Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Biden administration considers expanding Alaskan oil and gas drilling ban 

(WO) – On July 12, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced it is seeking public opinion on whether or not to expand so-called “protected” areas in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve (NPR-A). If enacted, the measure would expand on the Biden administration’s recent ban on new oil and gas drilling projects in the region.

BLM is looking for input on whether to add additional protection measures by identifying additional significant resource values in existing Special Areas, expanding Special Areas, or creating new Special Areas within the NPR-A, according to an online statement.

Under the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act (NPRPA) of 1976, BLM is required to “balance” oil and gas development with protected “special areas” in Alaska. According to BLM, “the final rule updates the existing regulatory framework, adopted more than 40 years ago, allowing the BLM to respond more effectively to changing conditions in the NPR-A."

In April 2024, the Biden administration formally limited oil and gas drilling across 13 million acres of the 23-million-acre NPR-A. Leasing is also blocked 10.6 million acres. The move has brought wide condemnation from the oil and gas industry on concerns over harnessing U.S. resources to improve energy security at a time of geopolitical uncertainty.

The region is suspected to hold close to 9 Bbbl of recoverable resources. Earlier this month, ConocoPhillips sued the Biden administration over it’s Alaskan drilling ban. The company operated nearly 2 million acres in the state.

The commentary period will last for 60 days.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

JD Vance becomes Donald Trump's VP pick at 2024 RNC: Watch full Ohio del...

BREAKING NEWS: ExxonMobil unveils 30-well drilling campaign for seventh oil and gas project offshore Guyana 

(WO) – Reuters has reported that ExxonMobil is planning a potential 30-well drilling campaign for its seventh oil and gas project offshore Guyana, named Hammerhead.

ExxonMobil's Liza Destiny

Hammerhead aims to start production in 2029, boosting Guyana's oil production capacity to over 1.4 MMbpd.

Exxon, along with partners Hess Corp and China's CNOOC, expects Hammerhead to produce between 120,000 and 180,000 bpd, which is less than the 250,000 bpd from its largest vessels offshore Guyana.

The project will include a floating production unit, converted from a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), capable of storing 1.4 to 2 MMboe. This unit will be located 15 km (9 miles) southwest of Exxon's Liza Destiny vessel.

According to ExxonMobil’s website, Hammerhead was discovered in August 2018. Hammerhead is ExxonMobil’s ninth oil discovery in the prolific Stabroek Block offshore Guyana.

This story was originally reported by Reuters.

Monday, July 15, 2024

FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh announces resignation 

NEW YORK CITY - Laura Kavanagh announced on Saturday she would be stepping down as commissioner.

Kavanagh said in an email she is going to pursue other opportunities.

Mayor Adams appointed Kavanagh in 2022.

A separate statement from Adams shared with Fox News Digital bolstered that claim, saying the city "respects her decision."

"Commissioner Kavanagh has dedicated her life to keeping New Yorkers safe and while we’ve made it clear that she could have kept this position for as long as she wanted, we respect her decision to take the next step in her career," Adams said.

She was the first female commissioner in the 159-year history of the FDNY.

Kavanagh has come under fire of late, with criticism coming from both inside and outside FDNY walls.

Most recently, Kavanagh was jeered while marching in the annual NYC St. Patrick's Day parade in March, after she promised to "hunt" down protesting firefighters who booed Attorney General Letitia James during an FDNY ceremony a week before the parade.<div>FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. (Theodore Parisienne/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)</div>

FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. (Theodore Parisienne/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

In 2023, she was hit with an age discrimination lawsuit that alleged she targeted older top FDNY staffers with demotions, retaliation and forced retirements.

Several high-level staffers in their late 50s and early 60s sued Kavanagh for unspecified damages, back pay and the return of job titles under the state’s human rights laws, according to a 53-page lawsuit filed in the Brooklyn state Supreme Court first published by the New York Post.

The lawsuit claimed staff members were forced to work in a hostile and retaliatory work environment.

"While the decision I have made over the last month has been a hard one, I’m confident that it is time for me to pass the torch to the next leader of the finest Fire Department in the world," Kavanagh said in her resignation statement.

"I look forward to spending the next several months assisting the department’s transition in leadership, before embarking on my next professional challenge. Thank you Mayor Adams for the opportunity you gave me and for your continued support of me and the FDNY," she added.

