David Blackmon is managing director of Strategic Communications for Houston-based FTI Consulting. Prior to joining FTI in 2012, he worked on public policy issues for a number of oil and gas companies,  including Shell, Burlington Resources, El Paso Corp., and Coastal States.

Guest commentary: Ceres report misses key facts on oil industry’s water use

Oil industry consultant David Blackmon says the new Ceres report on Texas water use focuses on the oil and gas industry for ideological reasons. Anyone interested in really addressing this state’s looming water issues in any real way should focus their attention elsewhere, he says.
Gasoline prices continue to fall and appear to be headed even lower as motorists prepare to hit the roads for Thanksgiving. ( Johnny Hanson / Houston Chronicle )

Oil industry seeks break on gasoline sulfur limits

Oil industry lobbyists are making a last-ditch appeal to the Obama administration to soften looming new limits for sulfur in gasoline, warning that without changes, the mandates could send fuel costs up and force some refineries offline.
Coal ash is scooped up on a canoe paddle from the bank of the Dan River as state and federal environmental officials continued their investigations of a spill of coal ash in Eden, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Federal authorities investigate coal ash spill

A Duke spokesman confirmed the nation’s largest electricity provider received a subpoena.

Categories: Coal, Environment
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Methane emissions higher than federal estimates, study shows

National methane emissions are up to 75 percent higher than the Environmental Protection Agency has previously estimated, according to a study to be published Friday.
OriginOil CEO Riggs Eckelberry shows the before-and-after results of the Clean Frac process, which cleans the gooey byproduct of hydraulic fracturing into water to be reused. (Zain Shauk/Houston Chronicle)

Water recycler to open Houston office

Water recycler OriginOil, which signed its first deal last year to bring its technology into the oil field, plans to open a Houston office to help spread its technology, the company said.
NRG Energy has a carbon capture project at its W.A. Parish Power Plant in Fort Bend County. (For the Chronicle/Gary Fountain)

Carbon capture could raise wholesale energy price 80 percent

Requiring the use of carbon capture and sequestration technologies at coal-fired power plants could increase the wholesale price of electricity between 70 percent and 80 percent, an Energy Department official said.
A ConEd repair truck the 14th street and Avenue C power plant in New York City. (Brian Ach/Getty Images)

Con Edison to calculate benefits of preparing utility for climate change

Electric utility Con Edison will conduct an economic analysis to quantify the benefits of preparing its infrastructure for the impacts of climate change, a company official said Feb. 10.
(AP Photo/Dirk Lammers, File)

Report: Ethanol’s role could diminish as biofuels grow

Biofuels consumption will increase by more than 57 percent over the next decade, but the proportion that comes from ethanol is likely to decline, according to new projections from market research firm Navigant Research.
Categories: Environment, Gasoline
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Texas lawmakers fail on environmental scorecard

House Republicans’ environmental credentials are at rock-bottom lows, according to new ratings released Tuesday.
The existing Keystone oil pipeline is constructed in North Dakota.   (Photo courtesy of TransCanada)

Keystone consultant disclosed ‘conflict of interest’ to feds

The consulting firm that wrote a largely favorable environmental review of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline disclosed to the State Department work it did that led to allegations of a conflict of interest after it won the contract, according to newly released documents.