The Baker Hughes research and development building in Tomball, Texas. (Todd Spoth/For the Chronicle)

Energy Dept. welcomes fracking chemical disclosure

The U.S. Department of Energy said Friday that it welcomes the decision by oil and gas industry supplier Baker Hughes to disclose all chemicals in hydraulic fracturing fluid. But Halliburton, a major competitor in the field, isn’t committing to such disclosure.
The sun rises over a drilling site in Frio County, Texas. (Jerry Lara/San Antonio Express-News)

Texas regulator says no controversy in cutting air quality funding

Bryan Shaw, the head of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, said this week in San Antonio that there’s no controversy over the agency’s decision to cut funding for air quality work in the region. The Alamo Area Council of Governments lost out on funding after  its natural resource director publicly disclosed details of a draft air […]
Divide County Emergency Manager Jody Gunlock, left, on Wednesday takes a photo of the labeling and product codes found inside the Noonan, N.D., oil filter sock dump site, which may be used to track companies that contributed to the mess. (AP Photo/The Bismarck Tribune, Lauren Donovan)

North Dakota finds more radioactive oil waste

Health officials have said that radioactive filter socks increasingly are being found along roadsides, in abandoned buildings or in commercial trash bins — sometimes those of competing oil companies.

Categories: Environment
Didi Fung, a contractor for the Environmental Protection Agency, collects water samples Feb. 5 from the Dan River.  (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Duke says moving coal ash would cost up to $10 billion

Duke’s electricity customers likely would foot nearly all the bill.

Categories: Electricity, Environment
Dr. Lyle Best, of Watford City, N.D., testifies in front of officials with the Oil and Gas Division of the North Dakota Mineral Resources Department at a hearing Tuesday, in Bismarck, N.D. The North Dakota Industrial Commission was holding the hearing on its new natural gas flaring policy. (AP Photo/The Bismarck Tribune, Mike McCleary)

Oil companies fight plan to slow N. Dakota production

Oil companies are fighting the idea of slowing production, and want regulators to consider self-imposed steps to curb natural gas flaring.
Food and Farm Sorghum Ethanol.JPEG-043fc

Study: Fuels from corn waste worse for climate than gasoline

Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows, challenging the Obama administration’s conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change.
The Freeport LNG plant on April 9, 2014 at Quintana, TX.(Thomas B. Shea)

Gas boom may spell doom for Texas village

While there’s been a litany of boom town narratives in the story of the modern U.S. energy renaissance, Quintana may be the only community that could shrink — or even vanish, some holdout homeowners fear — in response to the country’s surge in energy production.
College students and supporters hold up signs at a rally to support fossil fuel divestment outside of City Hall in San Francisco, Thursday, May 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Divestment campaigns struggle against stock market, profits

The divestment campaigns have had limited success, but it’s a movement that administrators are noticing.

U.S. LNG Exports Could Ensure European Energy Security

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine is a flashpoint for European and American leaders to reinforce energy security in Europe and redouble efforts to decrease Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas.  Russia provides nearly one-third of Europe’s annual natural gas demand which totaled 18.7 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in 2013. Ukraine is also the major conduit […]
On Feb. 28, North Dakota officials found hundreds of irradiated “filter socks” -- used to strain wastewater from wells -- dumped in an abandoned building in Noonan, just south of the Canadian border. The filters registered about 40 microrems of radiation, about eight times the naturally occurring “background level” in the area, the state said. (North Dakota Dept of Health via Bloomberg)

Illegal dumping of radioactive waste surges with oil boom

Oil fields are spinning off thousands of tons of low-level radioactive trash as the U.S. drilling boom leads to a surge in illegal dumping and states debate how much landfills can safely take.