Energy

Environmental Protection Agency

AUSTIN — Cities and counties statewide could no longer prohibit hydraulic fracturing under a sweeping, oil and gas industry-backed bill that has cleared the Texas Legislature.

The proposal was easily approved by the Senate on Monday after passing the House last month. It now heads to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for signature into law.

Legislators moved quickly after Denton, a university town near Dallas, voted in November to impose a local fracking ban amid environmental and safety concerns. That ordinance is now being challenged in court. Conservatives say the new restrictions are needed to prevent a patchwork of drilling laws across Texas.

But the issue has been among the most contentious in Abbott’s first legislative session.

Source: http://www.theambitstory.com/

ALBANY, N.Y.— State officials are investigating a Texas-based energy company after a spike in complaints from customers over higher-than-expected bills.

Ambit Energy is an energy services company that supplies electricity and natural gas. Consumers can choose to get their energy from their own utility or companies like Ambit. The probe of Ambit Energy was prompted by a spike in complaints in recent months to the state’s utility regulation agency.

Oil, Gas, Power, Prices: Big Themes From Big Meet

Apr 24, 2015
C.M. Keiner http://bit.ly/1JD6Gxb / CC

HOUSTON — In the year since the energy industry last gathered in for its big annual confab in Houston, prices for oil and natural gas took a dive that few, if anyone, saw coming.

A chastened parade of energy executives, analysts, academics and government officials from several countries delivered speeches and participated in panels as part of HIS’s CERAWeek energy conference, worrying over prices and making a profit, and speculating on what it could all mean for economies and consumers around the world.

ALBUQUERQUE — Violations of fair labor standards have resulted in hundreds of oilfield workers in West Texas and New Mexico being underpaid by more than $1.3 million, according to a review by federal officials.

Most of the violations involved improper payments of overtime. In some cases, employees didn’t receive an overtime premium because they were misclassified as independent contractors, according to the U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division.

There were also instances of employers not paying for time spent working off-the-clock.

Never before has the U.S. had so much oil spurting up out of the ground and sloshing into storage tanks around the country. There's so much oil that the U.S. now rivals Saudi Arabia as the world's largest producer.

But there has been some concern that the U.S. will run out of places to put it all. Some analysts speculate that could spark another dramatic crash in oil prices.

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