CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 16, 2013 |
San Francisco Bay Area hedge fund manager Tom Steyer on Monday launched a statewide campaign, aimed at prompting action by state lawmakers, to impose a new extraction tax on oil produced in California. Steyer said California imposes only a 14-cent per barrel fee and that, even when property, income and corporate taxes are factored in, the state collects far less per barrel that states such as Texas and Alaska - a claim that oil industry representatives disputed. The extraction tax could produce billions of dollars in much-needed revenue for the state, Steyer said.
December 13, 2013 |
CONKLIN, Canada - Can the Keystone XL pipeline be built without significantly worsening greenhouse gas emissions and climate change? For President Obama, that is the main criterion for granting a federal permit to allow the pipeline to cross from southern Alberta into the United States. Canadian authorities and the oil industry say measures already in place or under consideration to cut greenhouse gases ensure that Keystone XL can pass that test. "We absolutely think we can maintain growth in oil and gas, and achieve greenhouse gas reductions," said Nicole Spears, a climate policy expert with Alberta's Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.
December 11, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - Mexico has taken a giant step toward the most radical opening of the country's nationalized oil and gas industry in 75 years, a move analysts say could boost lagging petroleum production here and further cement North America's new reputation as an energy-producing powerhouse. Passage of a bill in the Mexican Senate was hailed this week by oil industry analysts and goes much further in the effort to attract outside investment to Mexico than a proposal originally introduced in August by President Enrique Peña Nieto's centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI. Peña Nieto praised the more vigorous measure Wednesday.
December 11, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - The Mexican Senate has approved a sweeping reform of the country's energy sector that would open the underperforming state-run oil company to foreign investment - a move that supporters say could boost a stagnant economy and bolster President Enrique Peña Nieto's assertions that he is leading Mexico through a time of profound transformation. The vote to approve the bill came at 11:55 p.m. Tuesday, after nine hours of debate on the Senate floor, and as leftist opponents, who argue that the reform amounts to “selling the Fatherland,” used stones and hammers to beat furiously upon tall metal barricades surrounding the Senate building.
November 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency proposed new standards for the amount of plant-based fuel to be added to gasoline and diesel next year and, for the first time, reduced the mandated volume in response to mounting criticism that the standards had become unworkable. Under rules proposed Friday, oil refiners would have to blend 15.21 billion gallons of renewable fuel with gasoline and diesel, down from the 16.55 billion gallons that companies had to use this year. The oil industry had complained it could not use up this year's allotment because Americans now consume less gasoline than they did in 2005, when the renewable fuel standard law was passed.
November 15, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - The Brown administration has released much-anticipated proposed rules for fracking, a controversial technique for drilling for oil and natural gas reviled by environmentalists. The process, formally known as hydraulic fracturing, involves pumping water, sand and a mixture of chemicals into geological strata to free trapped hydrocarbons. Supporters say that it is opening up a vast new energy source and creating high-paying jobs. Opponents contend that fracking could pollute underground drinking water supplies and cause health hazards.