The 3 Week Diet System

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Completing Keystone Pipeline would ensure safest transport of oil

June 21:

A national debate is raging concerning the proposed building of the Keystone XL Pipeline. It would carry crude oil from Canadian tar sands to the Texas shore of the Gulf of Mexico.

The southern section of the pipeline, connecting Cushing, Oklahoma, and the Gulf, is complete and carrying oil. The planned northern leg of the pipeline would begin in Canada and connect to the southern leg. That would double the volume of oil exported from Canada. The total length of the pipeline would be about 1,660 miles.

Pressured by a diverse assortment of environmental groups, President Barack Obama’s administration has placed construction of the northern section on hold, pending further decisions.

The initial case against building the pipeline was the danger of an oil leak polluting the Ogallala aquifer. The body of water underlies the Great Plains and supplies drinking water for several states. It also contributes greatly to our abundance of food by irrigating a third of our farmland. Fear of the contamination has caused the pipeline to be rerouted, negating the argument.

Now, the main environmental argument against the pipeline is that global warming would be slowed by slowing the production of Canadian tar sands oil. Without the pipeline, rail shipments will be increased.

With China hungry for Canadian oil, the Northern Gateway pipeline is in the advanced planning stage. It will run to the Canadian west coast, supplying tar sands oil to the western U.S. and Asian markets.

It is quite evident that stopping the Keystone Pipeline would have no effect

on global warming. The oil will inevitably find a way to market.

At present, the U.S. has 2.3 million miles of pipeline that carry natural gas and oil. It seems ridiculous that another 1,660 miles could be so controversial.

Reducing unemployment is presented as a strong argument for the project. The estimates of temporary construction jobs vary widely, but a miniscule 50 permanent jobs would result.

Large pipelines are typically built in sparsely populated areas, enhancing safety. Railroads haul dangerous oil tank cars near roads, rivers and often through the heart of densely populated cities. Being very flammable, crude oil is hazardous to human life. A single Canadian derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, caused a fire and explosion that killed 47 people and burned 30 buildings.

In 2013, U.S. train derailments caused the release of 1.15 million gallons of crude oil. That is more than the total crude oil spilled by U.S. derailments in the previous 37 years. Presenting the bright side, the Association of American Railroads states that 99.99 percent of the oil shipments arrived safely.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. State Department reported that “pipelines larger than 12 inches in diameter in 2013 spilled more than 910,000 gallons of crude oil and petroleum.”

Oil needs to be transported by the safest method available. In 2013, U.S. pipelines spilled considerably less volume of oil products than railroads while carrying about 25 times the volume. That fact alone justifies building the Keystone XL Pipeline.A national debate is raging concerning the proposed building of the Keystone XL Pipeline. It would carry crude oil from Canadian tar sands to the Texas shore of the Gulf of Mexico.

The southern section of the pipeline, connecting Cushing, Oklahoma, and the Gulf, is complete and carrying oil. The planned northern leg of the pipeline would begin in Canada and connect to the southern leg. That would double the volume of oil exported from Canada. The total length of the pipeline would be about 1,660 miles.

Pressured by a diverse assortment of environmental groups, President Barack Obama’s administration has placed construction of the northern section on hold, pending further decisions.

The initial case against building the pipeline was the danger of an oil leak polluting the Ogallala aquifer. The body of water underlies the Great Plains and supplies drinking water for several states. It also contributes greatly to our abundance of food by irrigating a third of our farmland. Fear of the contamination has caused the pipeline to be rerouted, negating the argument.

Now, the main environmental argument against the pipeline is that global warming would be slowed by slowing the production of Canadian tar sands oil. Without the pipeline, rail shipments will be increased.

With China hungry for Canadian oil, the Northern Gateway pipeline is in the advanced planning stage. It will run to the Canadian west coast, supplying tar sands oil to the western U.S. and Asian markets.

It is quite evident that stopping the Keystone Pipeline would have no effect

on global warming. The oil will inevitably find a way to market.

At present, the U.S. has 2.3 million miles of pipeline that carry natural gas and oil. It seems ridiculous that another 1,660 miles could be so controversial.

Reducing unemployment is presented as a strong argument for the project. The estimates of temporary construction jobs vary widely, but a miniscule 50 permanent jobs would result.

Large pipelines are typically built in sparsely populated areas, enhancing safety. Railroads haul dangerous oil tank cars near roads, rivers and often through the heart of densely populated cities. Being very flammable, crude oil is hazardous to human life. A single Canadian derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, caused a fire and explosion that killed 47 people and burned 30 buildings.

In 2013, U.S. train derailments caused the release of 1.15 million gallons of crude oil. That is more than the total crude oil spilled by U.S. derailments in the previous 37 years. Presenting the bright side, the Association of American Railroads states that 99.99 percent of the oil shipments arrived safely.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. State Department reported that “pipelines larger than 12 inches in diameter in 2013 spilled more than 910,000 gallons of crude oil and petroleum.”

Oil needs to be transported by the safest method available. In 2013, U.S. pipelines spilled considerably less volume of oil products than railroads while carrying about 25 times the volume. That fact alone justifies building the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Source: http://www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com/article/20140621/OPINION02/306210014?&nclick_check=1


Letter: Turbine is an eyesore

June 21:

Wind turbine

I know many would disagree with me, but why not write in and say what so, but I think the wind turbine that you can see from Shipley over Ilkeston is an eyesore.
There is not doubting they are clean energy producers and are the future for now, but they are not pretty no matter what anyone says in my book.
Our scientists will surely come up with something that does the same thing in terms of producing energy but is not a patch on the size and impact this thing has on the landscape? I just wondered what other readers of the thought?

