The Western Governors' Association is viewing as alarming California’s first snowpack measurements, which were found to be at only 3% of average January levels in some areas. California officials said November and December were "clearly disappointing" for rain and snow levels in the state, with Lake Tahoe reporting snow levels at only 29% of average. Oregon also reported low levels, while Colorado is off to the "worst start in 33 years." However, snowpack in the region overall is above normal. Meanwhile, Idaho and Montana reported the largest snow levels in the region, more than 100% of normal in some areas.
Enterprise Products Partners LPplans to expand its butane isomerization facility at the Mont Belvieu complex near Houston. The expansion is supported by long-term agreements to provide butane isomerization, storage and pipeline services, including a 20-year, 35,000 b/d fee-based, tolling agreement. The Houston-based partnership, already the largest U.S. commercial producer of high-purity isobutane, is evaluating two options to add up to 30,000 b/d of incremental capacity. The partnership now has 116,000 b/d of butane isomerization capacity at Mont Belvieu, as well as 13 million bbl of aggregate isom grade normal butane, high-purity isobutane salt dome storage capacity and 162 miles of distribution pipelines.
A coalition of environmental groups filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for a writ to stay FERC’s certificate order for the 303-mile, Appalachia-to-Southeast Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the project in a 2-1 decision that prompted groups to file rehearing requests. The coalition, which includes the Sierra Club and the Appalachian Mountain Advocates, also filed a motion to stay the start of MVP construction. The groups said action was necessary under the All Writs Act because of the Commission’s “use of tolling orders to prevent judicial review while allowing pipeline construction to proceed.”