oil http://michiganradio.org en Public hearings on proposed "fracking" rules wraps up, ballot campaign could follow http://michiganradio.org/post/public-hearings-proposed-fracking-rules-wraps-ballot-campaign-could-follow <p>State environmental regulators will put the finishing touches on new rules regarding “fracking” now that public hearings have wrapped up. They expect to have the new rules adopted by the end of the year, but the state’s rules may not be the final word on the controversial drilling process</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Fracking”</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is a drilling method that pushes water and chemicals into wells to force out oil and gas deposits.</span></p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 18:58:15 +0000 Rick Pluta 18415 at http://michiganradio.org Public hearings on proposed "fracking" rules wraps up, ballot campaign could follow Company considers drilling for oil west of Ann Arbor http://michiganradio.org/post/company-considers-drilling-oil-west-ann-arbor <p><a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/04/michigan-based_oil_company_exp.html">Ben Freed over at The Ann Arbor News</a> has more about the plans being developed by Traverse City-based West Bay Exploration Company. Freed reports the company has approached landowners in Scio Township looking to obtain their mineral rights.</p><p>West Bay says it would drill for oil using a "traditional" method. The company's vice president, Patrick Gibson, said it wouldn't use horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking:</p><blockquote><p>“We’re a conventional oil and gas exploration company, we do not utilize hydraulic fracturing,” Gibson said.</p><p>“What we’re looking for is geological formations that are already fractured so that we don’t have to do any fracturing ourselves, hydraulic or otherwise.”</p></blockquote><p>Landowners are being advised to educate themselves before signing contracts offered by the company. MSU's extension office offers insights into oil and gas leasing on this <a href="http://msue.anr.msu.edu/program/info/oil_and_gas">page</a>.</p><p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 16:37:28 +0000 Mark Brush 17144 at http://michiganradio.org Company considers drilling for oil west of Ann Arbor Environmental groups split over proposed tax break for oil recovery http://michiganradio.org/post/environmental-groups-split-over-proposed-tax-break-oil-recovery <p>The Michigan Legislature recently approved a <a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%28b1rd15u2fkn3evbpk2y3wl2l%29%29/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&amp;objectname=2013-HB-4885">package of bills</a> that’s causing a split between environmental groups.</p><p>The legislation would lower a tax on a certain kind of oil recovery.</p><p>Jake Neher is the capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network and he’s been following this story. I spoke with him about these bills for today's Environment Report.</p><p>“The main bill in the package would cut the state severance tax from 6.6% to 4% for companies using what’s called enhanced production or enhanced recovery methods to essentially clean out low-producing oil wells. So basically, they pump a bunch of carbon dioxide into the wells to help get relatively little amounts of oil out of them. In other words, companies would pay a lower tax rate on the oil they take out of the ground using that process.”</p><p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 15:43:44 +0000 Rebecca Williams 16955 at http://michiganradio.org Environmental groups split over proposed tax break for oil recovery In this morning's headlines: Guns in Lansing library, oil and gas taxes, Whitmer will not run http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-headlines-guns-lansing-library-oil-and-gas-taxes-whitmer-will-not-run <p><strong>Lansing public library's effort to ban openly carried firearms has ended</strong></p><p>"The Michigan Supreme Court has decided not to hear an appeal of a case involving libraries and guns. Lansing’s library system had banned openly carried firearms in its branches.&nbsp; But the Court of Appeals found that violated a state law preventing local units of government from banning weapons," Steve Carmody <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-supreme-court-passes-libraries-and-guns-case">reports.</a></p><p><strong>Bill would affect taxes related to oil and gas wells</strong></p><p>A bill in Lansing would exempt things like piping, machinery, tanks and other equipment used to develop oil and gas wells from personal property taxes. As the Detroit Free Press <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20131121/NEWS06/311210183/michigan-oil-and-gas-industry-tax-exemption">reports, </a></p><blockquote><p><br />"Leaders of some of Michigan's poorest counties in the northern Lower Peninsula say the change would cost their communities millions of dollars while giving a tax break to oil and gas companies."