Source: http://www.ilkestonadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/letter-turbine-is-an-eyesore-1-6684083

Rupee continues to fall against US dollar

June 21:

Image for representational purpose only
Image for representational purpose only

Rupee slipped another 41 paise to settle at 60.18 per dollar
The Indian rupee continued to fall against the American currency for the fourth consecutive week by slipping another 41 paise to settle at 60.18 per dollar on persistent dollar demand from banks and importers due to rise in crude oil prices in view of tension in Iraq.
Fall in equity market in view of rise in crude oil prices and fresh foreign capital outflow affected the market sentiment. The rupee resumed lower at 59.82 per dollar as against the last weekend's level of 59.77 per dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) Market and breached 60-mark after a gap of more than one month to 60.54 per dollar before setting the week at 60.18 per dollar, showing a loss of 41 paise or 0.69 per cent.
It has dropped by 166 paise or 2.84 per cent in four weeks. The benchmark S&P BSE-Sensex closed the week lower by 122.66 points or 0.49 per cent. Pramit Brahmbhatt, Veracity Group CEO said, "Rupee continued to trade weak on weekly basis. In the last four weeks Rupee has depreciated over three per cent. Taking cues from the growing tensions in Iraq. Last week we saw selling in the equity markets from both FIIs & DIIs.
FIIs sold shares of worth Rs 421 crore and DIIs were the net sellers of Rs 410 crore for the week which weakened the indices for the second consecutive week. Taking cues from this rupee depreciated further". Last week we saw tensions in Iraq which created global concern, as conflict within Iraq has shut down the country's biggest refinery adding to the worries about exports from the key oil producer.
OPEC supplies almost 40 per cent of the global oil demand, so any tension in OPEC countries leads to a global concern. India imports 80 per cent of its oil requirements so any increase in oil prices will automatically lift up the inflation which is already the biggest hurdle in the growth of India, he added.
Source: http://www.asianage.com/business/rupee-continues-fall-against-us-dollar-352?

Panasonic’s solar panels boost efficiencies of multiple businesses

June 21:

Panasonic's solar panels offer the ideal solution to businesses looking to cut back on energy costs and become more sustainable
Panasonic solar panels installed on the roof of Mercan Mermer’s plant in Burdur, southern Turkey

Panasonic’s solar panels offer the ideal solution to businesses looking to cut back on energy costs and become more sustainable
As businesses around the world have realised the importance of tightening the purse strings, the need to conserve energy has become more apparent. Rising energy prices and higher corporate tax rates have contributed to an environment where businesses have to look at alternative ways in which they can power their operations.
Many of the world’s leading electronics firms have invested heavily in solar power technology. One such firm is Panasonic: building on nearly 40 years of experience in photovoltaics, the company is heavily pushing towards green, sustainable energy creation for both consumers and energy-conscious businesses.
[Panasonic] is heavily pushing towards green, sustainable energy creation for both consumers and energy-conscious businesses
Panasonic’s HIT is a high-efficiency solar module that offers higher yield than standard modules. Backed by decades of expertise, industry certificates and a claim rate of only 0.0043 percent (among all modules sold in Europe), the company is providing a product ideally suited as a long-term investment.
Choosing between either self-consumption, where the energy generated by the solar panels on the roof is used on the spot to power the business underneath, and the ‘feed in’ process, where the energy generated by the panels can be sold into the electrical grid, Panasonic customers can use free solar power to provide their business with an extra source of income.
Self-consumption
Panasonic modules successfully transformed the roof of a stone-making business in southern Turkey into a hub of solar energy generation. The firm, Mercan Mermer, last year installed a vast 500kWp photovoltaic plant on the roof of its plant in Burdur. The roof has been equipped with 2,120 of Panasonic’s HIT N235 solar modules, commissioned to reduce operating costs and installed by specialist firm Seiso Solar. The scheme represents the largest on-roof solar project in Turkey, as well as the most efficient of its nature.
Part of the reason for choosing to install the panels was new regulations in Turkey that allow unlicensed power generation of up to 1MW. As a result, Mercan Mermer benefits from a steady supply of free energy, while also enjoying the capacity to put excess generated power back into the grid and earn €0.10/kwh.
Feed in
Swiss firm Truninger has combined entrepreneurial forward-thinking with sound economic sense. Truninger is the leading European provider of lifting magnet technology, with 100 percent in-house production.
When renovating the roof of the firm’s building, owner Dr Rolf Truninger decided to make it as efficient and sustainable as possible. Triple-glazed skylights and high-quality thermal insulation were installed at a considerable cost. So the company could claw back some of this investment, Truninger decided to install Panasonic’s HIT solar system on the new roof. The 936 modules now generate an average 230 kWh pa, which are remunerated at 30.8 Rappen/kWh (approx. £0.2). The feed-in tariff will mean that, in the long term, Truninger’s investment in the new setup will pay for itself.
Dr Truninger says the technology has been so successful there are plans for expanding it: “The higher efficiency allows for planning larger installations on a given area, meaning we can install more kW per project, while installation and operating costs stay fixed.”
It is clear businesses across the world would happily cut back on their energy consumption, and the sort of innovation offered by Panasonic’s HIT modules is particularly attractive. Providing greater yields for the space they use, the modules are far more efficient than many alternative systems, while also ensuring a long-term and reliable solution to businesses’ energy needs.
Source: http://www.theneweconomy.com/energy/panasonics-solar-panels-boost-efficiencies-of-multiple-businesses?

Pioneering Wave Hub goes live this weekend

June 21:

wave hub

Cornwall's pioneering offshore Wave Hub in Hayle is expected to be connected for the first time this weekend, but according to renewable energy developer, Seatricity, it could be another 12 months before it produces electricity.
The company says further testing is required on the hub before it becomes fully operational.
The £30m project consists of a giant "socket" on the sea bed, 10 miles off the coast of Hayle, which connects wave energy machines to the power grid through an underwater cable.
The final berth at the test facility was taken by an Australian energy producer, Carnegie Wave Energy in April.
Seatricity's experimental device, which will be towed from Falmouth, uses octagonal aluminium floats to capture wave energy by pressurising seawater.
In turn this drives a turbine which produces electricity.
Seatricity said it eventually wanted 60 devices connected to the hub in a plan to create power for the National Grid.
Managing director of the state-owned Wave Hub, Claire Gibson, said: “The mooring system has been installed over the last few weeks and we look forward to them taking up their berth as our first customer."
Source: http://www.westbriton.co.uk/Pioneering-Wave-Hub-goes-live-weekend/story-21273392-detail/story.html?

