November 14, 2013 |
After a series of fiery crashes involving trains hauling crude oil, the railroad industry called on the federal government Thursday to significantly strengthen safety standards for new tank cars and require retrofitting of the nation's huge fleet of existing tankers. Tank car safety has taken on greater urgency as the oil industry turns to rail to ship the massive increases in oil production that are occurring in shale fields not served by major pipelines, including North Dakota, Colorado and south Texas.
October 21, 2013 |
FORT CHIPEWYAN, Canada - In the Cree language, the word "athabasca" means "a place where grass is everywhere. " Here in Alberta, the Athabasca River slices through forests of spruce and birch before spilling into a vast freshwater delta and Lake Athabasca. But 100 miles upstream, the boreal forest has been peeled back by enormous strip mines, where massive shovels pick up 100 tons of earth at a time and dump it into yellow trucks as big as houses. The tarry bitumen that is extracted is eventually shipped to refineries, many in the United States, to be processed into gasoline, diesel and other fuels.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 20, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - The nation's toughest restrictions on a controversial oil drilling technique known as fracking were signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday. Hotly opposed by the oil industry, the measure "establishes strong environmental protections and transparency requirements," the governor said in a statement. Brown also signed measures giving law enforcement officers clear authority to take blood samples from resistant suspected drunk drivers; making it easier for police to recover stolen goods; and setting rules for California's health insurance exchange.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 4, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - California may be on the brink of another great oil boom. It consequently could be heading into an environmental disaster. A state senator from Agoura Hills is trying to allow the first while heading off the second. Democrat Fran Pavley's oil fracking regulation bill is one of the most significant and controversial that the Legislature is fighting over in the final days of its 2013 session, scheduled to adjourn Sept. 13. Unless you have been buried 10,000 feet underground with all that untapped oil, you've probably read about fracking, formally known as hydraulic fracturing.
August 28, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - A coalition of more than 100 environmental and political activist groups is denouncing oil fracking legislation as too weak and calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to order an immediate halt to the controversial drilling practice. "The truth is that there is no proven way to protect California from fracking besides prohibiting this inherently dangerous practice," said the letter delivered to the governor's office Wednesday. Fracking, formally known as hydraulic fracturing, is a drilling technique that employs a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals deep underground to loosen oil and natural-gas deposits locked in shale.
August 21, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- Environmental and liberal activist groups are split over a pending pioneering bill that would regulate the controversial oil-extraction technique known as fracking. Legislation by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) would, for the first time in the nation, require oil companies to disclose details of the chemicals, locations and procedures involved with hydraulic fracturing and related "well-stimulation" activities. The bill also would require that well sites be permitted and that the state conduct a scientific study of hydraulic fracturing, among other things.