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Call to Action for a Truly Sustainable Renewable Future
August 8, 2013 – 5:07 pm | No Comment

-Include high octane/high ethanol Regular Grade fuel in EPA Tier 3 regulations.
-Use a dedicated, self-reducing non-renewable carbon user fee to fund renewable energy R&D.
-Start an Apollo-type program to bring New Ideas to sustainable biofuel and …

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Home » Business News/Analysis, Colorado, Federal Agency, Federal Regulation, Labor, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Wyoming

Oil and Gas Companies Stiff 29,000 Workers Out of $40 Million

Submitted by on April 11, 2016 – 10:46 amNo Comment

by  Alan Neuhauser (US News and World Report)  America’s fracking boom promised big paychecks, but thousands of workers were exploited, the Labor Department says. —  … Despite booming industry profits and record oil and gas output – which together rejuvenated the country’s economy and transformed the U.S. into the world’s top oil and gas producer in 2014 and 2015 – companies misclassified their workers and failed to pay them required overtime, even as they put in long workdays in often dangerous conditions.

“We continue to find unacceptably high numbers of violations in the oil and gas industry,” Betty Campbell, regional administrator for the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest, said in a statement.

The most recent violations were announced last month, when more than 2,500 employees for four companies – Jet Specialties, Frank’s International, Viking Onshore Drilling and Stream-Flo USA – were found to be owed $1.6 million in back wages.

Violations ranged from failing to pay production bonuses to wrongly considering employees as “exempt” from overtime requirements, paying them flat salaries regardless of how many hours they worked.

“Investigations in the [Northeast] region in 2012 revealed that the violations were widespread,” says Robin Mallett, a Wage and Hour Division district director in Houston, whose office led two of the most recent investigations in March. The initiative rapidly spread west, involving offices in Chicago and Texas.

Mallett stopped short of saying whether the violations were systemic. But jobs were often not nearly as lucratively as they seemed, she says.

“Even though they have a reputation, the industry, for paying high wages,” Mallett says, “sometimes the economic reality of it is the workers are receiving these hefty paychecks simply because of the sheer number of hours that they’re working – really it was not that high a rate of pay.”  READ MORE

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