Kenya loses out on oil and gas riches

June 21:

Kenya is losing out on millions of dollars in investments as areas designated for prospecting for oil and gas remain unexplored.
The vacant lots are offshore L25, L26, L15, L8 and onshore 10A.
Oil and gas prospecting rights for these areas cannot be awarded until a new regulatory framework has been finalised. Edgo Energy, Ophir Energy Plc, Apache Corporation and Tullow Oil Plc in 2013 surrendered block L26, L15, L8 and 10A, respectively.
Kenya’s Ministry of Energy said crude oil and natural gas prospecting rights will be awarded to firms interested in undertaking exploration after the Petroleum Bill is debated by parliament and new legislation is enacted.
Collapsed talks
Negotiations between the ministry and Statoil for deep offshore area L25 collapsed in 2012. Kenya wanted at least $11.7 million spent in three years on various activities, but the Norwegian firm asked for a downward review of the terms.
Statoil would have paid $300,000 as a one-off payment as signature bonus, surface fees of $5 per square kilometre, training fees of $175,000, and spent $50,000 on community development projects.
Oil and Energy Services Ltd said Kenya will benefit if competitive licensing is implemented.
“Proposed licensing rounds will give the true value of acreage as Kenya will select the company that submits the highest bid and offers the best deal,” said the consulting firm’s chief executive, Mwendia Nyagah.
Source: http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/business/Kenya-loses-out-on-oil-and-gas-riches-/-/2560/2357030/-/j2wln5z/-/index.html?

Paying Employees To Try Solar?

June 21:

Cox Enterprises is a broadcasting, publishing, and cable company that is running an employee program in conjunction with SolarCity that is a little unusual. It is paying eligible employees who want to try solar power $500. This effort might not sound so consequential, but Cox has about 50,000 employees and the ones living in areas where SolarCity operates will receive an additional $500.
Cox_Enterprises_Headquarters
“We know that money talks. So we decided to pay people to try solar,” explained Cox Chairman Jim Kennedy in a Fortune article.
He also mentioned that he talked with a current Cox employee about his home solar system, one that has allowed his annual energy costs to be trimmed down to $700. The system, he said, should pay for itself in about eight years, not an abnormal timeframe at all and maybe even longer than average for his area. About 100 Cox employees located in southern California have participated in the program so far. SolarCity does operate in California, so those southern California employees would be eligible for the $1,000 payout. Jim Kennedy hopes there will 1,000 employees in the program in a year.
A communications director for SolarCity said that a recent survey of American homeowners showed a majority of them are interested in home solar systems. (Cox is trying to help some of its employees get these systems because desire is not the same thing as action.)
Cox’s incentive to help employees is good business, because it is a purpose-based program. In other words, it is an action that supports employees and is good for society. Research has shown that purposeful companies can retain employees better and attract a higher quality of applicants. Consider what the CEO of Gallup has said about purpose in the workplace: “What is a winning culture? A winning culture is one of engagement and individual contribution to an important mission and purpose. Human beings  are not looking for company-bought goodies — they are looking for meaningful, fulfilling work.” When a company cares about something greater than its own profits, and involves employees, this is generally what a meaningful intention is.
So Cox’s employee solar program is a smart thing to do to engage employees as well as reduce reliance on fossil fuels. It also shows a willingness to partner with other companies to create win-win situations, rather than having a bunker mentality and an insular organizational culture. On the surface, its solar program might look a little peculiar, but it actually makes a lot of sense.
Source: http://cleantechnica.com/2014/06/21/paying-employees-try-solar/?

Iraq's Crisis Should Make Us Thankful For America's Oil Boom

June 21:

Nic6341562
Iraqi troops stand in hold their weapons as they arrive to support the Sunni anti-Al-Qaeda militia Sahwa (Awakening) in its fight against anti-government militants.

So far, oil markets have mostly shrugged off the turmoil in Iraq. The world’s seventh largest crude producer is tearing apart at the seams thanks to sectarian violence, yet the cost of a barrel is up just 5 percent this month—a bump, sure, but not a crisis.
Why the mere blip? The most important reason prices haven’t surged is straightforward enough: As of now, Iraq’s oil production isn’t in serious danger. Fighting has been contained to the country’s north, while drilling is concentrated in its south. “Not a single barrel of crude exports has been lost since the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known as Isis) routed Iraqi security forces,” notes the Financial Times.  
But the quiet response is also a sign of something bigger. It’s a subtle demonstration of how North America’s fracking-fueled oil boom is paying dividends by making the world market more resilient.
Energy traders always add a fear premium onto oil. When instability (a raging civil war, for instance) hits a major petro-producer, prices race up, as buyers start to fret about potential nightmare scenarios that would cut off their supply. In the case of Iraq, that might mean attacks on pipelines or export facilities, since few expect Baghdad to actually fall.*
Those sorts of worries are why prices have risen at all. But they’ve been balanced out by the fact that, at the moment, the world has a decent cushion of oil. “There are cargoes of Angolan and Nigerian crude that nobody wants,” Edward Morse, head of commodities research at Citigroup, told CNBC. Iraq’s conflict hasn’t dealt a blow to the world’s oil supply yet, but we have a bit of protection if it does.
And for that, we can largely thank the U.S. fracking revolution. Since 2010, when drilling began to recover from its recession-induced drop, the world has addedroughly 2.6 million barrels a day to production. As it happens, the United States alone has added about 2.5 million barrels a day. We’re not the only country to dramatically increase output—the world’s supply would have increased more if some nations, like Libya and Syria, hadn’t cut back—but our oil is nearly equal to the entire margin of growth.
Or, to put it another way, we're a big part of the globe's cushion. Were it not for the U.S. drilling revival, the market would be far less equipped to deal with even small disruptions, much less something catastrophic. You can be certain the fear premium traders have priced in today would be higher than 5 percent. And the economic pressure for Washington to swoop into Iraq to maintain order would be stronger.
This is the benefit of diversifying the world’s crude supplies away from conflict zones like the Middle East. The best longterm way to insulate ourselves from the ups and downs of the oil market is to simply cut consumption. But that takes time. In the meanwhile, the more production that comes from North Dakota, or Canada, or Brazil, the less we need to fear when problems loom in a country like Iraq—which makes us all better off.  
*Footnote: If it did, and the country’s entire oil output disappeared, some believe it could add $40 or $50 to the price of a barrel. In that case, we’d be in the zone where economists start worrying about oil-induced recessions.
Source: http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/06/21/iraq_and_oil_the_country_s_crisis_should_make_us_thankful_for_america_s.html?