"It has been the honor of a lifetime to devote the last 10 years — five as first deputy commissioner and more than two as commissioner — to advocating for the men and women of the FDNY."

Kavanagh says she will stay on the job while they find her a replacement.

Fox News Digital's Andrew Mark Miller and Andrea Vachianno contributed to this report.

God Bless America!

Friday, July 12, 2024

AT&T says criminals stole phone records of ‘nearly all’ customers in new data breach

a shopper walks past an AT&T sign outside a store in PA. 

U.S. phone giant AT&T confirmed Friday it will begin notifying millions of consumers about a fresh data breach that allowed cybercriminals to steal the phone records of “nearly all” of its customers, a company spokesperson told TechCrunch.

In a statement, AT&T said that the stolen data contains phone numbers of both cellular and landline customers, as well as AT&T records of calls and text messages — such as who contacted who by phone or text — during a six-month period between May 1, 2022 and October 31, 2022. 

AT&T said some of the stolen data includes more recent records from January 2, 2023 for a smaller but unspecified number of customers.

The stolen data also includes call records of customers with phone service from other cell carriers that rely on AT&T’s network, the company said. 

AT&T said the stolen data “does not contain the content of calls or texts,” but does include calling and texting records that an AT&T phone number interacted with during the six-month period, as well as the total count of a customer’s calls and texts, and call durations — information that is often referred to as metadata. The stolen data does not include the time or date of calls or texts, AT&T said.

Some of the stolen records include cell site identification numbers associated with phone calls and text messages, information that can be used to determine the approximate location of where a call was made or text message sent.

In all, the phone giant said it will notify around 110 million AT&T customers of the data breach, company spokesperson Andrea Huguely told TechCrunch. 

AT&T published a website with information for customers about the data incident. AT&T also disclosed the data breach in a filing with regulators before the market opened on Friday.

Breach linked to Snowflake

AT&T said it learned of the data breach on April 19, and that it was unrelated to its earlier security incident in March. 

AT&T’s Huguely told TechCrunch that the most recent compromise of customer records were stolen from the cloud data giant Snowflake during a recent spate of data thefts targeting Snowflake’s customers.

Snowflake allows its corporate customers, like tech companies and telcos, to analyze huge amounts of customer data in the cloud. It’s not clear for what reason AT&T was storing customer data in Snowflake, and the spokesperson would not say.

AT&T is the latest company in recent weeks to confirm it had data stolen from Snowflake, following Ticketmaster and LendingTree subsidiary QuoteWizard, and others.

Snowflake blamed the data thefts on its customers for not using multi-factor authentication to secure their Snowflake accounts, a security feature that the cloud data giant did not enforce or require its customers to use. 

Cybersecurity incident response firm Mandiant, which Snowflake called in to help with notifying customers, later said about 165 Snowflake customers had a “significant volume of data” stolen from their customer accounts

Mandiant attributed the breach to an as-yet-uncategorized cybercriminal group tracked only as UNC5537. Mandiant’s researchers say the hackers are financially motivated and have members in North America and at least one member in Turkey. 

Some of the other corporate victims of the Snowflake account thefts had data subsequently published on known cybercrime forums. For AT&T’s part, the company said that it does not believe that the data is publicly available at this time.

AT&T’s statement said it was working with law enforcement to arrest the cybercriminals involved in the breach. AT&T said that “at least one person has been apprehended.” AT&T’s spokesperson said that the arrested individual was not an AT&T employee, but deferred questions about the alleged criminals to the FBI.

An FBI spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch on Friday that after the phone giant contacted the agency to report the breach, AT&T, the FBI and the Department of Justice agreed to delay notifying the public and customers on two occasions, citing “potential risks to national security and/or public safety.”

“AT&T, FBI, and DOJ worked collaboratively through the first and second delay process, all while sharing key threat intelligence to bolster FBI investigative equities and to assist AT&T’s incident response work,” the FBI spokesperson said.

The FBI did not comment on the arrest of one of the alleged cybercriminals.

This is the second security incident AT&T has disclosed this year. AT&T was forced to reset the account passcodes of millions of its customers after a cache of customer account information — including encrypted passcodes for accessing AT&T customer accounts — was published on a cybercrime forum. A security researcher told TechCrunch at the time that the encrypted passcodes could be easily decrypted, prompting AT&T to take precautionary action to protect customer accounts