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San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) has hired federal pipeline safety expert Lane Miller to be director of codes, standards and training at the combination utility. Formerly the director of training and qualifications for the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in the U.S. Department of Transportation, Miller will lead training and qualifications for PG&E's gas operators, which have been under scrutiny for more than four years following a natural gas transmission pipeline failure in suburban San Bruno, CA. At PHMSA, Miller was involved in the design and oversight of the agency's training center. An Oklahoma State University petroleum engineering graduate, Miller will help guide the direction and development of a gas operations technical training center PG&E plans to open next year.

Following its previously announced plan, SM Energy Co. said Anthony J. Best has retired and the company has appointed Javan (Jay) D. Ottoson as president and CEO, effective Feb. 1. Best will complete his current term as a member of the board of directors and does not plan to stand for re-election at the company's upcoming annual meeting.

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