As part of an effort to encourage oil companies to drill offshore, the Interior Department may relax some offshore safety rules, including testing requirements introduced after the Deepwater Horizon incident, and may allow companies to operate in the Arctic for longer periods. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said it is "reviewing existing regulations to determine whether they may potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, constrain economic growth, or prevent job creation."
Senate and House of Representatives negotiators have agreed on a final rewrite of the US tax code that maintains the wind energy Production Tax Credit phaseout and prevents the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax from destroying the tax equity finance market for renewables, say congressional Republicans. A final vote is expected next week.
States, municipalities and companies across the US are embracing clean energy sources such as wind and solar and the many benefits the industry brings, including job creation, low-cost electricity and better air quality, writes Jodie Van Horn, director of the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 campaign. "Community by community, local leaders are demonstrating that a transition away from dirty fuels like coal and fracked gas and toward 100 percent clean energy is already happening," she writes.
Texas ports shipped 79% of total crude export volumes in the first 10 months of 2017, up from 69% in 2016, with Corpus Christi leading the pack with 33% market share, according to shipping association BIMCO. The US exported an average of 900,000 barrels per day in the first 10 months of the year, marking a 90% increase over the same period in 2016, according to the Energy Information Administration.
As oil prices close in on $60 per barrel, US drillers are shifting their attention from the Permian Basin to Colorado's Denver-Julesburg Basin, which has been experiencing a surge in dealmaking activity. Companies sealed more than $2 billion in drilling deals in the past four months in the D-J Basin, as well as over $1.8 billion in pipeline and extension deals so far this year.
Linn Energy announced plans to divide itself into three standalone companies by mid-2018: an oil and gas company that will focus on Oklahoma's Merge, SCOOP and STACK plays; a midstream business operating in the same area; and a third company made up of remaining non-core assets.
Apache plans to invest billions over the next two decades to drill over 5,000 wells in the Permian Basin's Alpine High field. Investors are not as convinced of the field's oil potential and say the gas side appears to be more promising, but Apache CEO John Christmann says people don't fully understand Alpine High yet.
A report by GateHouse Media citing negative health effects for people living near wind turbine installations "flies in the face of science," writes blogger Brendan DeMelle. DeMelle writes that the report was based entirely on anecdotal evidence and that the American Wind Energy Association cites 25 scientific reviews to refute the GateHouse report.
Renewables and natural gas are poised to fill the capacity gaps left by retiring coal-burning power plants over the next 10 years, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corp. Observers say the report's findings cast doubt on the need for Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposed rulemaking favoring nuclear and coal.
EDF Renewable Energy has connected its 154-megawatt Rock Falls project in Oklahoma to the grid and will sell 120 MW of its output to Kimberly-Clark per an existing power purchase agreement, according to the companies. "We applaud America's corporate sector and companies like Kimberly-Clark, who through the purchase of wind energy, demonstrate leadership in the drive for a low-carbon economy," said Executive Vice President Ryan Pfaff.
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