</p></blockquote><p><strong>Gretchen Whitmer will not be on 2014 ballot</strong></p><p>Senate minority leader Gretchen Whitmer confirmed yesterday she will not be on the statewide ballot in 2014. As the Detroit Free Press <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20131121/NEWS06/311210160/gretchen-whitmer-senate-campaign-2014-ballot">reports,</a></p><blockquote><p>"She announced early this year that she wasn’t going to run for governor in 2014. But speculation had been rampant that Whitmer could be a serious and credible candidate for Attorney General or Lieutenant Governor. 'But it’s just not the time,' she told the Free Press Thursday. 'My girls are 10 and 11, and I thought when they got to this age they wouldn’t need me as much, but they need me more.'"</p><p> Fri, 22 Nov 2013 12:30:14 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15392 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's headlines: Guns in Lansing library, oil and gas taxes, Whitmer will not run Couple fighting oil, gas development in state game area http://michiganradio.org/post/couple-fighting-oil-gas-development-state-game-area <p>GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A southwestern Michigan couple is suing the federal government over a planned lease of oil and gas development rights in the Allegan State Game Area.<br><br>John Davis Jr. and Marybeth Pritschet-Davis filed their lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids.<br><br>They say the Bureau of Land Management plans to auction 27,302 acres of subsurface mineral rights in the Allegan game area Sept. 12. The area hosts endangered and threatened species and also features trout streams, lakes and wetlands.<br> Sat, 07 Sep 2013 18:00:00 +0000 The Associated Press 14320 at http://michiganradio.org Will Enbridge Energy's new pipeline in Michigan be safer? http://michiganradio.org/post/will-enbridge-energys-new-pipeline-michigan-be-safer <p>A new oil pipeline is going underground in Michigan.</p><p>Enbridge Energy says this new pipeline will be bigger (36 inches vs. 30 inches) - it will pump more oil to the Marathon refinery in Detroit - and they say the pipeline will be safer. (The map in the slideshow above shows where the new line is going in.)</p> Tue, 27 Aug 2013 15:52:38 +0000 Mark Brush 14152 at http://michiganradio.org Will Enbridge Energy's new pipeline in Michigan be safer? Renewable energy use continues to rise http://michiganradio.org/post/renewable-energy-use-continues-rise <p>In the United States, we’re using more renewable energy than we were a few years ago.</p><p>A.J. Simon is the group leader for energy with the <a href="https://www.llnl.gov/">Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory</a>. The lab just released a chart outlining the nation’s energy use for the year 2012.</p><p>“We are significantly expanding our use of wind energy, the technology for wind turbines has come a long way in the past decade or so, and both federal and state policy in terms of renewable portfolio standards as well as financial incentives have encouraged a lot of utilities to install a lot of wind power so we’re seeing huge growth in the generation of electricity from wind," he says.</p><p> Tue, 23 Jul 2013 15:55:05 +0000 Rebecca Williams 13647 at http://michiganradio.org Renewable energy use continues to rise State senator wants to give incentive for any company that builds an oil refinery in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/state-senator-wants-give-incentive-any-company-builds-oil-refinery-michigan <p>A state lawmaker says he has a plan to drive down Michigan’s high gas prices.</p><p></p><p>Senator Rick Jones says it’s time to build a new oil refinery.&nbsp;&nbsp; But not everyone’s sold on the plan.</p><p></p><p>Jones introduced legislation that would give a ten-year property and equipment tax exemption to any company willing to build a new refinery in Michigan.</p><p></p><p>“And that’s exactly what we need in Michigan to make sure we have adequate supplies,” says Jones.</p><p></p><p>Jones says more supply means lower prices at the pump.</p><p></p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 22:40:29 +0000 Jake Neher 13589 at http://michiganradio.org State senator wants to give incentive for any company that builds an oil refinery in Michigan Debate over renewable energy ballot issue heats up in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/debate-over-renewable-energy-ballot-issue-heats-michigan <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Supporters say a ballot measure requiring that utilities get more of their electricity from renewable sources would make Michigan a leader in clean energy and create jobs.<br /><br /> Opponents say it would cost electric customers more money and make it harder to provide reliable energy.<br /><br /> On Monday, opponents with the Clean Affordable Renewable Energy (CARE) for Michigan Coalition plan to ramp up statewide efforts to defeat the issue. They argue the requirement doesn&#39;t belong in the state constitution.