energy

Cheryl DalPozzal / It's New Orleans

Everybody likes to think they're important, but here in Louisiana we really are. Two sectors of our local economy are major components of the national, and global, economy: oil and gas, and renewable energy.

Outside of the oil companies who physically drill for oil, there is a huge industry of companies who do everything else — from building oil rigs to delivering groceries to the men and women who work on them.

One of the biggest offshore support companies in the world is headquartered here in New Orleans. Tidewater.

One person has been killed and three injured in an explosion on an offshore oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Officials say the platform is 12 miles off the Louisiana coast.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement says it appears there’s no oil spilled in the Gulf, and damage was limited to the platform, which was not in production.

Officials says Fieldwood Energy — based in Houston — reported the explosion on its Echo Platform just before 3 p.m. yesterday.

No statement yet from the company.

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline project to expand an oil pipeline running from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico has failed the approval of Congress, after the Senate voted against the project Tuesday. The House passed its version of the bill Friday.

An early tally showed 35 for and 30 against the bill; subsequent calls for senators' votes failed to net the 60 votes needed for passage. The decisive 41st "No" vote came with 55 votes in favor, and the final tally was 59-41.

Ari Moore / Flickr

Natural gas is abundant and relatively cheap along the Gulf Coast, since it's drilled nearby. It's also the key ingredient in producing methanol.

Methanol is a chemical that is used to make plywood, foam, paints, adhesives and other common household products. South Louisiana Methanol is slated to be the biggest plant to make it. The final hurdle to business was finding a local natural gas provider.

U.S. Department of Energy

Two leading officials in the Energy and Interior Departments have gotten their first look at the oil production facilities along the Louisiana coast. They got a bird’s eye view of the energy facilities at work, and the threat they face from coastal erosion.

It wasn’t that long ago that the idea surfaced to use the power of the Mississippi River as a source for energy. But it turns out that turbines placed near New Orleans weren’t going to be that effective after all. So some smart folks at Tulane University have come up with other ideas.

The Bossier Chamber of Commerce will host an energy analyst Wednesday who will give a forecast on natural gas development in northwest Louisiana and across the nation.

Matthew Koch, vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s institute for 21st Century Energy, says natural gas is well positioned to lead the U.S. energy sector.

Chemical companies rely on it and demand from exports is brisk, according to Koch. With Louisiana’s energy infrastructure in place, he says the Haynesville Shale natural gas deposit will be busy again.

An East Texas organization will protest TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline Wednesday. NacSTOP aims to draw attention to the dangers of transporting tar sands crude. The group was organized three years ago to stall construction on the Keystone XL Pipeline that runs from Cushing, Okla., to refineries along the Gulf Coast.

Some Plaquemines Parish residents and environmental groups are suing to stop a coal terminal proposed for Myrtle Grove. The state says the project should continue.

Office of Senator Mary Landrieu

Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is joining forces with Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over energy revenue sharing.

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