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Editorial: Boost rail safety before luck runs out

Image: Larry Goodwin via Flickr

When it comes to rail safety, we shouldn’t have to count on luck. The derailment upriver more than a week ago could have been much, much worse. Frankly, it was bad enough. A derailed BNSF Railway freight train dumped as much as 20,000 gallons of ethanol in Mississippi River backwaters near Alma. There was no explosion. So far, no significant ...

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Warm weather worsens glut of US gas, heating oil: Kemp


(John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own) LONDON – Unusually mild weather across the United States this autumn has sharply reduced heating demand and contributed to the substantial oversupply of both natural gas and heating oil. Heating demand has been 27 percent lower than the long-term average so far this heating season according to ...

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Editorial: Keystone XL fight over, but look now to Canada for next possible pipeline

The Keystone Oil Pipeline is pictured under construction in North Dakota in this undated photograph released on January 18, 2012. TransCanada Corporation Handout Photo

President Obama’s decision to reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline reorients the oil spigot, from north-south to east-west. It’s the law of unintended consequences, and the ripple effect may be felt as far West as the Salish Sea. As The Seattle Times reports, oil from the Alberta tar sands is intended for maritime export, and two proposed Canadian pipelines could ...

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U.S. shale oil output will be less resilient than gas: Kemp


(John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own) LONDON – U.S. natural gas production hit a new record in August, despite the deepening slump in gas prices and a fall in the number of rigs targeting gas formations. The failure of gas production to respond to lower prices and a falling rig count has left ...

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Editorial: Line in the sands

The Syncrude tar sands mine north of Fort McMurray, Alberta is shown in this November 3, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Todd Korol/Files

At the end of the Obama administration’s speed-of-tar deliberations on the Keystone XL pipeline, even the president acknowledged that the project was not especially important to the environment or the economy. Which raises a question: Why on earth did he spend seven years considering it, let alone take the unprecedented step of smiting it by presidential fiat? The answer, of ...

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Editorial: President agenda is anti-shovel-ready


President Barack Obama campaigned on a promise of “shovel-ready” jobs. It was the modern “chicken in every pot” but never quite panned out. “Shovel-ready was not as, uh, as shovel-ready as we expected,” Obama quipped in 2011, conceding the pledge seemed beyond his grasp. Today, his platform can be described as anti-shovel-ready. The president took to a White House lectern ...

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IEA sees oil below $80, what could go wrong? Kemp

Image: Sergio Russo via Flickr.

(John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own) LONDON – Oil prices are unlikely to rise consistently above $80 per barrel before the end of the decade, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted in the World Energy Outlook published on Tuesday. Slower growth in demand coupled with the transformational impact of shale on production costs ...

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Editorial: Flight of the Keystone XL

Keystone XL oil pipeline pumping station in rural Nebraska. (Image: shannonpatrick17 via Flickr)

There are 2.5 million miles of oil and gas pipelines crisscrossing the United States, but just one proposed stretch, from Canada to Nebraska, has been demonized. Or maybe owlified is a better term. The 1,200-mile Keystone XL oil pipeline would connect the oil sands of Alberta to an existing network of pipelines in Steele City, Neb., for the rest of ...

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U.S. refineries start to return from maintenance: Kemp


LONDON – Total stocks of crude oil and refined products in commercial storage across the United States dropped for the second week running last week, the first back-to-back fall since May, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). More than 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) of refinery capacity is still offline for routine maintenance and upgrades after the ...

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Editorial: Keystone XL delay is a setback for public safety in Minnesota

Image: Larry Goodwin via Flickr

The triumphant but misguided e-mail landed in inboxes just hours after the Canadian company pushing to build the Keystone XL pipeline announced it wants the U.S. government to suspend review of the pipeline’s construction permit application. “We made our voices heard that we would stand up to protect our planet for future generations,” trumpeted a Democratic National Committee missive that ...

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