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(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama moves forward on new oil and gas rules for public lands

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The Bureau of Land Management’s announcement that it would be proposing changes — and inviting public comment on the scope of them — marks the first major effort in decades to update onshore royalty rates that are among the lowest in the world.
In June, GE tested this prototype 20,000 psi ram blowout preventer at its Houston Technology Center. The 20ksi program also includes new wellheads, connectors, control systems, and riser systems. (GE Oil & Gas)

Feds unveil plan for keeping offshore oil wells in check five years after Gulf spill

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The measure codifies many of the steps that companies have already taken to better keep offshore wells in check, including more rigorous maintenance and testing of the blowout preventers that act as a last line of defense against uncontrolled surges of oil and gas.
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

EPA to set overdue biofuel quotas in deal with oil industry groups

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The EPA will finalize biofuel quotas for 2014, 2015 and 2016 later this year, in an agreement settling an oil industry lawsuit.
The Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer is lifted onto the deck of the Helix Q4000 in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana in September 2010. (AP file photo/Patrick Semansky)

Five years after Gulf disaster, feds ready new well control and blowout preventer mandates

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The Obama administration is poised to lay out new requirements for controlling offshore wells, nearly five years after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill vividly illustrated the damage that can be unleashed when they are not kept in check.
(Eddie Seal/Bloomberg)

Oil industry to Obama: Stop excluding Atlantic drilling leases

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Oil industry leaders on Monday pressed the Obama administration to reverse course and schedule two auctions of drilling rights in the Atlantic, not just the single sale now penciled in for 2021.
Workers adjust piping during a natural gas hydraulic fracturing  operation at an Encana Oil & Gas Inc. drilling site in western Colorado. (Brennan Linsley/AP)

New federal mandates target hydraulic fracturing

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Although the rule only applies to development on public and tribal lands — where there are more than 100,000 oil and gas wells today — environmentalists have argued that tough federal protections could provide inspiration for state regulators.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is briefed before a March 18, 2015 government auction of drilling rights in the central Gulf of Mexico. (Photo: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

Feds collect millions in Gulf oil drilling sale, despite falling prices

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Slumping oil prices tempered some of the industry’s enthusiasm for new drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico — but not much.
(AP Photo/Skagit Valley Herald, Scott Terrell)

After oil spills, feds order valve replacements on 6,000 tank cars

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The Federal Railroad Administration on Friday ordered the owners of an estimated 6,000 tank cars to replace unapproved valves that have caused oil to leak from trains heaving crude.
Corn is unloaded from trucks into the grain elevator at the Mid Missouri Energy ethanol plant in Malta Bend, Missouri. (Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg)

Advanced biofuel group breaks with traditional allies on federal mandates

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The makers of advanced biofuels created with algae, animal fat and non-edible plant materials on Wednesday broke with traditional corn-based ethanol producers to call for sweeping changes to the nation’s biofuels mandates.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senator wants tougher rules for volatile oil moved by rail

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Sen. Charles Schumer wants federal regulators to require crude to be stripped of volatile compounds before it is loaded into rail cars criss-crossing the country.