UK's Rame Energy plc purchases Beco ltd

June 21:

Beco is one of the UK’s longest established designers and installers of solar energy systems.

Rame Energy's acquisition of Beco complements and strengthens Rame’s established international energy consultancy business, which supplies power generation solutions to the industrial, mining and utility sectors.

Based locally to Rame’s Plymouth head office in Devon, Beco specialises in photovoltaic solar energy systems for domestic, commercial, marine and off-grid uses. In addition, Beco installs wind turbines and is a distributer for Kingspan wind turbines. Beco also manufactures its own range of solar charge controllers and specialist batteries.

“Having collaborated with Beco on a number of solar opportunities over the past five years, we are delighted to have agreed the acquisition and to welcome its multi-skilled team into the Group," said  Tim Adams, Rame Energy CEO. "Beco’s proven expertise in both grid-connected and off-grid solar power projects, and the synergies between our groups, will allow Rame to substantially expand our solar power activities worldwide, and also strengthen our engineering division’s capability to deliver cost effective and reliable power solutions to blue chip customers around the world."

Beyond the potential to increase turnover and profits at Rame’s engineering division, the acquisition of Beco will support the opportunity that Rame Energy has identified to develop solar power projects as an independent power producer, Adams added. This would be similar to the wind power projects Rame Energy is currently constructing in Chile, where the first two of a multi-project 300MW three year programme are due to come on stream later this year.

Beco reported revenues of £877,344 and a loss of £17,208 for the period from 21 June 2012 to 30 June 2013. In the nine months to 31 March 2014, Beco had unaudited revenue of approximately £1.32 million and was profitable. It has a current order book valued at approximately £1.30 million to 30 September 2014. On completion, which is expected to be 1 July 2014, Beco will have shareholder loans totalling £239,255.56 (“Vendor Loans”). The Acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing for the six months ended 31 December 2014.

Nigel Brunton-Reed, Beco CEO, believes the acquisition will immediately allow Beco to significantly broaden its foothold in the UK solar market. "Our expertise in implementing challenging projects abroad, such as most recently in the Qatar, will also serve Rame’s solar business in Chile and around the world," he explained. "We look forward to working together and growing our business under the Rame umbrella.”
Source:  http://www.renewableenergyfocus.com/view/38966/uks-rame-energy-plc-purchases-beco-ltd/?

These Risks Could Derail Norway’s Booming Oil Industry

June 21:

Oil and gas is big business in Norway. The Scandinavian nation is Europe's top oil producer, the world's third-largest exporter of natural gas, and a key supplier of energy to Europe. Norway's oil and gas industry accounts for nearly a quarter of its GDP and almost a third of government revenue.
Spurred by new discoveries in the Norwegian Continental Shelf, oil companies have more than tripled their spending in the country over the past decade. But due to a combination of rising costs, stagnant energy prices, and a challenging regulatory and tax environment, spending is expected to plunge by more than a fifth next year.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Norway oil and gas spending to plummet According to a quarterly survey of oil and gas companies operating in Norway cited by Statistics Norway, oil and gas spending in 2015 will land at 182.4 billion kroner, or $30.4 billion, down from an estimated 231.7 billion kroner in 2014 and marking the first such spending decline since 2010. There are a couple of main reasons for this.
One is companies' need to reduce capital spending in the face of operating cost inflation and stagnant commodity prices. For instance, Statoil (NYSE: STO  ) , the largest oil producer in Norway, has pledged to slash spending by $5 billion over the next three years and focus on its most profitable opportunities, as part of its strategy to boost cash flow and improve shareholder returns.
Similarly, Royal Dutch Shell  (NYSE: RDS-A  ) , another large operator in Norway, plans to reduce its capital budget from a record $44.3 billion in 2013 to roughly $37 billion this year. To improve shareholder returns, the Anglo-Dutch oil major intends to divest some $15 billion worth of assets through 2015, improve its struggling North American shale and downstream businesses, and focus on high-margin oil projects to boost cash flow.
High taxes The other big reason why Norway's oil and gas spending is projected to plunge is an unfavorable tax climate that greatly constrains the profitability of some existing fields and marginal new projects. in April 2013, Norway's previous Labor-led government unexpectedly reduced the tax-deductible component of petroleum income and increased its special petroleum tax from 50% to 51%, while maintaining a high overall taxation level of 78%.
This move was a key reason why Statoil delayed developing its $15.5 billion Johan Castberg oil field in the Barents Sea. The effective tax increase would add roughly $7 per barrel to Johan Castberg's breakeven cost of development, severely constraining the project's profitability, the company said. The tax increase also prompted Shell to delay its Linnorm field in the Norwegian Sea, which would have produced about 100,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day.
While Norway's new Conservative-led administration has proposed to shield certain projects from the previous government's tax increase, some argue that won't be enough. The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, an industry trade group, said the newly proposed rules still risk some 80 billion kroner, or $13 billion, worth of planned projects.
The new rules, while not intended to be retroactive, could also apply to new phases of existing projects. For instance, Shell is concerned that its Ormen Lange gas field could be affected. In April, The Hague, Netherlands-based oil major said it would postpone an expansion project at the field, which supplies about a fifth of the U.K.'s gas demand, due in part to higher costs from the tax increase.
Investor takeaway As evidenced by Statoil and Shell's decisions to delay certain projects offshore Norway, taxes are a major factor for oil and gas companies in determining how to allocate capital. Coupled with these companies' capital spending reduction targets, high tax rates greatly diminish the economics of some of their Norwegian projects. As such, they're sure to continue focusing capital on other offshore areas such as the Gulf of Mexico, where the operating and tax environment is much more favorable.
OPEC is absolutely terrified of this game-changer
While Norway's oil and gas industry is hampered by onerous taxes, a more favorable tax environment is helping fuel America's energy industry. And there is one company front and center that is poised to make its investors rich. 
Source: http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/06/21/these-risks-could-derail-norways-booming-oil-indus.aspx?


