Chron Energy Items: 03.10.08

A few of the energy related stories in the Houston Chronicle or on today and over the weekend:
Texas poised to become regional hub for ethanol: Texas may be a latecomer to the ethanol business, but it is about to announce its arrival in a big way.
OSHA uncovers slew of refinery violations: OSHA inspectors conducting an unprecedented national audit of U.S. refineries have found 146 violations — many described as potentially life-threatening — after reviewing just 17 refineries in a dozen states.
Victims’ role in BP talks debated: Victims of the 2005 Texas City refinery accident should not be allowed to block a $50 million criminal settlement between BP and the government, prosecutors wrote in court papers filed this week.
Oil-for-Food figure gets 2 years: Houston oil trader David B. Chalmers Jr. was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for scheming to funnel kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s regime, in a case where the judge was asked to decide who was more culpable: Chalmers or Houston oil tycoon Oscar Wyatt.
Benzene on the rise in Houston’s air, city officials say: Mayor Bill White challenged the area’s chemical industry to reduce its emissions of toxic chemicals such as benzene four months ago and promised punitive measures if it failed to do so.
Alaska plays hardball with oil companies: Bloomberg News — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is challenging some of the world’s biggest oil companies, and like Venezuela President Hugo Chavez, she’s not backing down.
The Well: National Oilwell Varco announced a joint venture with Fabtech International.