oil

Morning Edition
9:18 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Regulating Oil Pre-Buy Contracts: The Dealer Perspective

The head of the state’s Consumer Protections Bureau continues to advocate for changes in state regulations that would give customers more protections when entering oil pre-buy contracts. Rob Stenger, Chairman of the Oil Heat Council of New Hampshire, says while that organization generally supports some changes, they oppose regulations they say would pose undue burden to dealers. When I spoke with Stenger, he began by explaining how the business of pre-buying heating fuel has changed in recent years.

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Morning Edition
11:41 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Heating Oil: Should You Pre-Buy?

The recent log jam in fuel delivery for some customers of Fred Fuller Oil Company has again led to calls for more regulation of what’s known as pre-buy contracts. Senior Assistant Attorney General and the head of the state’s Consumer Protections Bureau James Boffetti this month cautioned consumers that pre-buy agreements don’t provide adequate protection and said his office continues to advocate for changes in state regulations that would give customers better guarantees.

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EarthTalk
12:00 am
Sun May 26, 2013

The Gulf Of Mexico Three Years After BP

Smoke billows over a controlled oil fire off the coast of Venice, Louisiana on May 5, 2010.
Credit Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin E. Stumberg, Department of Defense

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: The three-year anniversary of the 2010 BP oil spill just passed. What do green groups think of the progress since in restoring the region?           -- Mary Johannson, New York, NY

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Around the Nation
6:46 am
Fri April 20, 2012

As Workers Age, Oil Industry Braces For Skills Gap

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. The rig's crew were new to their positions just before the explosion. Such staffing reorganizations are increasingly common as the industry grapples with a staffing shortage.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 9:11 am

Two years after the Deepwater Horizon accident killed 11 men and sent oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, the oil industry says it has learned valuable lessons from the disaster that are making drilling safer today.

But there's still a pressing issue looming for the oil industry: Oil field workers are retiring in huge numbers, leaving a workforce that's younger and — more importantly — less experienced.

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Business
4:03 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Oil Scare Turns FedEx On To Energy Efficiency

A FedEx hybrid delivery truck. In FedEx's fleet of over 90,000 vehicles, 408 are hybrid or electric, and 4,000 are fuel-efficient, lower-emitting "Sprinter" vans.
Courtesy of FedEx Corp.

The rising cost of oil isn't just a hit to the family budget. Businesses are hurt, too. Few are more affected than firms like FedEx. It deploys nearly 700 planes and tens of thousands of trucks and vans every day to deliver packages around the world. And few business leaders are more focused on finding alternatives to petroleum-based fuels than FedEx CEO Fred Smith.

Shortly after Smith founded Federal Express, the 1973 Arab oil embargo almost killed it. The experience imprinted Smith with a keen interest in the price and availability of oil.

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Energy
3:57 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Native Alaskans Divided On State's Oil Drilling Debate

A drilling rig sits on Oooguruk Island off the coast of Alaska's North Slope. The 6-acre island was built by Pioneer Natural Resources so it could drill for oil on the Arctic Ocean.
Steve Quinn AP

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 9:06 am

Shell Oil plans to explore for petroleum off Alaska's north coast this summer. The native people of Alaska have a big stake in both oil revenue and environmental protection. That conflict has played out in recent trips by Inupiats to Washington, D.C., to argue their case.

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Economy
5:00 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Startup Converts Plastic To Oil, And Finds A Niche

JBI CEO John Bordynuik holds a jar of No. 6 fuel oil, derived from discarded plastic like that seen on a conveyor belt at his plant.
Daniel Robison WNED

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 9:58 am

Only 7 percent of plastic waste in the United States is recycled each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. A startup company in Niagara Falls says it can increase that amount and reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil at the same time.

It all starts with a machine known as the Plastic-Eating Monster. Thousands of pounds of shredded milk jugs, water bottles and grocery bags tumble into a large tank, where they're melted together and vaporized. This waste comes from landfills and dumps from all over the United States.