<br /> Sat, 23 Jun 2012 14:53:47 +0000 The Associated Press 7997 at http://michiganradio.org Debate over renewable energy ballot issue heats up in Michigan Neighbors feel pressured by Enbridge's new pipeline plans http://michiganradio.org/post/neighbors-feel-pressured-enbridges-new-pipeline-plans <p>Enbridge Energy operates the pipeline that ruptured in Marshall almost two years ago.&nbsp; The Environmental Protection Agency says more than one million gallons of thick tar sands oil spilled into the Kalamazoo River.&nbsp; The oil spill is still being cleaned up.</p><p>Since the spill, Enbridge has been making repairs on that pipeline. It&rsquo;s known as Line 6B.</p><p>Now, the company plans to replace the entire pipeline from Griffith, Indiana to Marysville, Michigan.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 17 May 2012 13:00:00 +0000 Rebecca Williams 7508 at http://michiganradio.org Neighbors feel pressured by Enbridge's new pipeline plans Enbridge wants to replace 200 miles of aging pipeline in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/enbridge-wants-replace-200-miles-aging-pipeline-michigan <p>Enbridge Inc. has been replacing and repairing parts of line &quot;6B&quot; as part of its <a href="http://www.enbridgeus.com/Line6B2012.aspx">maintenance and rehabilitation program</a>. The pipeline was built in 1969.</p><p>Now company officials want to replace 200 miles of the oil pipeline in Michigan.</p><p>The &quot;6B&quot; pipeline broke open near Marshall, Michigan in 2010 and spilled more that 840,000 gallons of thick tar sands oil into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River. There are <a href="http://environmentreport.org/show.php?showID=630">still pockets of thick oil at the bottom of the Kalamazoo River</a>.</p><p>The 6B pipeline has been operating at reduced capacity since the spill.</p><p>Crystal Garcia of the <a href="http://www.thetimesherald.com/article/20120510/NEWS01/305100001/Enbridge-Inc-proposes-new-oil-pipeline?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s&amp;nclick_check=1">Times Herald of Port Huron</a> reported on Enbridge&#39;s plan today.</p><p>She writes the existing pipeline is pumping around &quot;243,000 barrels of oil a day with the pressure restrictions.&quot; A company spokesman, Joe Martucci, said the new pipeline would produce about 500,000 barrels of oil a day.</p><p>If plans are approved, Garcia reports the existing pipeline will be taken offline and remain in place, and the new pipeline will be built about 25 feet from the existing line.</p><blockquote><p>Replacing the pipeline will be done in two phases, Martucci said.</p><p>Part of the first phase &mdash; which includes two five-mile segments east of pumping stations near Griffith and LaPorte, Ind. and three five-mile segments east of Niles, Mendon and Marshall &mdash; already has been approved. The other part of the first phase &mdash; a 50-mile segment between Stockbridge and Ortonville &mdash; is near approval. Work on the first phase will be done this year, Martucci said...</p><p>Phase two includes 210 miles of pipeline from Griffith, Ind. to Marysville that was not replaced during phase one. A preliminary hearing for the phase two proposal will be at 9 a.m. June 6 in Lansing</p></blockquote><p>The Times Herald reports if the plans are approved, most of the construction work would be done in 2013. Thu, 10 May 2012 16:43:45 +0000 Mark Brush 7413 at http://michiganradio.org Enbridge wants to replace 200 miles of aging pipeline in Michigan Don't believe the hype; gas prices not linked to domestic drilling http://michiganradio.org/post/dont-believe-hype-gas-prices-not-linked-domestic-drilling <p>A new analysis by the <a href="http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/nation/20120321_ap_factcheckmoreusdrillingdidntdropgasprice.html?c=r">Associated Press</a><span> found no correlation between domestic oil drilling and gas prices in the U.S.</span></p><p>So this famous line will get you applause...</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhvRQyRdVEI</p><p>... but it won&#39;t get you lower gas prices.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Drill, baby, drill has nothing to do with it,&quot; said Judith Dwarkin, chief energy economist at ITG investment research. Two other energy economists said the same thing and experts in the field have been making that observation for decades.</p></blockquote><p>And it&#39;s not just Republicans who make these kind of claims.</p><p>Placing blame for high gas prices is low-hanging, point-scoring fruit for any politician.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/nation/20120321_ap_factcheckmoreusdrillingdidntdropgasprice.html?c=r">Associated Press points out</a> that on the campaign trail in 2008, then presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama said &quot;here in Ohio, you&#39;re paying nearly $3.70 a gallon for gas, 2-1/2 times what it cost when George Bush took office.&quot;</p><p>He&#39;s not blaming the White House occupant these days.