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PRESS ROOM: New Report Shows Robust Natural Gas and Oil Industry Commitment to Workplace Safety

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Safety has always been paramount to the natural gas and oil industry. As this report demonstrates, the industry’s leading workplace safety record reflects our commitment to safe and healthy working environments,” said Debra Phillips, vice president of API Global Industry Services (GIS).

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Employees of the natural gas and oil industry experience injuries and illnesses at a rate substantially below the U.S. private sector due to industry practices and commitment to safety

WASHINGTON – API today released its comprehensive Workplace Safety Report showing that occupational injuries and illness for the natural gas and oil industry occur at a substantially lower rate than the U.S. private sector and are continuing to decline.

“Safety has always been paramount to the natural gas and oil industry. As this report demonstrates, the industry’s leading workplace safety record reflects our commitment to safe and healthy working environments,” said Debra Phillips, vice president of API Global Industry Services (GIS). “With strong industry leadership, we continue to enhance our approach to training, prevention and continuous improvement – incorporating advanced technologies, materials and practices as we strive toward our industry-wide goal of zero incidents.”

Industry’s safety initiatives are recognized by the chief authorities on safety, including the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which has incorporated a number of API’s recommended practices for workplace safety into the agency’s own standards. The Workplace Safety Report compares the safety rates of job-related nonfatal injuries and illnesses of the U.S. natural gas and oil industry with comparable U.S. industries. Information in the report is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Data from the Workplace Safety Report includes:

  • The 2017 industry rate of job-related nonfatal injuries and illnesses was 1.7 incidents per 100 full-time workers versus 2.8 incidents for the U.S. private sector.
  • The industry’s incidence rate has decreased by 41 percent since 2008. The private sector’s rate decreased by 28 percent since 2008.
  • The 2017 incidence rate for exploration and production was 1.1 (offshore was 0.6) per 100 full-time workers compared to 1.5 for U.S. mining sector.
  • Pipeline infrastructure is an extremely safe way to transport natural gas and oil products. The pipeline rate rounds to 0.0 for almost every year, including 2017, compared to the 2017 rate of 4.6 for all of U.S. transportation and warehousing.

In addition to releasing its report, API was proud to partner with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for “Safe+Sound Week” a nationwide event in August of 2018 to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of safety and health programs. This includes management leadership, worker participation and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards in workplaces. API also published a handbook, “Rules to Live By,” that contains fundamental safety reminders for workers and employers. Each page of the handbook may be printed as a poster to remind workers of important safety tips while doing things such as working at heights, implementing stop work authority or driving safely.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the natural gas and oil industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 47 million Americans.

City Government

A New Mayor in 2022 Must Take Major Steps in Their First 100 Days

In 2022, the voters of Oakland will have an opportunity to elect the next mayor for our city.  The Mayor of Oakland is the head of the executive branch, in charge of implementing actions and laws that have been passed by Council and community.

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Hands place ballot envelope into a ballot box/ Arnaud Jaegars via Unsplash

In 2022, the voters of Oakland will have an opportunity to elect the next mayor for our city.  The Mayor of Oakland is the head of the executive branch, in charge of implementing actions and laws that have been passed by Council and community.

The mayor also selects and hires the city administrator, appoints members of key boards and commissions and sets the direction for the administrative branch of government, thus having a major impact on what action gets taken.

In recent years, the City Council has adopted numerous laws and funded positions and projects – many of which have not been implemented, such as providing gun tracing and cracking down on illegal guns, civilianizing special events, providing pro-active illegal dumping remediation, a public lands policy to prioritize affordable housing, direction to provide healthier alternative locations to respond to homelessness, and many more.

In order to ensure that we build a safer and healthier future for Oakland, it is vitally important to ensure that we elect leadership for the executive branch with the dedication and commitment to take the actions needed to fulfill the needs of our communities.  

With serious struggles facing our communities, it is vital that the next mayor take immediate action in their first hundred days – and so, I am undertaking to provide proposals regarding what the next mayor can, and should, do in their first 100 days in office.  

