Santa Barbara County’s anti-fracking measure failed but  Mendocino County passed theirs, too!

*IL.  Today, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules meets and “is expected to greenlight fracking by issuing a ‘certificate of no objection’ to regulations governing the controversial practice”.  The committee is charged with making sure “that the proposed rules align with the fracking law [of June 2013] and do not favor private interests.” (more…)

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