BG to submit plans after Lamu oil find

June 21:

An oil company’s offshore platform. Australia’s Pancontinental Oil and Gas has said it has discovered reserves about 100 kilometres off the Mombasa coastline.  Photo/FILE
An oil company’s offshore platform. Australia’s Pancontinental Oil and Gas has said it has discovered reserves about 100 kilometres off the Mombasa coastline. Photo/FILE 

BG Group together with its venture partners announced last week Wednesday that it had made the first discovery of oil off the Lamu coast in Kenya.
The London Stock Exchange-quoted firm, working with PTT Exploration and Public Company Ltd (PTTEP) and Pancontinental Oil and Gas NL found oil and natural gas in the Sunbird-1 well that was drilled by the Deepsea Metro 1 rig in offshore exploration area L10 A.
The oil column is believed to be 14 metres thick beneath a gas column of 29.6 metres. Well drilling was completed in March this year after starting in January. The cost of drilling an offshore well in Kenya is about $80 million.
“The Sunbird-1 oil is the first-ever discovery offshore Kenya. It is the only offshore oil column ever reported seaward of the eastern coastal margin of Africa, from South Africa to northwest tip of Somalia,” said Pancontinental’s chief executive officer Barry Rushworth.
He said calculating the Sunbird results has been a lengthy process due to the complexity of the data derived from the well and the data obtained shows the block L10A consortium will find commercial oil.
BG owns 50 per cent of acreage L10A, Pancontinental 18.75 per cent and PTTEP 31.25 per cent. Premier Oil Plc last year decided not to participate in drilling Sunbird and its 20 per cent equity was taken up by other partners.
Prior to Premier’s withdrawal, BG owned 40 per cent of acreage L10A while PTTEP of Thailand had 25 per cent and Australia Stock Exchange-listed Pancontinental held 15 per cent.
Tullow Oil Plc and Africa Oil Corporation have discovered 600,000 million barrels of oil in the South Lokichar Basin in northwestern Kenya and production will start in 2018 if the government approves field development plans.
The plans for laying pipelines and other production facilities will be submitted by Tullow and Africa Oil to the government for approval in the final quarter of 2015.
Mr Rushworth said Sunbird results are the first proof of the presence of oil offshore Kenya and BG as the operator of block L10A continues to analyse the well data and will recommend an exploration programme for the future.
“We believe that this is a play-opening discovery in Kenya’s Lamu basin. Because of the Sunbird discovery, we expect to see a significant increase in industry interest offshore Kenya,” said Mr Rushworth.
Evaluate Energy Ltd, a consultancy firm based in London, expects Kenya’s recent oil discoveries to hold ample opportunities for both juniors and established oil companies alike in the coming 12 months.


“Kenya’s recent successes have been oil discoveries rather than gas; this will whet the appetite of the world’s largest companies and should result in some prominent bidders when the auction begins,” said Evaluate Energy.
There are currently five licensing rounds for exploration areas due to close during 2014 on the continent including Tanzania, Libya, Angola, Republic of Congo and Kenya, with the latter possibly the most exciting of them all.
Hartleys Ltd, a brokerage company, expects any success made by Sunbird well in area L10 A will have direct positive implication for exploration block L6 and L9 as the three acreages are in the same locality.
Hartleys said in a research note issued to investors that several targets similar to the one tested by the Sunbird well exist along the Kenya Coast including offshore area L6 and L9 owned by FAR Ltd of Australia.
Source: http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/business/BG-Group-to-submit-plans-after-Lamu-oil-find-/-/2560/2357038/-/vjjjavz/-/index.html?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Oil and gas shares in demand; ONGC surges 5%

June 17:

Shares of  companies have moved higher by up to 5% in late noon deals on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India (), Reliance Industries (RIL) and Gail India are up between 2-5%.

The S&P BSE oil and gas index, the largest gainer among sectoral indices, has surged 3% or 346 points compared to 1.4% rise in benchmark S&P BSE Sensex at 1515 hours.

According to Bloomberg report, West Texas Intermediate fell amid speculation that last week’s increase to the highest level in nine months was excessive. Brent dropped in London on signs Iraqi forces will slow the advance of insurgents.

Among the individual stocks, ONGC has rallied almost 5% to Rs 447 on the BSE.  IOC, BPCL and HPCL have gained 4% each, while Gail India and RIL up 2.4% each.
 
Source: http://www.business-standard.com/article/markets/oil-and-gas-shares-in-demand-ongc-surges-5-114061700652_1.html?

To Serve the Public or to Serve Themselves: The US Chemical Safety Board's Turmoil Is Playing With Public Safety

June 17:


