CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2013 |
In the absence of statewide regulations for hydraulic fracturing, Southern California air-quality officials have enacted their own reporting rules for the controversial extraction process driving the country's oil and gas boom. On Friday, the governing board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District adopted a rule that requires oil companies to notify the air agency 10 days to 24 hours before beginning drilling operations, including "fracking," which involves injecting large volumes of chemical-laced water and sand deep into the ground to break apart rock and release oil. That notice, including the location of the well, will then be posted on the agency's website . Under the new rule, companies are also required to disclose all the chemicals they use, a provision that sparked opposition from oil industry trade groups and Halliburton, one of the world's largest oil field service companies and a pioneer of hydraulic fracturing.
March 29, 2012 |
An attempt to roll back oil company tax breaks was blocked in the Senate, despite a Rose Garden push by President Obama, who said the big five oil companies are doing “just fine” as consumers struggle with painfully high gas prices at the pump. Republicans led opposition to the measure, but several Democrats from oil-rich states joined the GOP in a filibuster to prevent the legislation from advancing. The vote was 51-47, failing to reach the 60-vote threshold. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the GOP was "poised to pick the pockets of American taxpayers to line the pockets of these oil executives.
March 11, 2010 |
Some of the nation's biggest oil companies are looking at permanently reducing how much gasoline and diesel fuel they make, a move that analysts say would almost certainly trigger higher prices for drivers. Energy companies are suffering huge losses from refining because of slumping gasoline use -- a product of the economic downturn and changing consumer habits and preferences. Energy experts say refining cutbacks have begun and will accelerate as corporations strive for profits. Major refiners have been circumspect about their plans, saying that they are considering options that could include closing refineries, selling parts of their operations, laying off workers and slashing spending.
April 28, 2011 |
Gasoline prices are skyrocketing — and so are oil company profits. Exxon Mobil Corp. earned nearly $11 billion in the first three months of the year, a rollicking 69% increase over its performance for the same period last year. That's on sales of $114 billion. It's the same story for the other big oil companies. Royal Dutch Shell turned a profit of $6.3 billion in the first quarter, and BP — despite lingering costs from the Gulf Coast oil spill — made $7.1 billion. What they aren't making is fuel, at least not in normal quantities.
May 25, 2010 |
It was close to 2 a.m. when Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and others on a House-Senate conference committee saw just how much clout the oil industry had when it came to winning special tax breaks and other financial benefits from Congress. At issue was the 2005 Energy Policy Act — the largest energy bill in years. The committee chairman, Rep. Joe L. Barton (R-Texas), a friend of the industry, had saved some big issues for the end: billions of dollars in tax and royalty relief to encourage drilling for oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico and other offshore areas.
September 14, 2010 |
The Justice Department signaled Tuesday that it may sue BP and other oil firms involved in the massive Gulf of Mexico spill for violating federal environmental laws, actions that could ultimately lead to heavy civil fines against the companies. If federal laws were found to have been deliberately broken, authorities could file federal criminal or civil charges against the companies, Justice Department officials said. "As we have said from the beginning, we are committed to ensuring that those responsible clean up the mess they made, restore or replace the natural resources lost or injured in this tragedy, and repay every cent of taxpayer money," said Hannah August, a Justice Department spokeswoman.