These efforts will need to include recruitment and retention for the workforce, effective relationships with county government and neighboring cities to solve common problems, working with stakeholders including to expand equitable economic development and housing for all income levels, presenting and passing proposals at Council and bringing in and properly stewarding the finances needed.  

Even within the first 100 days, a mayor can accomplish a great deal, including taking action to implement vitally needed services that already have Council authorization and thus can be brought about more quickly.

This is the first installment, listing of some of the first items that the next mayor can and should do to build a healthier Oakland, and which should be factors in our decision-making in the year ahead.

 

1.     Ensure implementation of the directive to prioritize stopping the flow of illegal guns and stopping gun violence, including implementing gun tracing, tracking and shutting down sources of illegal guns, and providing immediate response to shooting notifications.

2.     Remove blight and illegal dumping, implement pro-active removal of blight rather than waiting for complaints, incorporate blight removal throughout city efforts (rewards program, summer jobs program, etc).  Clear up backlog and establish a new normal that it is not okay to dump on Oakland.

3.     Provide healthier alternatives for homeless solutions, including safe parking/managed RV sites and sanitation/dump sites, to reduce public health risks. Partner with the County and others.

4.     Implement previously approved Council direction to switch to the use of civilians (rather than sworn police) to manage parades and special events.  Help ensure community and cultural events can go forward without excess costs undermining them. Strengthen the arts and economy and equity of event permitting system and ensure that expensive police resources are directed where they are needed, rather than wasted on watching parades.

5.     Implement previously approved public lands policy to ensure using public lands for public needs, with a priority for affordable housing.

6.     Make it easier for local residents and small businesses to grow, build and expand by providing coherent and simplified permitting and by implementing the Council-funded direction to provide evening and weekend hours and easy online access, to allow people to do projects like adding Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and make other renovations and construction projects more timely.

7.     Work with stakeholders and community to advance effective and equitable revitalization of the large public properties at and around the Oakland Coliseum, including with housing for all income levels, jobs and business development, sports and entertainment, conventions and hotels.

8.     Work to speed the filling of vacancies in needed city staff positions and improve recruitment, retention and local hiring, to help provide vitally needed services, including for cleanup, parks upkeep, gun tracing, and other needs.

9.     Fire prevention and climate resiliency.  Our region is facing growing dangers from climate change and fire risk, and we must take action to reduce and remedy risk and protect our communities with a more resilient future, including by planning for and starting fire prevention and brush remediation activities earlier in the year, improving brush removal on public land as well as private, fully staffing the fire department and improving public infrastructure to protect cleaner air and reduce risks.

10.  Job training and pathways.  Some industries face challenges finding enough prepared workers while many in our community also need access to quality jobs.  Support and connect job training programs and quality job policies with growing sectors and ensure Oaklanders are prepared for vital openings in needed jobs while allowing our community to thrive.

 

 

 

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Bay Area

PG&E Continues to See Scams on the Rise in Bay Area

With utility scams continuing to peak during the current pandemic, PG&E urges customers to be vigilant and to know what steps to take to prevent themselves or their families from falling victim.

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PG&E Truck/Photo courtesy of PG&E

Courtesy of PG&E

With utility scams continuing to peak during the current pandemic, PG&E urges customers to be vigilant and to know what steps to take to prevent themselves or their families from falling victim.

Throughout the pandemic, scammers have become increasingly deceptive and have increased calls, texts, emails, and in-person tactics. They are contacting electric and gas customers asking for immediate payment to avoid service disconnection. These impostors can be convincing and often target those who are most vulnerable, including senior citizens, those with limited English proficiency and low-income communities. 

There have been more than 2,700 attempted scams reported to PG&E’s customer service line since June 2021, and the most common scam is a demand of immediate payment via a pre-paid debit card to avoid shutoff. 

Cities with the highest rates of reports are San Francisco (214), Santa Rosa (152), Bakersfield (133) and Fresno (100). Unfortunately, this number only represents reported scams.