The US Chemical Safety Board, a small agency tasked with investigating the country's most dangerous oil and chemical disasters, has been immersed in an internal war for the past year, with two board members up against the board chair Rafael Moure-Eraso and the agency's staff. Inside this fight is a tale of ambition, manipulation and personal games that put public safety and the prevention of chemical accidents at risk. The fight has pitted board members against staff, and endangered the effort to decide what safety system would work best to help prevent catastrophic accidents from happening in the future. 
This internal dispute has now led to former Republican-appointed board members triggering hearings this Thursday on the Chemical Safety Board before the US House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California). One of the two Democratic appointee board members in question will also testify and the other will submit written testimony. However, a strongly worded internal staff document with searing allegations against these board members has been obtained by Truthout that sheds new light on the disastrous inner workings of this vital agency.
The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is an obscure agency with an essential job. It investigates the causes of our largest oil and chemical accidents, such as the BP Deepwater offshore oil explosion, West Texas chemical factory explosion, Richmond California Chevron refinery fire, Tesoro refinery fire in Washington State and the Freedom West Virginia drinking water disaster, and makes reports and recommendations to help prevent future disasters. Think of them as being like the National Transportation Safety Board for chemical accidents.
Earlier this year, after a contentious and disastrous January public meeting to approve a report on the Chevron refinery fire in Richmond, California, all four investigative supervisors and team leads sent a strongly worded memorandum to two board members, Beth Rosenberg and Mark Griffon, entitled "Restoring Trust." This memorandum bared forward alleged disconcerting behavior from June 2013 to try to get these two board members to stop the hostility and work with the chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso and the staff. Truthout obtained a copy of this memorandum and other documentation. This now-released document, that can be seen in full here, paints a very different picture of what is causing dangerous delays in the agency’s reports than the picture portrayed at public meetings and previous media stories.
The February 10, 2014 memorandum to board members Beth Rosenberg and Mark Griffon by four staff members, Don Holmstrom, Johnnie Banks, Cheryl Mackenzie and Dan Tillema, included uncharacteristically strong language for any federal government agency. For example, the first sentence pulled no punches about the intent of the memorandum:
We are writing to you as the entire CSB Investigation Team Leads/Supervisors group to express our serious concerns regarding Board members' behavior that has done significant damage to the morale of the investigative personnel and the mission of the CSB.
The memorandum goes on to list major allegations of manipulation and self-dealing by these board members in order to discredit the Board chair and staff and gain power. Examples from the memorandum, which can be seen here, include:
  • In June 2013, Board Member Rosenberg traveled to the Denver office and held unannounced private meeting with individual investigators. In these meetings she stated that she was working to remove Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso and [Managing Director] Daniel Horowitz from their positions. She stated she was interested in assuming the role of Chair. She had similar follow-up conversations with staff on several occasions. These communications had a severely disruptive impact on the investigative staff.
  • During the resolution of Board comments in September 2013 for the NDK [NDK Crystal manufacturing company] investigation, Board Member Griffon spoke to a member of the investigative team and states he was delaying the approval of the report so that Daniel Horowitz would not receive credit for the report and attainment of his annual goals.
  • In October 2013 Board Member Griffon spoke to the Director of the Western Regional Office (WRO) in Denver. At that meeting the Board Member Griffon made a request to retard progress on the reports being developed out of the WRO. He stated the completion of significant reports made Chairman Moure-Eraso look good which he viewed as a negative outcome. The WRO Director replied that the staff's job is to complete high quality reports in a timely manner.
  • In recent conversations with the staff, Board Member Rosenberg stated that Rafael Moure-Eraso may be gone by September 2014. She also said it may be the case that no reports such as Chevron, Deepwater and Tesoro are approved until then.
The memorandum also stated that "[a]s described herein board member actions are working to delay reports - it is all the more disheartening to hear those same Board members working actively to reach out to stakeholders and the public to complain that reports are being delayed through poor planning or ineffective leadership."
The fight between these two board members, the chair and the staff was first publicly displayed during a January 15, 2014 Chevron public meeting in Richmond, California. The Chevron refinery located in Richmond had a major and dangerous fire on August 6, 2012 that sent thousands of people to the local emergency rooms. This public meeting was to allow community input on the accident and for the CSB to have a formal vote to accept the information and recommendations of the report. The report had specific recommendations for the actual accident and general reforms to the way that the chemical industry is overseen. This was one of the reports that board member Rosenberg allegedly claimed would not be approved until the chairman was pushed out of his position by September 2014.
According to knowledgeable sources within the CSB, it usually takes four to six weeks to have staff reports on accidents reviewed by the board members for comments and questions before consensus is reached and the board votes to approve the report. However, for this report, because the two board members kept asking repetitive questions and were slow to respond to staff input, the process took five months. This delayed a public meeting that was thought to be the final vote on the cause of the accident and suggested changes in regulations by California to, as a test trial, institute a new safety regime based on European countries and Australian models known as the "safety case."
The memorandum from the staff outlines what they allege these two board members did to publically blindside the chairman and the staff at the January 2014 Chevron public meeting in Richmond, California:
Leading up to the January 15, 2014 Chevron Public Meeting Board Member Rosenberg assured two CSB staff members on separate occasions that she supported the safety case regulatory recommendations and would vote for the draft Chevron regulatory report. One assurance of support was made just hours before the meeting. Board Member Griffon did not state his voting position to the CSB staff. Five hours into the meeting Board Member Griffon presented a prepared typed motion to postpone the vote to address various issues which were seconded by Board Member Rosenberg. The motion had not been shared with the leadership or the staff and many of the issues in the motion were taken directly from a letter by Congressman George Miller to the Board directing the staff to investigate regulatory issues related to Cal/OSHA and Contra Costa County. Many of the issues were either addressed in the CSB draft, not causally related to the Chevron incident or the case of abatement, subject to a dispute between Congressman Miller and the Governor of California. This interjection of outside political influence raises a concern over the independence of the CSB. While some on the Board had been provided the Congressman Miller letter in advance, the CSB investigators saw the letter for the form time at the start of the public meeting. Similarly, a letter received by some Board members from Professor Nancy Leveson addressing the report’s recommendations was not provided to the staff but was referenced by Board Member Rosenberg in her opening remarks. The Leveson letter was also referred to and submitted into the record by former CSB Chairman John Bresland, who acknowledged in his written comments that he was a Chevron contractor. Chevron outside legal counsel conferred with Professor Leveson about submitting the letter. Board Member Rosenberg also cited as key evidence an email she received from a UK writer, Rory O’Neill, but has yet to share that email with the investigators. The failure to provide the staff with what are asserted to be key documents and seek responses, providing misleading assurances about member positions on issues or support for reports, and failure to substantively engage the investigative staff on issues, questions and concerns - all speak to a seriously broken process. In fact, the actions by two board members in the Chevron review process and public meeting can only be explained by what appears to be a planned effort to mislead and publically embarrass the staff and agency. These actions not only harm the agency that you are sworn to serve but damage the cause of our preventative mission and the credibility of the work produced by CSB and its staff. These actions ultimately weaken our agency’s credibility with stakeholders, including organizations that many of us have worked with for decades.
