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Youngstown activist group FrackFree Mahoning Valley has once again filed signatures to put a referendum on the November ballot asking voters to amend the city's charter and ban horizontal hydraulic fracturing and related activities within its boundaries. In May, voters rejected for the third time in a year the same question by a 54-46% margin (3,674 to 3,100 votes) (see Shale DailyMay 7). At the time, the group said it would continue to push for the charter amendment until a ban is passed. 

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMP) plans to spend $54 million to build an interconnect and other facilities for its Kinder Morgan Crude and Condensate (KMCC) pipeline after entering into a long-term transportation agreement with Republic Midstream Marketing LLC. Republic will construct a gathering pipeline from Lavaca County, TX, to the new interconnection at KMP's DeWitt Station, near Cuero, TX. KMP also will build two storage tanks (each with 120,000 bbl of capacity), truck offloading racks and related facilities. The project is expected to come online in June. The deal with Republic gives KMP access to additional Eagle Ford production areas in Gonzales and Lavaca counties, said Don Lindley, KMP president of natural gas liquids. "We have now secured long-term commitments for more than 75% of the 300,000 b/d of capacity on KMCC," he said. "Including joint ventures and other projects, KMP's planned investments related to Eagle Ford crude and condensate opportunities currently total approximately $1 billion, all of which are supported by long-term customer contracts." 

A California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) spokesperson said it will be another two months before proposed decisions are completed by the administrative law judges (ALJ) overseeing the multiple-case penalty phase of proceedings on Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s (PG&E) 2010 natural gas transmission pipeline rupture that killed eight in a residential section of San Bruno, CA. A CPUC safety staff proposal has called for a $2.25 billion penalty (see Daily GPIMay 7, 2013), something the combination utility says is excessive (see Daily GPIAug. 23, 2013). Other parties are seeking much more. Noting that the proposed ALJ decisions are coming within the next 60 days, the CPUC spokesperson said that once the decisions are submitted, there is a 30-day period in which parties may appeal. After any appeals are resolved, the proposals are to go to the five-member CPUC for a final decision.

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