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Briefs -- BLM Lease Sale, CPUC

A severe snowstorm caused the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to cancel a scheduled oil/gas lease sale Tuesday, and the environmental groups' "Keep It in the Ground" campaign canceled its protest rally at the Cheyenne, WY, event. Since last November, BLM has canceled three sales, the most recent coming last month in Montana (see Daily GPI, Jan 19). Increasingly, activists for the anti-leasing campaign show up to protest the auctions, and BLM officials have been scrambling to find larger places in which to hold the sales. After deferring 35 parcels from the sale, BLM said late last year that there would be 82 parcels totaling 82,118 acres offered. The sale will be rescheduled BLM officials said.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a report on Monday that said a third party caused the damage, rupture and resulting fatal fire in Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s(PG&E) 12-inch diameter natural gas transmission pipeline (Line 118B) near Fresno, CA, last April. The CPUC report from its safety and enforcement division mirrors conclusions from PG&E-sponsored reports by separate third-party engineering/metallurgical consulting firms (see Daily GPI,July 10, 2015). The state regulatory staff looked at the April 17, 2015 incident in which a transmission pipeline was ruptured by a front-end loader operated by a Fresno County employee. CPUC staff said the Fresno County Sheriff's Department's failure to follow Underground Service Alert's (USA) One-Call program "was a contributing factor to the incident."

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