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Thursday, Jan 29th

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Pipeline Explodes In West Virginia, Sends Fireball Shooting Hundreds Of Feet In The Air

W.Va. pipelineA gas pipeline in Brooke County, West Virginia exploded into a ball of flames on Monday morning, marking the fourth major mishap at a U.S. pipeline this month.

No one was hurt in the explosion, but residents told the local WTRF 7 news station that they could see a massive fireball shooting hundreds of feet into the air. An emergency dispatcher reportedly told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the flames had melted the siding off one home and damaged at least one power line. The gas pipeline is owned by Houston, Texas-based The Enterprise Products, L.P., which said Monday evening that it is investigating the cause of the explosion.

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China’s Louisiana Purchase: Who’s building a methanol plant on the bayou?

methanolA prominent Chinese tycoon and politician — whose natural gas company's environmental and labor rights record recently started coming under fire in the Chinese press — is parking assets in a multibillion dollar methanol plant in a Louisiana town. And he appears to be doing it with help from the administration of likely GOP 2016 presidential ticket contender Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Not many locals in a predominantly black neighborhood of St. James Parish — halfway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge — know that Wang Jinshu, the Communist Party Secretary for the northeastern Chinese village of Yuhuang and a former delegate to the National People’s Congress, is the man at the helm of a $1.85 billion methanol plant to be built in their town over the next two years with a $9.5 million incentive package from the state.

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Obama To Propose Protecting 1.4 Million Acres Of U.S. Arctic Refuge

obama proposes aRCTIC PROTECTIONU.S. President Barack Obama will propose protecting 1.4 million acres (556,000 hectares) of the Arctic from oil and gas drilling, the Interior Department said on Sunday.

The administration plans to propose designating the area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness, the highest level of federal protection under which oil and gas drilling is banned, it said in a statement.

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Scientists puzzled, worried by rapid draining of Greenland lakes

greenland lakesTwo subglacial Greenland lakes thought to be stable -- pockets of icy water accumulated over many years -- are now gone, drained in a matter of weeks. And scientists aren't exactly sure why or what it means.

In one spot along Greenland's massive ice sheet, what was once a holding cell for more than 7 billion gallons of water (supplied by melting ice caps), is now a cold, empty crater, stretching some 1.2 miles wide and 230 feet deep.

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North Dakota cleanup underway after 3 million-gallon toxic spill

ND spillCleanup was underway Thursday after nearly 3 million gallons of brine — a toxic byproduct of oil and natural gas production — leaked from a pipeline in western North Dakota in the state’s largest spill of its kind since the current energy boom began.

The brine is an unwanted byproduct of oil and natural gas production. It is much saltier than seawater, and may contain petroleum and residue from hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” operations.

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Second Montana pipeline breach wreaks havoc on Yellowstone River

Montana oil spillWhen an oil pipeline burst in July 2011 and poured 63,000 gallons of crude into the Yellowstone River 200 miles upstream from Dena Hoff’s farm of wheat, beans and corn on the Great Plains in Glendive, she felt disgusted.

When it happened again Saturday, she felt terror. This pipeline breach was underneath the Yellowstone River, just a few feet from her sheep pasture. The new spill poured out some 50,000 gallons of crude oil. Leaders of this small riverside farming and ranching community in northeastern Montana warned residents not to drink their tap water, because benzene, a carcinogen, was found in the municipal water system. Oil slicked the river for dozens of miles, almost to the border with North Dakota. Hoff’s property smelled sickeningly like diesel.

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Cancer-causing agent detected in water after pipeline spill

Cancer causing ingredients in pipe spillEastern Montana residents rushed to stock up on bottled water Tuesday after authorities detected a cancer-causing component of oil in public water supplies downstream of a Yellowstone River pipeline spill.

Elevated levels of benzene were found in water samples from a treatment plant that serves about 6,000 people in the agricultural community of Glendive, near North Dakota.

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