Wall Street Journal
Executives from the top oil companies in the Bakken Shale told state regulators that their crude is safe to transport by train, opposing possible requirements that they make the oil less volatile before shipping it.
The industry pushback comes as North Dakota considers new rules on treating crude to stabilize it, spurred by growing public concern about the safety of oil-laden trains crisscrossing the country. Several oil trains have derailed and produced fireballs since 2013. [more]
Law360, New York
An Oklahoma federal judge on Monday denied the US Department of the Interior’s bid to move an oil and gas group’s suit accusing it of using “sue-and-settle” tactics to secretly change endangered species regulations, saying it failed to meet its burden of demonstrating that relevant circumstances “strongly” favor transfer.
The judge also said consideration of the “interest of justice” does not compel transfer of the case. He said there is no serious risk that proceeding in the state of Oklahoma and the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance’s chosen venue risks an adjudication that would be inconsistent with any prior adjudication by the DC District Court, where the government wanted the case to move. [more, paywall]
Wichita Business Journal
A federal judge has determined that a lawsuit challenging the regulation of economic activities around the habitat of the lesser prairie chicken will be handled at the local level.
The lawsuit will be litigated in Tulsa, OK, and not transferred to Washington DC, as some originally hoped.
This marks the second time that the federal judiciary has blocked an attempt to have the have the case moved to Washington DC. [more]
The Energy Collective
The Brookings Institute in Washington DC has come out in favor of lifting the US ban on crude oil exports. Brookings hosted an event on Sept. 9 to unveil their new report titled “Changing Markets: Economic Opportunities from Lifting the US Ban on Crude Oil Exports” written by Charles Ebinger and Heather Greenley and based on research provided by NERA Economic Consulting.
Larry Summers, former economic adviser to President Obama, gave a speech at the event presenting the case why the ban should be lifted. The ban is a legacy policy from the 1970s that is no longer relevant in today’s market. Price controls for oil were implemented in response to the OPEC oil embargo and the crude oil export ban was part of that policy. Though price controls were lifted in 1980 the export ban remained in place and was largely unnoticed because the US was a heavy importer of oil and industry had no need for exports. [more]
Exporting more US crude around the world would lower the price of gasoline for US drivers and benefit the US economy, according to a study release Tuesday.
While the conclusion may be counter-intuitive, the reasoning is straightforward. Exports would encourage more US oil production and put that crude on the global market. That would lower the global price of oil, the price that is linked most closely to the price of gasoline in the US.
Export of US crude oil have been banned, with few exceptions, since soon after the 1973 Arab oil embargo. [more]