transcript of the long and contentious Chevron public board meeting shows that many of the local civic and environmental groups were in favor of the staff recommendations for test trial safety case regulations for refineries in the state of California, but a strange conglomeration of groups, the American Petroleum Institute, Chevron, the International United Steelworkers Union (but not, according to local sources, the local United Steelworkers Union), former Republican CSB Board Chair and Chevron consultant John Bresland, and liberal MIT professor Nancy Leveson all were either against any institution of the safety case model or believed that it needed to be studied more and that the report should be delayed. In the meeting, groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Community for a Better Environment, along with local groups, endorsed the idea of the safety case regime. An Obama presidential task force on offshore oil wells specifically endorsed the idea of using the safety case regime for offshore oil.
Chairman Moure-Eraso, believing that he had Rosenberg’s vote to approve the Chevron report, put in a motion to accept the staff report. Rosenberg seconded the motion. However, Griffon put in a counter motion to delay the report and set up a study committee to study the safety case, despite the fact that staff members had presented the safety case scenario and took questions from all the board members. Rosenberg seconded Griffon’s motion and voted with Griffon to not approve the report. According to local news accounts of the meeting, both the chairman and the large audience were not happy with the results.
Truthout has obtained an email from Nancy Leveson to board member Beth Rosenberg dated January 10, 2014, five days before the Chevron hearing, giving her the letter that was cited in the hearing with this background language:
Beth,
A long-time acquaintance of mine contacted me about the CSB recommending that the State of California adopt safety cases. He works for a large, multi-national company who apparently does not believe in them. Actually, my previous experiences with this company is that they have a very good safety culture, truly care about safety, are among the best in the industry. Anyway, he asked me to write a letter to the CSB. I’ve done that and it will be presented this Tuesday meeting along with a copy of my paper on safety cases.
I have attached the letter that I sent. I thought it would interest you.
Nancy
The Leveson letter was presented in the Chevron meeting by John Bresland, who, although he claimed that he was speaking for himself, also admitted in his written testimony that he was a consultant for Chevron. There is some concern that Bresland may have broken or skirted revolving-door laws by testifying for Chevron after overseeing Chevron business in his 10 years on the CSB; part of that time he was chairman. He was on the board when the Chevron accident occurred. According to sources that are familiar with the witness list for the Issa hearings this week, Bresland may be one of the witnesses to testify at the hearing against the management of the CSB and may be working with the majority committee staff.
Truthout has also obtained a January 18, 2014 email, written after the Chevron report vote, from an attorney, Mark Farley, whose law firm Katten Law has Chevron as a client. The email reply was sent to CSB staff Dan Tillema, one of the investigative leads on the Chevron staff report and a signer of the February 2014 memorandum to board members Rosenberg and Griffon. In the email, Farley recommends Leveson to Tillema as a candidate to serve on the special board that Griffon put in his motion to study the safety case issue:
Dan,
Although I conferred with Dr. Leveson about the CSB recommendations and her submitting a letter, she has not been retained by Katten Law or CUSA [Chevron USA] in connection to this issue or the Richmond incident. I am not aware of Dr. Leveson having a professional or contractual relationship with CUSA, but it is something that she should be asked.
As you may know, I worked with Dr. Leveson on the Baker Panel in my capacity as one of the lead investigators. Dr. Leveson would be an excellent candidate for panel contemplated by the motion that the CSB adopted at the public meeting. She has a wealth of relevant experience and is respectful of the opinions of others. In addition, although she seeks consensus, she remains true to her opinions and professional judgment.
MLF
Farley, based on Leveson’s letter and report that was against the safety case regime, clearly knew that she would be unofficially representing Chevron’s point of view. A rebuttal to Leveson’s paper and theories on the safety case can be found here.
Dr. Leveson was contacted and asked to comment on how it came about that she was asked to submit her paper and letter to the board. She said that the correspondence was private and she had no more comments.
After the shock of the Chevron meeting, a planned meeting to approve a report on a similar Tesoro refinery fire in Anacortes, Washington was delayed. This accident included seven deaths, and it had been four years since the accident. The town, the Steelworkers Union, a local member of Congress and the families were very unhappy and vocal about the delay of the report. Board members Rosenberg and Griffon sent a letter to Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Washington), commiserating with him about the delay and claiming that the staff had done a cut and paste job on the Tesoro report from the Chevron report. This letter also became an issue for the four staff members in their February 2014 letter:
In a letter to Congressman Larsen dated January 27, 2014 Board Members Griffon and Rosenberg stated the investigative team "cut and paste" sections of the Chevron report in the Tesoro draft. The staff only learned about the letter from press reports and these concerns were never addressed to the staff. While the letter implies the safety case is a new issue inserted into the Tesoro report, the staff has been submitting detailed Tesoro plans and drafts that address the safety case since May 2013. This negative reference is offensive to a hard working staff - the safety case section of the Tesoro draft is a unique analysis of the Tesoro causal factors, Washington L&I regulatory gaps and how the safety case would play a more preventative role. The regulatory section also compares the Tesoro incident to Chevron arguing that issues related to both incidents make a strong argument for the much-needed reform. 
This reporter attended the May 1, 2014 Tesoro public meeting in Anacortes. The national and local Steelworkers Union, the families and the public were not only concerned that it took four years for the report, but also were angry that the final report was not available to the public until shortly before the meeting. When the public speakers complained to the board about the lack of time to get a copy of the final report, Rosenberg and Griffon also complained and blamed the staff. According to sources who have knowledge of the process, the staff and the chairman had no idea whether either one of the board members would vote for the final report so there was negotiations, mainly with Griffon, that ran just hours before the Washington State meeting. A comparison of the original draft report to the final report kept much of the language of the need for a safety case regime, but in order to secure a vote on this report and not be delayed again, the staff removed all references in the final report of the words "safety case." The original draft report had over 50 references to "safety case." The final draft had none. Both Rosenberg and Griffon voted for a report that still explained the concepts of why a safety case regime was needed but had the actual term removed from the report. It was that last-minute debate that made copies for the public available only hours before the meeting.
Long before this staff memorandum was written, the CSB management and chairman had been targeted by the EPA inspector general, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and former Republican CSB board members claiming that the agency had management and morale problems. The EPA inspector general report did report a drop in the number of reports that were issued but much was blamed on what accidents were chosen to review and the chronic underfunding of the agency over the course of 10 years. The chairman and the managing director said that many of the problems were caused by lack of funding and that they had gone to Congress to fix the problem to no avail. They also claimed in rebuttals in the press and to the EPA inspector general that Congress also would intervene and insist that specific accidents be investigated. A review of these issues can be found in two reports by the Center for Public Integrity.
