March 30, 2013 |
TAFT, Calif. - This two-stoplight town was built on petroleum, and residents here never miss a chance to pay tribute. A 38-foot monument to wildcatters stands downtown; locals brag it's the tallest bronze sculpture west of the Mississippi. Every five years, the city throws an "Oildorado" festival. There's even a beauty pageant in which young women dubbed "the maids of petroleum" vie to be crowned queen. It's all an homage to the bustling days when Taft boasted two giant oil fields and Standard Oil Co. of California was headquartered there.
March 13, 2013 |
California's Monterey shale, which holds an estimated 15 billion barrels of oil, has been touted as crucial to the state's energy future and a boon to its economy. A study released Thursday tries to quantify the potential economic benefits. The study by USC and the Communications Institute, a Los Angeles think tank, estimates that development of the 1,750-square-mile formation in central California could generate half a million new jobs by 2015 and 2.8 million by 2020. Tapping the Monterey shale, which holds an estimated two-thirds of the country's shale oil reserves, would probably require some combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, a practice opposed by many environmentalists worried about possible damage to land and water.
March 25, 2012 |
When the price of gasoline rises, the supply of hot air expands. Just look at the recent GOP attacks blaming President Obama for prices that exceed $4 a gallon in some parts of the country. Not only is Obama responsible, according to some Republicans, he's downright pleased. As Mitt Romney put it last week to Fox News, "There's no question that when he ran for office, he said he wanted to see gasoline prices go up. " But there are some problems with Romney's statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2012 |
Energy companies across California are injecting a mysterious mix of chemicals into the ground to tap oil deposits while frustrating attempts to regulate the controversial process, known as hydraulic fracturing. The procedure has drawn the greatest attention in the Rocky Mountain West and Northeast, where states have debated moratoriums to develop regulations after toxic chemicals were found in nearby drinking water. But a quieter battle is being waged in the Golden State, which could be a candidate for increased "fracking" because of its unique geology.
November 23, 2011
Private equity firm KKR & Co. LP and three partners say they have agreed to buy the privately held oil and gas company Samson Investment Co. for $7.2 billion In the deal announced Wednesday, KKR and its partners will get access to oil and gas assets in booming shale regions in the U.S., including shale formations that contain large amounts of oil and other liquid hydrocarbons. Samson's wells in the deep water Gulf of Mexico and along the Gulf Coast are not included in the deal.
October 21, 2011 |
The Environmental Protection Agency said it planned to regulate wastewater discharged by companies producing natural gas from shale formations, including chemically laced water used in a controversial extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing. The EPA's initiative comes as water-intensive natural gas production has spread around the country, raising concerns about the effects on drinking-water supplies. The practice, also known as fracking, involves shooting water infused with chemicals and sand at high pressure into shale formations to unlock reservoirs of natural gas. The EPA will try to determine what to do with water used during fracking, as well as water that is already underground and flows back up the well.