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WORLD
December 11, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
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.
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OPINION
April 25, 2014
Re “ Patt Morrison Asks: Mark Zoback, frackologist ,” April 23 I was surprised to read Mark Zoback's position on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” He states that we need to make sure “industry follows best practices, that we have good regulations in place, and those regulations are enforced.” But he admits that “regulations are often neglected or abused, and that neglect manifests itself in dramatic accidents [like]...
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BUSINESS
June 5, 1989
One of the more enduring controversies in California's oil industry--the charge by state and local authorities, independent oil producers and others that "Big Oil" has long conspired to fix prices--refuses to die. In fact, the issue is alive and well as the result of last month's decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. It found that California and Long Beach officials had offered sufficient evidence of a 1970s price-fixing conspiracy by Chevron, Unocal, Mobil, Shell, Exxon and Texaco.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes
An oil and gas industry association blasted a push by several members of the Los Angeles City Council to investigate whether hydraulic fracturing and other forms of oil well stimulation played any role in the earthquake that rattled Los Angeles on Monday, calling the move "appallingly irresponsible. " "It does not surprise us that the handful of extremist environmental organizations ... would attempt to make an entirely unfounded connection between hydraulic fracturing and the earthquake," Western States Petroleum Assn.
WORLD
August 19, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's most prestigious leftist leader on Monday challenged President Enrique Peña Nieto's proposal to open the national oil industry to private investment, setting the stage for what is sure to be a pitched political battle. Cuauhtemoc Cardenas said the state oil monopoly, Pemex, is in dire need of repair, but that amending the Constitution, as Peña Nieto plans , is unnecessary and makes Mexico's resources dangerously vulnerable to outside exploitation.   Instead, Cardenas offered an eight-point plan that would give Pemex financial and administrative autonomy, relieving it, he said, of the onerous state bureaucracy that cripples its ability to grow and become more efficient [link in Spanish]
NATIONAL
August 26, 2010 | Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times
Federal investigators are showing increasing frustration at murky or nonresponsive answers from oil industry officials as they parse the causes of the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. Since the hearings began in May, three BP officials with intimate knowledge of events leading up to the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig have declined to testify before a joint Coast Guard and Interior Department panel, which convened again Wednesday. One repeatedly cited a medical excuse and two invoked their constitutional right not to produce testimony that could incriminate themselves.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 2, 2012 | By Michael J. Mishak, Los Angeles Times
SHAFTER - In this lush pocket of Kern County, where the agriculture and oil industries have long coexisted, Mike Hopkins' almond orchard has become a battlefield in a dispute that extends to the governor's office. Hopkins is standing up to the oil industry - and Gov. Jerry Brown - by filing a lawsuit against the state to bar energy company Venoco Inc. from drilling an exploratory well on his farm without a full environmental review. Venoco has the mineral rights to Hopkins' 38-acre farm.
BUSINESS
July 27, 2010 | Michael Hiltzik
If a ballot initiative is known by the company it keeps, we should be just a teeny bit suspicious of Proposition 23, the Nov. 2 measure designed to eviscerate California's new greenhouse gas regulation. The driving force behind the initiative is the oil industry, which has contributed more than $2.3 million to getting it passed. The biggest single contributor is San Antonio-based Valero Energy ($1.05 million, according to the latest state campaign disclosures), with San Antonio-based Tesoro Corp.
NATIONAL
July 16, 2010 | By Richard Simon, Los Angeles Times
Far-reaching legislation that would impose new environmental safeguards on offshore drilling, repeal oil-industry-friendly provisions of energy policy and hit producers with a new tax to fund conservation programs gained ground in Congress on Thursday. Acting as BP at least temporarily halted the flow of oil from its blown-out well, two House committees advanced legislation from a pile of oil-spill-related bills. One bill, approved by the Natural Resources Committee on a largely party-line vote, would strip the oil industry of royalty relief for deep-water drilling.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro and Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — The Senate blocked an effort to end billions of dollars in tax breaks for the oil industry, brushing aside President Obama's argument that the five big oil companies were doing "just fine" while consumers were struggling with painfully high gasoline prices. The measure to kill the industry tax preferences failed on a 51-47 procedural vote Thursday. It needed 60 votes to overcome a Republican-led filibuster that was supported by some Democrats from oil-rich states.
WORLD
March 9, 2014 | By Laura King and Amro Hassan
CAIRO -- Confrontation deepened Sunday between Libya's weak central government and a rebel militia that has launched a brazen bid to sell crude oil and seize the profits for itself. The episode was emblematic of the chaos that has beset the North African nation in the three years since the toppling and killing of strongman Moammar Kadafi. But this latest crisis -- centered on oil, the country's economic mainstay -- appeared to mark the most serious challenge yet to the splintered interim administration, threatening a full-scale unraveling of a state that scarcely exists in more than name.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 16, 2013 | By Phil Willon
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.
WORLD
December 13, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee
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.
WORLD
December 11, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
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.
WORLD
December 11, 2013 | By Richard Fausset and Tracy Wilkinson
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.
BUSINESS
November 15, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee
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.
NATIONAL
September 15, 2010 | By Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times
The trucks came at night, ferrying load after load of oil-field waste from Alabama to the US Liquids disposal facility in this tiny south Louisiana settlement. For the oil company, it was an easy decision: Exxon's drilling and production waste was classified as hazardous under Alabama law. Its disposal there would cost about $100 a barrel. In Louisiana, however, the chemical waste could be dumped into open pits at a cost of $8 a barrel. The US Liquids plant is across a two-lane highway from Clarice Friloux's property, which backs up to an alligator-filled bayou.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 3, 1993 | BRENDA DAY
Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have received a federal grant to study the economic and social effects of the oil industry in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, officials announced Friday. The university received a $415,210 contract to conduct a three-year study of the three counties, where the oil industry has been prominent since the turn of the century, said officials with the U.S. Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service.
BUSINESS
November 15, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
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.
NATIONAL
November 14, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian
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.
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