oil

Land Erosion
12:40 am
Wed April 16, 2014

As La. Coast Recedes, Battle Rages Over Who Should Pay

Man-made canals built for the oil and gas industry cut through wetland. The industry argues those canals aren't to blame for coastal erosion.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 1:33 pm

Louisiana's coast is disappearing at the rate of about a football field an hour. Since the 1930s, the Gulf of Mexico has swallowed up an area the size of Delaware.

You can see the water encroaching in Delacroix in St. Bernard Parish, less than an hour southeast of New Orleans. Here, a narrow crescent of land known locally as the "end of the world" is where the road abruptly comes to a dead end; in the distance, you see the tops of now-submerged trees.

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Arctic drilling
10:52 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

Coast Guard Blames Kulluk Grounding on Shell Oil's Complacency, Risk Taking

The Kulluk, hard aground off Alaska's Sitkalidak Island in January 2013
U.S. Coast Guard

A US Coast Guard investigation blames Shell Oil's complacency and risk-taking for an oil rig running aground on a remote Alaskan Island on New Year's Eve 2012.

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River Ports
9:08 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Oregon Says Coal Export Project Will Need To Lease More Land

A project to transfer coal from trains to Columbia River barges and eventually to ocean-going ships will require additional permits, Oregon regulators recently decided.
Katie Campbell

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 2:55 pm

Developers of the Morrow Pacific coal export project on the Columbia River already have land leases with the Port of St. Helens and the Port of Morrow.

But according to the Oregon Department of State Lands, they're going to need a couple more.

In Oregon, the state owns all the land submerged in water -– including riverbeds.

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No Votes
9:08 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Washington Legislature Fails To Pass Any Oil Train Legislation

Increased oil train traffic had put public pressure on Washington lawmakers to act, but none of this session's oil-train bills passed before the Legislature adjourned Friday.
flickr/Russ Allison Loar https://www.flickr.com/photos/11072040@N08/6184231577/in/photolist-aqtNAn-9d8NnY-dMMvL1-9bXnje-fa6tG7-cCoWk1-cCp1fU-cCp3yQ-cCoSAq-cCoYf1-cCoUqj-cCoP3Q-cCoR5b-cCoLWY-cCoJUo-cCoD3Q-cCoGSL-foFREg-eQovqh-

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 8:00 pm

SEATTLE -- More oil is moving through Washington state from the Bakken oil fields, putting public pressure on elected officials to pass laws protecting public health and the environment.

Bakken oil from North Dakota and Montana has proven extremely flammable, causing several explosions in North America, including one that killed 47 people in Quebec last July.

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Oil Boom
12:27 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Much Of North Dakota's Natural Gas Is Going Up In Flames

Gas flaring near Highway 85 southwest of Williston. Analysts estimate that almost 30 percent of the gas being produced in the state is burned off.
Jeff Brady/NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 8:44 am

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

North Dakota's oil boom isn't just about oil; a lot of natural gas comes out of the ground at the same time. But there's a problem with that: The state doesn't have the pipelines needed to transport all of that gas to market. There's also no place to store it.

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EarthFix Reports
9:32 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Wyden, Merkley Take Railroads To Task Over Oil Train Safety

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley discussed concerns about oil train safety with dozens of public officials and railroad executives Friday.
Tony Schick

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 4:32 pm

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley asked railroad company executives Friday to address mounting concerns about oil train safety in Oregon.

Following several oil train derailments and related emergencies in the past six months, the senators gathered in Portland with public officials officials and rail industry representatives.

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EarthFix Reports
9:27 am
Thu January 23, 2014

New Legislation Calls For Transparency On Oil Moving Through Washington

With more oil moving through Washington by train and other transportation modes, state lawmakers want oil companies to keep environmental regulators better informed.
Katie Campbell

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 7:26 pm

SEATTLE -- Washington lawmakers took up a proposal Wednesday to require more transparency from companies that transport oil through the state.

