As the oil and gas industry has grown to employ over half a million oil and gas workers nationwide, the number of fatalities has grown as well. In 2013, 112 oil and gas workers died on the job; the year before, 142. Nationwide, oil and gas workers are still six times more likely to be killed on the job than the average American.
Texas had the most fatalities overall in 2011 and 2012 – 106 – but, according to a new analysis by Inside Energy, North Dakota had the highest fatal injury rate in the country, 75 deaths per 100,000 workers. That's three times higher than the national rate for oil and gas fatalities.
Which raises a question, how bad does it have to get before regulators and elected officials step in and do something?
The mountains surrounding New Castle, Colorado are on fire. But don’t panic. They’re always on fire, under the surface, out of sight.
The town, 12 miles west of Glenwood Springs and an inevitable stop along I-70, is home to some of the oldest burning coal seam fires in the country. While the fires themselves smolder underground, barren scars on the mountain sides are a reminder of their presence.
The coal industry made its presence known in Pittsburgh this week for public hearings on President Obama's controversial plan to address climate change. A key element is rules the Environmental Protection Agency proposed in June. They would cut greenhouse gas emissions — chiefly carbon dioxide — from existing power plants. The national goal is 30 percent by 2030, based on 2005 levels.
By Stephanie Joyce - Wyoming Public Media & Inside Energy
The predicted effects of continuing to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at current rates range from dramatic sea level rise to extreme weather to famine and drought. Power plants are among the largest carbon dioxide emitters, and June 2, the Obama administration is scheduled to release new rules regulating those emissions.
Utilities and trade groups are already warning those rules will have some dire consequences of their own.
New details of the incident from the Mine Safety and Health Administration were released Monday. The agency says in a statement that "preliminary information" indicates "that a miner entered an area of the mine where an explosive had been previously detonated."