The Senate voted 52-46 on Friday to confirm Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one day after a judge in Pruitt’s home state ordered him to turn over thousands of emails to a watchdog group.
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The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is scheduled to vote next week on whether to confirm President Trump’s nominees to lead the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Interior (DOI).
Hours before President Obama was to give his State of the Union address, Republicans in the U.S. Senate showed some willingness to work with Democrats on energy issues, after giving overwhelming support to a bipartisan amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline bill and agreeing to discuss six more amendments — three from each party.
Wednesday afternoon, Dallas City Council voted to deny Trinity East Energy LLC three permits it needed to drill on leases within the city for which it has already paid $19 million, setting the city up for a possible legal challenge from the company that could end up costing it millions before the nearly five-year saga is over.
Even as an administrative process is ongoing to hammer out new state rules on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) by oil/gas regulators, the California Senate on Thursday passed on a 27-11 vote a measure (SB 4) to cover chemical disclosure requirements and public notice before fracking can take place. It drew short, at the industry’s urging, of placing any moratorium on the practice for an interim period.
In what is believed to be a first in the industry, elected officials in Mora County, NM, have enacted a total ban on oil and gas drilling.
A proposal to cut down on flared associated natural gas supplies in the Bakken was rejected by the North Dakota Senate Wednesday on a 34-13 vote. The measure (SB 2315) by Sen. Tim Mathern would have eliminated any hardship exemptions to the state’s ban after a year. Viewed as one of the toughest proposals to combat flaring yet, SB 2315 was strongly opposed by the industry, led by the North Dakota Petroleum Council (see Shale Daily, Feb. 12). State officials increasingly have worried about flaring, which has stayed above 30%, but below a September 2011 record of 36%. Senators opposing the measure urged patience in letting the industry address the problem. Even with the ability to flare gas for a year without paying taxes or royalties, and beyond that to seek hardship status for extending the practice, some operators are trying to find uses for the gas, including using it to produce electricity to run hydraulic fracturing equipment, and to produce fertilizer (see Shale Daily, Dec. 26, 2012).
On a 6-3 vote after dozens of citizens and business representatives spoke, the Colorado Springs, CO, City Council late Tuesday night approved rules to allow the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in oil and natural gas drilling, mirroring similar statewide rules.
A record percentage of New Yorkers now support hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and opposition to the practice fell to a low point in October, according to figures from a Siena College Research Institute poll released Friday.