The hearing on House Bill 2347 played out before a packed committee room in Olympia. The new bill would require oil companies to file weekly reports with the state Department of Ecology detailing how much oil is being transported, what kind of oil it is, how it’s being moved and what route it’s traveling through the state.

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EarthFix Analysis
6:00 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Few Railcars Carrying Flammable Oil Get Inspected

A small percentage of trains carrying hazardous materials are inspected as they move through Oregon and Washington. Safety advocates and legislators are more concerned about what federal regulations allow than the fewer than 1 percent of cars found with safety violations.
Credit Flickr Photo/Russ Allison

As we researched a recent story about train shipments of oil, we asked Washington and Oregon officials: How many of the trains coming through the Northwest are inspected?

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EarthFix Reports
10:03 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Feds: Crude Oil Headed For Northwest Poses ‘Significant Risk’

BNSF Railway moves the majority of Bakken oil from North Dakota to refineries in the Northwest.
Flickr Photo/Roy Luck

An alert, issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation on Thursday said that the crude oil coming out of the Bakken formation of North Dakota poses a “significant risk” because it is more flammable than traditional heavy crude.

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Oil Equipment
9:44 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Megaload Pulls Out Of Northeast Oregon Port Despite Protesters

Cathy Sampson-Kruse is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation. Police arrested her after she laid down in front of the so-called megaload bound for Canada.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 1:25 pm

A massive load of oil equipment is on its way to Canada, along a winding route that began near Hermiston, in northeast Oregon. 

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Oil Equipment
8:38 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Controversy Follows 'Megaloads' Through Oregon-Idaho Route

File photo of a megaload parked along Idaho’s Highway 12. A federal judge blocked the route to further megaload traffic until the Forest Service reviews the impact to a wild and scenic corridor.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 4:13 pm

The first of three hulking pieces of oil equipment, known as “megaloads,” is expected to start its slow, winding journey through eastern Oregon Monday.

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Oil Transportation
11:14 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Shell Moving Ahead On Oil Train Project For Puget Sound Refinery

The oil refinery in Anacortes, Wash., with Mt. Baker in the background.
Flickr Photo/RVWithTito

On Thursday morning Shell Oil will be meeting with officials from a county in Washington state to talk about plans to build a rail extension to deliver oil from North Dakota to its refinery near Puget Sound.

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Megaload Hurdles
11:28 am
Thu July 11, 2013

'Megaloads' Opponents Count On Federal Hurdles To Halt Trucks

Imperial Oil

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 5:20 pm

Oil companies still may find a way to move huge, so-called “megaloads” through a scenic corridor in Idaho, once traveled by Lewis and Clark. But for now at least, opponents of the extra-large shipments are hoping government red tape has closed that option.

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Washington Train-To-Ship Oil Terminal
11:55 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Port Of Vancouver Reconsiders Proposed Oil Terminal

Washington's Port of Vancouver is reviewing a proposal for an oil terminal fed by the Bakken fields in North Dakota - the same source of oil attached to the train explosion in Quebec last weekend.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT

UPDATE 7/10/13, 4:09 p.m. PT: The Associated Press is reporting that the death toll for the Quebec train crash that rocked a small town over the weekend has reached 50. Canadian officials have declared that the missing people in the explosion are now presumed dead.

The tragedy has given the commissioners of the Port of Vancouver in Washington pause as they consider a proposal for a terminal to move oil from trains onto ships.

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Oil Transportation
10:31 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Canada's Oil Train Disaster Sparks Northwest Concern

Freight train burning in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada.
Flickr Photo/Transportation Safety Board of Canada

The weekend’s deadly oil-train derailment and explosion in the Canadian province of Quebec has raised concerns in the Pacific Northwest, where there are several proposals to increase the amount of oil transported into to the region by train.

By Monday afternoon the confirmed death toll had reached 13, with 50 people still missing after Saturday’s derailment of more than 70 tanker cars. They were filled with oil from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota — home of the largest oil boom in recent US history.

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