</p><p>The Associated Press&#39; <span>Seth Borenstein and Jack Gillum</span> wrote &quot;statistical analysis of 36 years of monthly, inflation-adjusted gasoline prices and U.S. domestic oil production by The Associated Press shows no statistical correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at the pump.&quot; Wed, 21 Mar 2012 19:24:39 +0000 Mark Brush 6729 at http://michiganradio.org Don't believe the hype; gas prices not linked to domestic drilling Oil spill cleanup crews back on Talmadge Creek http://michiganradio.org/post/oil-spill-cleanup-crews-back-talmadge-creek <p>There&rsquo;s new cleanup work underway along Talmadge Creek near Marshall&hellip;near the site of 2010&rsquo;s Enbridge oil spill.</p><p>The area was already the site of a massive cleanup effort. But now&hellip; work crews are back. The first round was supervised by the Environmental Protection Agency. This time&hellip; the state Department of Environmental Quality is overseeing the work.</p><p>Mark DuCharme is with the DEQ. He says the initial EPA-supervised cleanup focused on removing visible oil and sheen from Talmadge Creek.</p> Tue, 08 Nov 2011 18:17:13 +0000 Steve Carmody 4880 at http://michiganradio.org Fire at Marathon oil refinery in Detroit contained http://michiganradio.org/post/fire-marathon-oil-refinery-detroit-contained <p>There was a fire this morning at a Marathon oil refinery in southwest Detroit. The Associated Press reports the fire was contained by the company.</p><blockquote><p>Authorities say a fire at Marathon&#39;s southwest Detroit oil refinery has been contained by the company&#39;s on-site crews.</p><p>Some evacuations of contractors were reported following the Thursday morning fire, but people were returning to work.</p></blockquote><p>The <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110825/NEWS01/110825023/Marathon-refinery-fire-southwest-Detroit-contained?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p">Detroit Free Press</a> reports that Marathon officials gave the Detroit Fire Department a &quot;courtesy call&quot; at 8 a.m. this morning:</p><blockquote><p>Smears of dark smoke could be seen from Detroit&rsquo;s east side.</p><p>No Detroit firefighters or equipment were dispatched.</p><p>Marathon officials declined to release details of the fire, but said contractors working in the area left the scene but are now returning. No injuries were reported. Thu, 25 Aug 2011 14:56:57 +0000 Mark Brush 3911 at http://michiganradio.org Fire at Marathon oil refinery in Detroit contained Your Story: Seeing the oil along the Kalamazoo River http://michiganradio.org/post/your-story-seeing-oil-along-kalamazoo-river <p>It happened <a href="http://environmentreport.org/enbridge_oil_spill.php">a year ago</a>. An oil pipeline owned by Enbridge Energy spilled more than 840,000 gallons of tar-sands oil into Talmadge Creek which flows into the Kalamazoo River.</p><p>People were evacuated, the Red Cross set up shelter, and officials were wondering if the spill might reach Lake Michigan (it never did).</p><p>Sasha Acker is a social worker, grad student, and activist living in Kalamazoo, Michigan.</p><p>She sits on the board of the Kalamazoo Peace Center. We asked people to share their experiences with the Enbridge oil spill on our <a href="http://www.facebook.com/michiganradio">Facebook page</a>.</p><p>Acker wrote:</p><blockquote><p><span data-jsid="text">I was skeptical when Enbridge put out a <a href="http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2010/08/02/No-oil-in-Michigan-river-Enbridge-says/UPI-20441280759451/">press release</a> that said that the oil was all cleaned up, so I went to a spot along the river near Battle Creek. I went with a group that picked up gobs and gobs of oil an<span class="text_exposed_show">d video taped it. </span></span></p></blockquote><p>The news story Acker saw was published in August of last year. She told us that her chance to visit the river came this past spring when activists from the <a href="http://theyesmen.org/">Yes Men</a>&nbsp; contacted her about a planned media hoax to draw more attention to the Enbridge oil spill. Fri, 29 Jul 2011 17:00:23 +0000 Mark Brush 3518 at http://michiganradio.org Your Story: Seeing the oil along the Kalamazoo River Life on the Kalamazoo River: suing & settling with Enbridge (part 3) http://michiganradio.org/post/life-kalamazoo-river-suing-settling-enbridge-part-3 <p>A year ago... a ruptured pipeline spewed more than 840,000 gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River.</p><p>The crude oil had a big environmental impact. It also affected the lives of thousands of people living in the spill zone. The pipeline&rsquo;s owners have spent the past year reimbursing many of them for their losses.</p><p>Wayne Groth says the odor of the oil was overpowering the first night. Talmadge Creek runs right past the home he and his wife Sue lived in for 22 years. The oil flowed down Talmadge Creek into the Kalamazoo River.</p><p>Groth says it wasn&rsquo;t long after the spill that clipboard carrying employees of Enbridge started walking through his neighborhood, promising to clean up oil. He says they made another promise too...