However, with the right information, customers can learn to detect and report these predatory scams.

“Remember, PG&E will never ask for your financial information over the phone or via email. If you receive a call or email that demands immediate payment, please call our customer service line or visit PGE.com to access your account details,” said Matt Foley, PG&E senior corporate security specialist.

PG&E will never contact a customer for the first time within one hour of a service disconnection and will never ask customers to make payments with a pre-paid debit card, gift card, any form of cryptocurrency, or third-party digital payment mobile applications. Here are some steps customers can take to protect themselves and their families against being victimized:

Some steps people can take to protect themselves:

  • Visit PGE.com and register for My Account. Signing in will provide instant access to balance information, payment history and other account details and will provide a first line of defense against scammers.
  • If a customer receives a call from someone requesting immediate payment, they can log in to My Account to confirm whether their account is in good standing.
  • Customers can also call PG&E Customer Service at 800-743-5000 if they think that they are being targeted by a scam.
  • As an added layer of protection, customers can designate family members or another trusted individual to speak on their behalf to PG&E call center representatives.
  • To designate an individual to speak to PG&E on your behalf, contact 800-743-5000.

Signs of a potential scam:

  • Threat to disconnect: Scammers may aggressively demand immediate payment for an alleged past due bill. If this occurs, customers should hang up the phone, delete the email, or shut the door. Customers with delinquent accounts receive an advance disconnection notification, typically by mail and included with their regular monthly bill.
  • Request for immediate payment or a prepaid card: Scammers may instruct the customer to purchase a prepaid card then call them back supposedly to make a bill payment. PG&E reminds customers that they should never purchase a prepaid card to avoid service disconnection or shutoff.
  • Refund or rebate offers: Scammers may say that your utility company overbilled you and owes you a refund, or that you are entitled to a rebate. Again, customers should immediately hang up and call PG&E Customer Service to confirm details.
  • “Spoofing” Authentic Numbers: Scammers are now able to create authentic looking 800 numbers which appear on your phone display. The numbers don’t lead back to PG&E if called back, however, so if you have doubts or have seen any of the above warning signs of a scam, hang up and call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. 

For more information about scams, visit www.pge.com and www.utilitiesunited.org.

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Bay Area

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm Visits Bay Area

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) welcomed U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm last Friday to California’s 13th Congressional District for two events highlighting innovative responses to the global climate crisis.

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Jennifer Granholm

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) welcomed U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm last Friday to California’s 13th Congressional District for two events highlighting innovative responses to the global climate crisis.

Congresswoman Lee and Secretary Granholm, a former UC Berkeley faculty member, first toured the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to hear from the nation’s leading scientists about their efforts to discover new technologies, ensure a clean and sustainable water supply, decarbonize the planet and solve the climate crisis.

Following the tour and discussions with scientists such as Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna, Congresswoman Lee and Secretary Granholm joined East Bay mayors and other local officials at a solar-powered Berkeley home to promote the Department of Energy’s Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP+), an online tool helps local governments cut red tape on the review and approval of residential solar power.

State Senator Nancy Skinner, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and other local leaders participated in the event at the home of Berkeley resident Pablo Diaz-Gutierrez. With the sky covered in gray smoke from the California’s massive wildfires, Congresswoman Lee, Secretary Granholm, and local leaders spoke about the importance of residential solar power at a time when threat of fire is causing shutdowns of traditional power sources across the state.

“Here in California, we’re experiencing the climate emergency first-hand. We have lost so many homes and lives – and entire towns – to wildfires over the last few years,” said Congresswoman Lee. 

“We know that these unprecedented fires are driven by climate change. We also know that communities of color are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis both here and around the world,” she said.

“Increasing access to residential solar in communities like Oakland and Berkeley – where certain neighborhoods have experienced generations of environmental racism – helps to keep us on the path to justice. I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Granholm and President Biden to build back bolder and address the climate crisis with the urgency that it deserves.”

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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