NEWS & INFORMATION
...and a little esoterica.
Gas Plant Explosion in Mississippi Could Significantly Impact Oil and Gas Supply
At least two oil and natural gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have halted production and a gas pipeline was shut after an explosion at an Enterprise Products Partners LP plant that processes fuel in the region.
Enterprise shut the gas-processing plant in Pascagoula, Mississippi, after a fire, which was eventually extinguished around 5 p.m. local time Tuesday, company spokesman Rick Rainey said by e-mail. The Destin pipeline, a joint venture of BP Plc and Enbridge Inc. that sends...
Federal Judge Strikes Down Obama Administration’s Fracking Rules
by Camila Domonoske
A federal judge in Wyoming has struck down the Obama administration’s regulations on hydraulic fracturing, ruling that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management doesn’t have the authority to establish rules over fracking on federal and Indian lands.
In the ruling on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl said Congress had not granted the BLM that power, and had instead chosen to specifically exclude fracking from federal oversight.
Skavdahl made it clear what he was — and wasn’t — considering in his ruling...
House Unanimously Passes Pipeline Safety Bill
by Devin Henry
The House on Wednesday passed a bill to reauthorize the federal pipeline safety oversight board.
Members attached their bill re-upping the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to a Senate bill passed earlier this year doing the same thing. The measure now goes back to the Senate.
The bill passed unanimously, and both the top Republican and Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee praised it on Wednesday.
“We promised action, and today, I am proud that we have a bipartisan agreement...
Supreme Court Rules Against White House in Water Pollution Case
by Timothy Cama
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled against the Obama administration in a case regarding water pollution permits.
The nation’s highest court ruled unanimously that a landowner can appeal through the federal court system a determination from the Army Corps of Engineers that a water body is subject to federal jurisdiction and permit requirements under the Clean Water Act.
The court’s eight justices agreed in Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co. Inc. that the Corps’s final “jurisdictional determination” regarding a peat mining company’s wetlands is a “final agency action,” so the company can challenge it like any regulation.
EPA Announces National Enforcement Initiatives for Coming Years
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced its seven National Enforcement Initiatives for fiscal years 2017-2019, which focus on national pollution challenges where EPA’s enforcement efforts will protect public health. For the next cycle starting on October 1, 2016, EPA will retain four of its current National Enforcement Initiatives, add two new initiatives, and expand one to include a new area of focus. The fiscal year 2017-2019 National Enforcement Initiatives are:
1. Keeping Industrial Pollutants Out of the Nation’s Waters (new initiative)
2. Reducing Risks of Accidental Releases at Industrial and Chemical Facilities (new initiative)
3. Cutting Hazardous Air Pollutants (expanded initiative)...