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Downeast LNG Inc. (DELNG) has received authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy to export liquefied natural gas to free trade agreement (FTA) countries from its terminal proposed for Washington County, ME. Downeast also is seeking authority to export to non-FTA countries (see Daily GPIOct. 24, 2014). DELNG made its pre-filing request at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the Robbinston, ME, project last summer (see Daily GPIJuly 23, 2014).

The California Energy Commission (CEC) on Monday laid out a roadmap for increasing energy efficiency in existing commercial and residential buildings in the state. Collectively, those structures represent more than half of the annual natural gas load in the state, along with 70% of the electrical consumption. A plan with five goals and strategies for achieving them was unveiled to accelerate improvements in energy performance in existing building stock to support Gov. Jerry Brown's goal of doubling the state's progress in building efficiencies. The plan calls for both public- and private-sector financial assistance for property owners to achieve increased energy savings.

The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed legislation that would allow operators drilling the Marcellus Shale and other shallower formations to pool landowners into units. HB 2688 passed the chamber 60-40 and now heads to the state Senate for consideration. Similar measures have failed for years over concerns about property rights. Currently, forced pooling is allowed for deep wells below the Marcellus, such as the Utica Shale. The legislation would require drillers to acquire or lease at least 80% of the net acreage in a proposed unit (see Shale Daily, Feb. 18). Pooling allows an operator to gather both consenting and nonconsenting landowners into a unit in which they share royalties and production costs.

The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects has closed due to lack of funding (see Daily GPIDec. 29, 2014). Its website, arcticgas.gov, is being maintained, but not updated, by the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, with assistance of Alaska Resources Library & Information Services at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Much of the office's work also can be accessed online at The Pipe Files, a searchable digital library of hundreds of Alaska gasline project documents going back to the 1970s. Congress created the Office of the Federal Coordinator in 2004 to help expedite and coordinate federal permitting for construction of a pipeline to move Alaska North Slope natural gas to North American markets. The current project under consideration by North Slope oil and gas producers involves piping the gas to a liquefaction plant in Southcentral Alaska for liquefaction and export of LNG (see Daily GPIMarch 4).

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