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Tuesday, Feb 20th

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Watchdog: Texas company illegally charged Energy Dept. $2.5 million in expenses

Summitt Texas Clean Energy charged illegal fees to US gov.t

A government watchdog has found that a Texas energy company likely charged the Department of Energy $2.5 million in extraneous expenditures ranging from spa services to lobbying costs.

The Energy Department's Office of Inspector General identified more than $2.5 million in expenses Summitt Texas Clean Energy charged to project that they considered potentially unallowable, according to an inspector general report released Feb. 8.

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Emergency official: 5 missing after Oklahoma rig explosion

Oklahoma rig explosionFive people are missing after a fiery explosion ripped through an eastern Oklahoma drilling rig Monday morning, sending plumes of black smoke into the air and leaving a derrick crumpled on the ground, an emergency official said.

Pittsburg County Emergency Manager Director Kevin Enloe told television station KOTV that at least three medical helicopters landed at the site following the explosion. He said five people were missing.

Aerial footage from midday Monday showed several fires still burning at the site and the derrick, a towering metal structure above the well, collapsed onto the ground.

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Energy agency rejects Trump bid to boost coal, nuclear power

Rick PeerryAn independent energy agency on Monday rejected a Trump administration plan to bolster coal-fired and nuclear power plants, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump's efforts to boost the struggling coal industry.

The decision by the Republican-controlled Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was unexpected and comes amid repeated promises by Trump to revive coal as the nation's top power source. The industry has been besieged by multiple bankruptcies and a steady loss of market share as natural gas and renewable energy flourish.

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On its hundredth birthday in 1959, Edward Teller warned the oil industry about global warming

dward Teller warned about global warming in 1959

It was a typical November day in New York City. The year: 1959. Robert Dunlop, 50 years old and photographed later as clean-shaven, hair carefully parted, his earnest face donning horn-rimmed glasses, passed under the Ionian columns of Columbia University’s iconic Low Library. He was a guest of honor for a grand occasion: the centennial of the American oil industry.

Over 300 government officials, economists, historians, scientists, and industry executives were present for the Energy and Man symposium – organized by the American Petroleum Institute and the Columbia Graduate School of Business – and Dunlop was to address the entire congregation on the “prime mover” of the last century – energy – and its major source: oil.

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Trump Rolls Back Offshore Safety Rules Born From BP Oil Spill

BP oil spill regulations rolled back by TrumpThe Trump administration is rolling back offshore drilling rules put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster killed 11 workers and spewed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

President Donald Trump in April ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review a raft of Obama-era safety rules that sought to curb accidents and pollution by oil and gas drillers operating in U.S. waters. The agency on Thursday proposed several changes to those regulations, including scrapping a requirement that operators certify through a third party that their safety devices are functioning properly.

The changes will save companies at least $288 million over 10 years, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

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Blast hits Libyan crude pipeline, cutting output by 90,000 bpd

Oil Pipeline blast in LibyaArmed men blew up a Libyan pipeline pumping crude oil to Es Sider port on Tuesday, reducing the North African country’s output by around 90,000 barrels a day, military and oil sources said.

The attackers arrived at the site near Marada in two cars and planted explosives on the pipeline, a military source said.

Pictures purportedly showing a huge cloud from the blast in central eastern Libya circulated on social media.

The damage was still being assessed, one oil source said. Oil prices rose on the report.

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Congress votes to open Alaska refuge to oil drilling

Arctic Wildlife Preserve to become drilling field

Congress voted Wednesday to open Alaska’s remote Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and natural gas drilling, ending more than four decades of heated debate on the matter.

The House voted 224-201, mostly along party lines, to pass the Republicans’ tax overhaul bill, which has the ANWR drilling provision attached to it.

It followed the Senate’s 51-48 vote along party lines early Wednesday morning to pass the bill. The House had passed it earlier Tuesday as well, before the GOP had to make small changes to comply with rules allowing for a 51-vote passage in the Senate as a budget reconciliation measure.

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