FOSSIL FUELS

New Panel to Review EPA’s Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study

EPA’s Science Advisory Board will form an independent panel to provide transparant feedback on its 2014 draft report on hydraulic fracturing and its impact on drinking water resources. On March 25, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) independent Science Advisory Board announced formation of a panel of independent experts to review the agency’s hydraulic fracturing…...

Keystone XL Pipeline Wins Senate Support

With a bipartisan majority vote of 62-37, the Senate demonstrated its support for Keystone XL pipeline construction for the first time. On March 22, the US Senate voted in favor of an amendment that supports construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL project, a 1,700-mile pipeline that would transport crude oil from Canada to Texas refineries.  The…...

U.S. Senators Introduce Energy Revenue-Sharing Legislation

A new revenue-sharing bill – the FAIR Act – would enable coastal states to receive a share of offshore energy revenue and put onshore renewable energy on the same scale as onshore fossil energy to ensure equitable revenue-sharing to encourage clean energy efforts.  On March 20, Senators Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) introduced…...

President Obama Proposes $2 Billion Energy Security Trust

President Obama’s proposed Energy Security Trust would divert revenue from federal oil and gas development to fund research and development of alternative transportation fuel technologies. During a speech at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois on March 15, President Barack Obama revealed a proposal to set aside $2 billion for the Energy Security Trust, a…...

New Bills to Expand Environmental Oversight of Oil & Gas Industry

Two new House bills would address health impacts of drilling operations by reversing industry exemptions, putting them on the same environmental regulatory framework as other industries. On March 14,  two bills – “Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydraulic Environmental Regulation (FRESHER) Act” and “Bringing Reductions to Energy’s Airborne Toxic Health Effects (BREATHE)…...

DOI Releases Assessment Report on Shell’s Arctic Drilling Operations

A Department of Interior (DOI) report on Shell’s 2012 Arctic operations reveals inadequate management oversight and details key recommendations for conduct and oversight of future exploration projects. On March 14, 2013, DOI released its 2012 assessment of Shell’s Arctic operations.  The review identifies inadequacies that led to a series of problems related to containment system deployment, marine transport,…...

DOE Study Examines Transportation Sector’s Potential To Reduce Emissions and Oil Use

Department of Energy (DOE) study examines opportunities to attain significant reductions in emissions and petroleum use, revealing that the U.S. transportation sector has the potential to achieve 80% reductions by 2050. On March 14, the Department of Energy (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) released a study examining opportunities to…...

DOE Releases Data From Methane Hydrate Natural Gas Tests

Results from the Department of Energy’s methane hydrate test demonstrate potential for recovering natural gas by exchanging methane molecules with carbon dioxide. On March 11, 2013, the Department of Energy (DOE) made findings from its 2012 methane hydrate test available to the public on the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) website.  The test, conducted in Alaska’s North Slope, was…...

Bill Richardson on Science and Politics in the US

In his Saturday Keynote speech at the 2013 MIT Energy Conference, Bill Richardson, former Governor of New Mexico, stressed the importance of connecting science and politics to fill the climate change knowledge gap, and proposed a macro-regional American collaboration to promote energy innovation and renewable energy diffusion. In the presence of recently appointed energy secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz, MIT…...