U.S. lawmakers shouldn't cite an ExxonMobil oil spill in Arkansas and other accidents as reasons to block new oil and natural gas development projects or the approval of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline, said John Felmy, the American Petroleum Institute's chief economist. Lapses in safety occur, he said, but the industry is doing its best to avoid accidents. "No energy source is without potential problem," Felmy said.
The Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has launched the Transparent Cost Database. By showing comparative cost and performance estimates for alternative-fuel technologies, the database provides benchmarks for companies and policymakers. Users can search the database by powertrain type or fuel.
A slowdown in drilling-permit approvals in California could hurt Occidental Petroleum's oil and natural gas production this year, observers say. The state's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources has approved just 14 of the 199 permit applications received in 2011, compared with 27 of the 100 bids last year. "The level of frustration is extremely high," said Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association.
Contractor RMT announced that it has completed construction of the second phase of First Wind's wind farm in Milford, Utah. The second phase brings the wind farm's combined capacity to 306 megawatts, making it the largest in Utah.
Charles Judd, the former president of EnergySolutions' forerunner, stated plans to construct a disposal site for low-level nuclear waste in Utah. He believes the company's facility in Utah's western desert is running out of storage space and can no longer manage future waste from the cleanup of nuclear facilities.