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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Oil Leak, Ethanol Mandate, EPA Delays Listening Sessions

North Dakota regulators said their initial investigations suggest corrosion as a cause of Tesoro Logistics LP’s 20,600-barrel oil leak in the state. The company’s six-inch pipeline was carrying crude oil from the Bakken shale to the Stampede rail facility outside Columbus, N.D. when a farmer noticed the spill on September 29, Reuters reports. The state did not disclose the spill for 11 days, but officials say no water was contaminated or wildlife hurt, the Associated Press reports.

The EPA tried to downplay reports that it is considering deep cuts to the ethanol blend mandate in 2014, saying it only has a draft proposal and no decision would be made without a full comment period. Ethanol group Growth Energy called for the Justice Department and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to investigate the leaked documents that sparked media reports, Reuters reports.

France’s highest court, the Constitutional Council, upheld the country’s ban on hydraulic fracturing. The court ruled against a challenge by US company Schuepbach Energy, which lost its exploration permits after the French parliament enacted the ban, the New York Times reports.

The Energy Information Administration was due to furlough its staff by last Friday evening because of the government shutdown, the Hill reports. The EIA will not publish energy information reports, and its website will not be updated. Survey respondents should continue to submit data, though it will not be processed until after the furlough.

The EPA has postponed the first two of its “listening” sessions on proposed carbon standards: an October 15 session in Boston and an October 18 event in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced a resolution calling on the agency to include the 15 biggest coal-producing states on the tour, and her resolution quickly gathered 17 co-sponsors.

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