We asked readers last month to help us choose the six or seven topics that will constitute our 2015 editorial agenda. Readers responded with scores of online comments and dozens of emails and letters to the editor, many of which urged us to focus on climate change, either as a stand-alone agenda item or a core component of an item focusing on environmental issues. These readers will be disappointed when our agenda appears next month..... read more here
And how lawmakers can improve their record next year.Dec. 17, 2014 High Country News
As we head into 2015, here’s a look back at how Western tribes shaped — or tried to shape — some of the year’s biggest natural resource stories...... more here
- Mark Reilly, Managing Editor- Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal 12/22/14
That's the takeaway from a Wall Street Journal report that says that the Railway Supply Institute is warning that tens of thousands of rail cars will be sidelined because they no longer meet code in the wake of new safety regulations on shipping crude oil by train.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has mandated that rail cars carrying flammable liquids meet higher safety standards. North Dakota regulators also toughened its own rules on shipping, saying that volatile gases had to be removed from crude oil before shipping.... read more here
Marni Pyke Daily Herald Dec. 22, 2014
A continued spike in oil trains and recent high-profile explosions and pollution spills across the United States have suburban fire departments playing defense.
First-responders interviewed by the Daily Herald for this series of reports on railway hazardous materials releases said they train continually and have mutual aid agreements for worst-case scenarios. But all the forethought in the world could be trumped by issues beyond their control, authorities warn.
"If you had a major incident involving Bakken oil, it would tax several community resources, not just one community," Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Keith Krestan said.
"We train ... we are prepared for the 'what ifs.' But ... no department in the state of Illinois is going to have all the resources on hand to deal with a major railroad incident."... read more here
Oil links today: h/t naked capitalism
An Annotated History Of Oil Prices Since 1861 Business Insider
The reason oil could drop as low as $20 per barrel Reuters
U.S. Seeks BP Fine of Up to $18 Billion for Gulf Oil Spill Disaster Bloomberg
The Alarming Research Behind New York’s Fracking Ban The Atlantic
Hopes, Fears, Doubts Surround Cuba’s Oil Future ABC. “One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba’s northwest coast.” So now they tell us.