</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;They said if you&rsquo;re still not happy with the job... you could sell your property to them. They would buy it from us.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p> Thu, 28 Jul 2011 14:20:25 +0000 Steve Carmody 3504 at http://michiganradio.org Life on the Kalamazoo River: suing & settling with Enbridge (part 3) Life on the Kalamazoo River: oil & wildlife (part 2) http://michiganradio.org/post/life-kalamazoo-river-oil-wildlife-part-2 <p>It was the largest inland oil spill in Midwest history... but we still don&rsquo;t know exactly what it will mean for life around the river.</p><p>One year ago, a pipeline owned by Enbridge Energy broke. More than 840,000 gallons of tar sands oil polluted Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River.</p><p>People who were there say the river ran black. Turtles, and muskrats and Great Blue Herons were covered in oil. It&rsquo;s not clear what all this will mean for the river and the wildlife that depends on it.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s really a big unknown. We don&rsquo;t have much experience with oil spills in freshwater rivers in general.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Stephen Hamilton is a professor at Michigan State University.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;This new kind of crude, the tar sands crude oil, with its different chemistry, all makes this a learning experience for everybody involved.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Tar sands oil is very thick, and it has to be diluted in order to move through pipelines. We&rsquo;ve previously reported that federal officials say the nature of this oil has made the cleanup more difficult. In fact, the cleanup has lasted longer than many people expected. The Environmental Protection Agency says there are still significant amounts of submerged oil along 35 miles of the Kalamazoo River.</p><p> Wed, 27 Jul 2011 14:27:13 +0000 Rebecca Williams 3483 at http://michiganradio.org Life on the Kalamazoo River: oil & wildlife (part 2) Leaks and outages bump up Michigan gas prices http://michiganradio.org/post/leaks-and-outages-bump-michigan-gas-prices <p>Gas prices in Michigan are up 17 cents per gallon even though oil prices fell below $100 a barrel Monday.</p><p>Patrick DeHaan is with <a href="http://gasbuddy.com/">gasbuddy.com</a>. He says gas prices in the Great Lakes region are between 30 and 60 cents higher than the national average.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;A rash of refinery and pipeline problems is leading prices higher as already tight gasoline supply becomes even tighter with these refinery and pipeline outages that we&rsquo;ve seen in the last two weeks.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Three refineries in Illinois and two crude suppliers to the Great Lakes region had unexpected problems, including power outages and leaks.</p><p>DeHaan expects Michigan gas prices will go back down in the next couple of weeks.</p><p><em>Emily Fox- Michigan Radio Newsroom</em> Mon, 06 Jun 2011 16:29:49 +0000 Mark Brush 2760 at http://michiganradio.org Leaks and outages bump up Michigan gas prices Michigan gas prices hit record high http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-gas-prices-hit-record-high <p>Michigan gasoline prices have reached a record high. According to <a href="http://www.michigangasprices.com/">GasBuddy.com</a>, the price for a gallon of gasoline has never been this high in Michigan.&nbsp;</p><p>Patrick DeHaan is a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. He says the old record was $4.25 a gallon. DeHaan says the price at the pump in large parts of Michigan is now higher than $4.29 a&nbsp;gallon. He says refinery problems are causing gasoline supplies to drop in the Midwest.</p><p>DeHaan says Michigan motorists should be aware, we may not have reached that peak pump price yet.&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>&nbsp;&ldquo;Whatever you expect&hellip;can change.&nbsp; And so, if there is another issue like this we could see prices continue higher.&nbsp;&nbsp; But history tells us that prices will reach a new peak sometime in May.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>DeHaan does not expect the death this week of Osama bin Laden will have an affect on gas prices. Tue, 03 May 2011 07:01:01 +0000 Steve Carmody 2313 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan gas prices hit record high General Motors hiking car and truck prices http://michiganradio.org/post/general-motors-hiking-car-and-truck-prices <p>Higher commodity prices are translating into higher prices for cars and trucks.</p><p>GM announced their prices will go up - joining Ford and Toyota.</p><p>From the Associated Press:</p><blockquote><p>General Motors says it will raise car and truck prices by an average of $123 per vehicle to make up for its increased oil and metal costs.</p> Tue, 19 Apr 2011 14:57:54 +0000 Mark Brush 2128 at http://michiganradio.org General Motors hiking car and truck prices