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Rich Nemec

Richard Nemec began writing for NGI in 1995 and has 30 years experience in the energy industry. He holds BA from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles; and a MA in journalism from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; and completed MBA courses at Northwestern's Evening Graduate School of Management.

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West Coast Correspondent | Los Angeles, CA

email rich.nemec@naturalgasintel.com

Avista CEO Touts Natural Gas, Cites Concerns About Electrification Push

Avista CEO Touts Natural Gas, Cites Concerns About Electrification Push

Coming off better-than-expected earnings in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, Avista Corp. executives indicated Wednesday they are undeterred by current electrification trends, reaffirming that the utility arm remains all-in for natural gas. CEO Dennis Vermillion said he thinks the climate change mitigation push to minimize greenhouse gas emissions needs a “holistic approach” that would take…

February 27, 2021
Facing Tests in 2020, Portland General Adjusted to Improve Service

Facing Tests in 2020, Portland General Adjusted to Improve Service

After battling the pandemic, civil unrest, trading losses and historic wildfires last year, Portland General Electric (PGE) survived last week with wind, ice and snow storms that ravaged its territory. PGE CEO Maria Pope during a fourth quarter earnings conference call on Friday said Oregon’s largest power utility dealt with “punishing winds, ice, and snow,”…

February 26, 2021
After Years of Turmoil, PG&E Looks to New Playbook

After Years of Turmoil, PG&E Looks to New Playbook

Although still under sporadic criticism from regulators, legislators and customers, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) and parent company PG&E Corp. are developing a new playbook, including updated wildfire mitigation plans. CEO Patricia Poppe during a fourth quarter conference call Thursday said the mitigation plans were moving to risk-based from activity-based. They would address the…

February 26, 2021
PG&E Partnering to Detect Methane Leaks, Carbon Capture Repurposing

PG&E Partnering to Detect Methane Leaks, Carbon Capture Repurposing

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) is partnering in research that executives said could shift the paradigm for methane detection and carbon capture/repurposing. Reducing PG&E’s carbon footprint is a major focus of its Gas Operations Research, Development and Innovation team that is supporting California’s goal to reduce methane emissions by 40% below 2015 levels in…

February 24, 2021
North Dakota Hopes to Reduce Impact of Federal Lands Leasing Ban; Native American Exemption

North Dakota Hopes to Reduce Impact of Federal Lands Leasing Ban; Native American Exemption

An exemption for Native American lands in the Biden Administration’s executive order (EO) pausing new leasing on federal lands is “highly significant” for North Dakota’s Bakken Shale play, according to the state’s top oil and natural gas regulator. Biden’s order directed to the Interior Department’s (DOI) Bureau of Land Management “does not restrict energy activities…

February 18, 2021
Democratic State Lawmakers Propose Fracking Ban in California

Democratic State Lawmakers Propose Fracking Ban in California

Two Democratic state senators in California on Wednesday introduced legislation to ban various well stimulation technologies, including hydraulic fracturing (fracking), along with establishing a 2,500-foot setback for wells from the population. Its authors — state Sens. Scott Wiener (San Francisco) and Monique Limon (Santa Barbara) — characterize Senate Bill (SB) 467 as being a boost…

February 18, 2021
California Utilities Deploying Technology Advances in Wildfire Mitigation Plans

California Utilities Deploying Technology Advances in Wildfire Mitigation Plans

With wildfires occurring in historic proportions, California’s major power utilities are deploying various technology advances in an attempt to lower the incidence of the destructive blazes, according to revised wildfire mitigation plans (WMP) submitted to state regulators earlier this month. State regulators have mandated annual revisions to multi-billion-dollar WMPs, which have been reviewed with a…

February 17, 2021
Bakken Production Holding, But Winter Declines Expected Before Uptick

Bakken Production Holding, But Winter Declines Expected Before Uptick

End of 2020 statistics showed North Dakota’s Bakken Shale production holding relatively steady and other indicators, including oil prices, turning upward. But the state’s chief oil and natural gas official said production likely will drop for January and February. “The drilling rig count [15 as of last Friday] is substantially short of what we need…

February 16, 2021
Black Hills CEO Says ‘Lethal’ if Natural Gas Bans Enacted in Service Territories

Black Hills CEO Says ‘Lethal’ if Natural Gas Bans Enacted in Service Territories

Rapid City, SD-based Black Hills Corp. is undeterred by increased pressure from climate change advocates to phase out fossil fuel use, CEO Linn Evans said Wednesday. During a conference call to discuss fourth quarter results, Evans discussed the impact by opponents to fossil fuels and whether that could impact the natural gas utilities. He said…

February 14, 2021
California Looking to Advance Green Hydrogen in Decarbonization Plans

California Looking to Advance Green Hydrogen in Decarbonization Plans

California Energy Commission (CEC) research engineers are planning to take a deeper look at the potential for green hydrogen in the long term to help decarbonize the state’s energy system. Three kinds of hydrogen have been gaining attention in recent months as operators look for low and zero-carbon energy alternatives.  Hydrogen can be produced from…

February 11, 2021
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