But the main complaints in the media on the management and leadership of the CSB agency were from former Republican board members, including John Bresland. Inone of the Center for Public Integrity reports, Rosenberg and Griffon sided with these former board members to complain about the backlog of reports, belying the allegations put forth by the staff leaders that these two board members instructed the staff to slow down reports to make the management and leadership look bad and lose power. However, in another media report, Bresland admitted that the agency was underfunded even from the days that he was the chair and it affected the ability to get reports out. While serving as chair, Bresland tried to get more money from Congress when the CSB was required to investigate the enormously large BP Deepwater offshore well disaster but failed.
Griffon and Rosenberg wrote a February 18, 2014 rebuttal to the February staff memorandum. However, they did not do a point-by-point rebuttal of the alleged serious charges by the staff. Instead, they dismissed the numerous charges of slowing down reports to make management look bad and the raw ambition of wanting to trash the work of the committee to embarrass and perhaps force out the chairman to gain control. Instead, they dismissed the staff concerns with one line: "While we disagree with many of your contentions, we appreciate the hard work and dedicated service of all the CSB staff and welcome the opportunity to discuss ways to improve the processes in our agency."
Ironically, the rest of the memorandum from Griffon and Rosenberg complained that the staff set up a report schedule and meetings that were too ambitious and the process needed to slow down to "ensure the highest possible quality reports."
Rosenberg and Griffon also stressed that there needed to be better communication and more transparency so that the staff and the board would know where each side stands. "Fully transparent, deliberative board meetings are the best way for the Board to serve the public and be accountable to the public."
They also said that they were looking forward to meeting with the four staff members to discuss the issues and problems.
However, the staff wrote back in a February 28, 2014 memorandum that they were very distressed that Rosenberg and Griffon did not attend a meeting set up for them to discuss the outstanding issues and that both board members said that they could not meet with the staff until April. From the memorandum:
However, we understand from Daniel [Horowitz] that you state you are both unavailable until mid-April to discuss our concerns. We are very discouraged that neither of you attended the scheduled Board Quorum meeting to discuss our memo on Thursday, February 27. We respectfully suggest that such an elongated timeframe before we begin a constructive dialogue is not conducive to resolving the critical issues that remain open. Specifically, our core mission work of issuing investigation reports is currently paralyzed.
During a lengthy interview for this article, Rosenberg said that she was "mildly concerned" about the staff memorandum that alleged that she was trying to oust Moure-Eraso as chair and had ambitions to serve in the role of chair, but she was concerned about staff harassment of people below them. She denied any of the allegations and claimed that Don Holmstrom, one of the four authors of the staff memorandum, had bullied and harassed the other three staffers into signing the staff memoranda. She said that she heard that the woman who signed the document was crying as she was forced to do it. Truthout, after numerous interviews with staff who wanted to remain anonymous, said that such charges were baseless against Holmstrom. A message left at Griffon’s home was not returned.
Rosenberg said that she voted against the safety case issue because she was concerned that the safety case regime had a "lack of transparency" and relied on "weak government and weak labor." She also blamed the management staff for causing the problems and dysfunction in the agency. She said that Chairman Moure-Eraso delegated too much authority to the staff. On an ironic note, both Griffon and Rosenberg were graduate students under Moure-Eraso when he was a professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and he was the one that presented Rosenberg with her doctoral hood at graduation. He also recommended her for the job with the CSB.
In an interview, Moure-Eraso said that he was incredulous when he read the February staff memorandum and saw what his two past students had allegedly said and done to the staff. He is disappointed in what he saw as a sacrifice of the mission of the agency to personal power struggles. He believes that exploring the concept of the safety case regime is an innovative step in not just reacting to chemical accidents but to help be proactive in preventing them in the future. He understood why industry would be against more regulations and the safety case but does not understand why the United Steelworkers would have such a powerful campaign from their national headquarters to defeat an idea instead of trying in a limited way to see if it could help.
Mike Wright, one of the United Steelworkers' health and safety staff who has spearheaded the drive against the safety case, said in an interview that his main concern is that a successful safety case regime would require strong worker participation and he does not believe that that United States, unlike Norway, England and Australia, had a strong enough worker movement to make it work. He said that the steelworkers have unionized 70 percent of the refineries in the United States, and yet even though the intent of the Chevron recommendations was to test trial in California refineries and not change other types of chemical safety regulations, that it would not work. Griffon used to be a consultant to the United Steelworkers and Rosenberg openly claims close ties to workers and especially the United Steelworkers.
Rosenberg resigned from the CSB on May 31 to return to academia, telling BNA Bloomberg that she feels that she can do more good from outside the agency than in it. She said that the "ill-defined role of board members in relation to the chair, as well as in relation to the staff, made it difficult to have any meaningful influence."
The safety case regime, which was once popular in the search for new ways to prevent chemical accidents, has fallen victim to this political fight in the CSB. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has a yearly contest to fund small study projects. For fiscal year 2015, a proposal to study the effectiveness of the safety case regime was submitted and came in second place in over 50 entries. However, according to a source in NIOSH, the study has been postponed and effectively killed and NIOSH has removed its positive literature and testimony from its website. It is suspected by several sources in the government that Chevron and parts of the United Steelworkers were responsible in reaction to the CSB chair and staff promoting the idea.
Now the CSB board and staff will be dealing with a hearing in the highly political House Oversight and Reform committee with Chair Darrell Issa. Issa, who is known for his bare-knuckled partisan investigations of Benghazi and the IRS, as well as other anti-Obama investigations, is planning a hearing on Thursday entitled, Whistleblower Reprisal and Management Failures at the US Chemical Safety Board. There is no witness list or details on the committee's site as of the publication of this article. Sources familiar with the hearings believe that the hearings will be airing the complaints of past Republican CSB board members and chairs, including John Bresland. Rosenberg plans to testify and Griffon will submit written testimony. The Bloomberg BNA May 27, 2014 story on Rosenberg's exit gives an idea of the tenor of the hearings by heavily quoting Bresland and other past Republican board members as they attack Moure-Eraso’s leadership and the internal management of the CSB.
However, the title of the hearing is puzzling because, according to records, during Moure-Eraso's tenure as chair, no CSB staff member who filed whistleblower complaints with the US Office of Special Counsel has lost their job, grade or any pay.
Meanwhile, the four civil servants who wrote the February memo and took on two presidential appointees to, in their minds, stop the politicization of their investigations, never got their meetings with Rosenberg and Griffon. They are continuing to try to clear their investigation backlog on serious chemical accidents and to be prepared to send their limited investigative staff out to the next serious accident to try to protect the public. Their work will continue despite the political games and power plays of corporations, unions and congressional committees. However, any future efforts to innovate or even enhance regulations to help prevent accidents like the poisoning of the drinking water in West Virginia or prevent a deadly refinery accident may now just be tilting at windmills.

Source: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/24421-to-serve-the-public-or-to-serve-themselves-the-us-chemical-safety-boards-turmoil-is-playing-with-public-safety?#14030257479571&action=collapse_widget&id=5247467