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EarthTalk
12:00 am
Sun March 11, 2012

Cuba's Foray into Offshore Oil Drilling

Wikipedia/Haakman

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Cuba just began drilling for oil not far from U.S. shores and hopes to become a major exporter. What ramifications does this have for the environment? -- Betsy Shaw, Troy, NY

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Energy
12:01 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Is U.S. Energy Independence Finally Within Reach?

A worker hangs from an oil derrick near Williston, N.D. The state now produces 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day, and production continues to rise.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 8:17 pm

Rising gas prices have been the big energy story of the past several weeks. But many energy experts say that's a sideshow compared with the really big energy event — the huge boom in oil and natural gas production in the U.S. that could help the nation reach the elusive goal of energy independence.

Since the Arab oil embargo of 1973, energy independence has been a Holy Grail for virtually every American president from Richard Nixon to Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama.

But now, it might just be within reach.

The Shale Gale

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Around the Nation
4:24 pm
Sat March 3, 2012

Settlement Only The First Step In BP's Legal Woes

A cross with the words "Promises Made"-- referring to statements from BP and government officials — stands in front of a pile of crosses symbolizing things that were impacted by the spill, in a front yard in Grand Isle, La.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 5:09 pm

Oil giant BP has agreed to settle thousands of lawsuits stemming from its well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

The deal was announced late Friday and prompted a federal judge in New Orleans to postpone a Monday trial, but the proposed settlement solves only one piece of BP's legal exposure from the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

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National
3:21 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

President Obama Talks Energy In Nashua

President Obama Visits Nashua Calls For Foreign Oil Independence
Josh Rogers

 President Barack Obama was in New Hampshire today talking about energy. As New Hampshire Public Radio’s Josh Rogers reports, the president said the country needs to increase oil production while also investing in newer sources of energy.

Billed an official visit, at times the President’s stop had the feel of campaign rally. Mr. Obama told the crowd he knew NH’s "political bull detector" was sharp, and urged voters to be wary of election year promises.

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Middle East
3:13 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Iran Can Disrupt Key Waterway, But For How Long?

The USS Abraham Lincoln sailed from the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday. This photo was taken from the bridge of the aircraft carrier and shows U.S. aircraft parked on its flight deck. In the background, a U.S. destroyer patrols.
Hassan Ammar AP

The dispute over Iran's nuclear program has again rocked oil markets. And Iran is threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, which is just 34 miles wide yet serves as the passageway for 20 percent of the world's oil.

This is not a new drama. In fact, it was a recurring issue in the 1980s. Still, there's been relatively little activity among Gulf oil producers to find alternative routes to get their oil to market.

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North Country
5:03 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Can An Automatic Pellet Boiler Lure Consumers Away From Heating Oil?

Peter Canning of Berlin figures he'll save enough on heating in three years to recoup the $5,000 his new boiler cost. He's participating in the Model Neighborhood Project.
Chris Jensen for NHPR

A pilot project in Berlin is helping homeowners get sophisticated boilers that are automatically fed wood pellets.

The idea is to persuade people throughout the region that they can save money and say goodbye to oil while bolstering the region’s forest economy.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

 

Peter Canning is in basement of his home on a hillside overlooking Berlin.

He’s showing off his new wood-pellet boiler.

“You can open up down in the bottom here. I can show you how the pellets come in if you want to kneel down here and take a peek.”

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U.S.
4:24 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

U.S. Watches Closely As Oil Drilling Begins Off Cuba

Fishermen work near the Scarabeo-9 oil rig off the coast of Cuba. U.S. officials are concerned about the potential impact in the case of a spill.
Javier Galeano AP

There are big plans for oil exploration in the Caribbean, not far off the coast of Florida. A Spanish company recently began drilling in Cuban waters — just 55 miles from Key West.

The well is the first of several exploratory wells planned in Cuba and the Bahamas. The drilling has officials and researchers in Florida scrambling to make plans for how they'll respond in case of a spill.

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EarthTalk
12:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Oil vs. Natural Gas for Home Heating

iStock/Thinkstock

 

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that gas furnaces cost less to run and burn cleaner than their oil counterparts? If I make the switch, how long should I expect it to take for me to pay back my initial investment? And are there any greener options I should consider?  -- Veronica Austin, Boston, MA

 

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