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Video: Residents forced to leave after Californian gas leak

Footage has shown a gas leak which has been erupting from an energy facility in California. According to reports, more than 1,000 families have been forced to relocate as noxious fumes continue to filter into the air following the natural gas leak at a storage facility in California’s Aliso Canyon.

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Watchdog group takes action against Californian coastal agency

A watchdog group has sued a California coastal agency as it looks to overturn its decision to allow 1,632 tonnes of radioactive waste from a close nuclear power plant to be buried in containers not far from a beach. Citizen Oversight has asked a San Diego Superior Court to reverse an October ruling by the California Coastal Commission that Southern California Edison could bury uranium fuel rod assemblies in steel casks on the property of the San Onofore Nuclear Generating Station. The facility had closed in 2012 after unexpected equipment failures.

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California shuts down more oilfield wells

The US State of California has shut down 33 oilfield wells which were allegedly improperly permitted to inject into federally protected water supplies. The move was put into effect late last week affecting oilfield injection wells in the state’s Kern County.

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State review says Californian oversight of oil well injection sites ‘inadequate’

California's oversight of wells where oil companies dispose of wastewater brought to the surface is hindered by inadequate staffing and poorly organized paper records, a state review of the program said Thursday. In a report to the state legislature, California's Department of Conservation (DOC) found that wastewater injection wells also suffer from inconsistent permitting, monitoring and enforcement of their construction and operation, among other problems. "The division hasn't owned up to its responsibilities as a regulator in the past, but we are rapidly moving towards doing that," Steve Bohlen, head of California's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, which oversees the state's drilling activities, said on a conference call with reporters.

Oil & Gas

ExxonMobil sells Torrance refinery to PBF Energy

ExxonMobil has struck a deal with PBF Energy for the sale of its refinery in California. The company said in addition to the facility at Torrance the agreement also includes a lubricant distribution centre at Vernon, a products terminal at Vernon and Atwood and associated Californian pipelines and other logistics assets. The move is expected to affect 700 staff members and 700 contractors who work at the refinery and associated facilities.

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California lawmakers just gutted Brown’s climate bills. So what?

Jerry Brown’s dreams of cutting California’s gasoline use in half and imposing a stricter limit on greenhouse-gas emissions may have died on the legislative floor last week. But they live on elsewhere. There are plenty of ways for the four-term governor to achieve his goals with an end-run around the legislature. For one, Brown has state agencies under his control already entrusted with his climate change mission. And he suggested last week that he’s ready to use them to achieve his targets. The California Air Resources Board that runs the state’s carbon market and other programs aimed at curbing pollution“has all the power that it has had, and it will continue to exercise that power, certainly as long as I’m governor,” Brown said during a press conference with reporters Sept. 9.


Californian pipeline to remain closed until strict measures taken

Safety officials have warned owners of the oil pipeline which ruptured last week that numerous measures must be taken before the line can be restarted. Work needed includes an in-depth analysis of the factors which may have contributed to the spill. The corrective action order was issued just a few days after the incident by the US Transportation Department's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration.

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California oil spill could take months to clean-up

An oil spill from a pipeline which has closed two California state beaches could take months to restore to its natural condition. Around 2,500 barrels of crude petroleum hit the San Refugio State Beach about 20 miles west of Santa Barbara when an underground pipeline running along the coastal highway burst. A fifth of the estimated amount was believed to have reached the ocean, and left oil slicks which were stretched for more than nine miles.