Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Senator wants debate on pipeline safety bill


"(AP) WASHINGTON — The only senator opposed to a bill to toughen federal safety regulation of oil and gas pipelines said Wednesday he's willing to work with Senate leaders to schedule a debate on the measure, but he's still blocking expedited passage.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who is philosophically opposed to federal regulation, also blamed Democratic leaders for the Senate's failure to act on the measure, saying they could have scheduled a debate and vote on the bill at any time."...

..."The bill is supported by the industry's major trade associations — the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, the American Gas Association and the Association of Oil Pipelines — as well as the Pipeline Safety Trust, a safety advocacy group."...

..."Paul's actions show he is "blinded by ideology" and "indifferent to the overwhelming evidence that self-regulation of the gas industry is a prescription for further death and injury," Speier said in a statement." More>>>>

Monday, September 19, 2011

New York fracking lawsuit could set drilling precedent


Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:04pm EDT

"* Anschutz Exploration files suit against town of Dryden

* Unincorporated town amended zoning to bar gas drilling

* State department has recommended end to NY drilling ban

By Dan Wiessner

ALBANY, NY, Sept 19 (Reuters) - A lawsuit challenging a small town's ban on natural-gas drilling could have implications throughout New York state, where officials are poised to approve a controversial drilling method known as fracking.

Privately held Anschutz Exploration Corp filed suit on Friday against Dryden, a rural suburb of Ithaca with about 13,000 residents that last month amended its zoning laws to bar all gas drilling within its unincorporated borders.

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation has recommended ending a year-long ban on drilling in New York, although a public comment period on the rules was extended this month following concerns that fracking contaminates underground wells and aquifers.

The Anschutz suit, which asks the state Supreme Court in Tompkins County to invalidate the amendment, is the first to test the legal implications of the state's move.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves cracking open rocks deep underground with a blast of sand, water and chemicals to unleash natural gas and oil.

Anschutz, which controls more than 22,000 acres in Dryden, said New York's Environmental Conservation Law bars local governments from any regulation of drilling." More>>>>

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Gold Firm Loses Lease

Albuquerque Journal North
Mark Oswald
Sept. 4, 2011

"A company with plans to mine for gold in the Ortiz Mountains southeast of Madrid says in a lawsuit that it has a better chance of getting the necessary approvals now that New Mexico has a governor with “a pro-business stance.” Also, the Albuquerque-based Santa Fe Gold Corp. says in a federal court complaint, Santa Fe County’s “politically liberal” population may be more willing to support mining operations these days, because of the jobs it could bring during the recession’s economic hard times.

But Santa Fe Gold Corp. has lost the lease to explore for and mine gold and other minerals on about 43,000 acres of the Ortiz Mine Grant.

On Tuesday, the mining company filed suit accusing mineral rights owner Ortiz Mines Inc., of Kansas of breach of contract.

The lawsuit also reveals that Santa Fe Gold – despite losing the lease – has already obtained a state “general mining permit” for preliminary work at the Ortiz Mountain site, issued Aug. 19.

The state Mining and Minerals Division provided a copy of the permit this week. It grants conditional approval for a year for a “mining disturbance” not to exceed two acres consisting of “collecting rock samples by hand and baseline environmental data collection.”

Santa Fe Gold obtained a seven-year mineral lease with Ortiz Mines in 2004 and made the deal public in 2008. Santa Fe Gold says in its lawsuit that it has made $753,224 in lease payments so far.

But Ortiz Mining served notice in June that it was terminating the lease, citing concerns about Santa Fe Gold’s effort to move the project forward."...

..."The suit goes on to note the current poor economy and record-high gold prices and says the “public fervor over Tecton’s plans to drill for oil and gas has largely abated.”

“While the population of Santa Fe County is politically liberal, current economic conditions make it more likely that public support can be generated for support of the Ortiz Project,” the suit states.

No county application"... More (subscription or trail pass required)>>>>

Friday, September 2, 2011

Energy Secretary signals green light likely for XL Pipeline


"U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is saying nice things about the controversial sand tar oil pipeline that TransCanada wants to run across the Nebraska Sandhills and over the Ogallala Aquifer.

It is a clear signal that the Obama administration is likely to let TransCanada build the XL Pipeline that would / will run from Alberta across several states to the Gulf Coast of Texas."


BP Can Deny It All They Want But That Looks Like Oil Again At Deepwater

Business Insider

"Somehow the fact BP hired 40 ships to lay booms around the growing slick at the Deepwater site slipped past most media attention early last week.

The Tallahassee Examiner reports that on top of the 40 Vessels of Opportunity hired to contain the renewed spill, BP assigned two of its own vessels to the location. The Helix Producer 1 is an oil production ship able to manage 45,000 barrels of oil a day, and the Helix Express carries an underwater construction vessel."