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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

Sempra’s California, Texas Utilities Focusing on Decarbonization, Regulatory Boost

Sempra’s California, Texas Utilities Focusing on Decarbonization, Regulatory Boost

Energy infrastructure holding company Sempra Energy wants its California and Texas utilities to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045, but they need some help from technology innovations and regulators, executives said. A key for California utilities, including Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), is developing renewable natural gas (RNG) as a decarbonizing tool, CEO Jeff Martin said…

May 8, 2021
California’s Edison International Utility Said Ready for Wildfires, Electrification

California’s Edison International Utility Said Ready for Wildfires, Electrification

Acknowledging the risk for another above-average wildfire season, Edison International CEO Pablo Pizarro said recently he was confident the Southern California Edison Co. (SCE) utility was prepared. California avoided the “catastrophic widespread damage” of the 2017 and 2018 fire seasons even with last year’s all-time record acreage scorched, he said during the first quarter conference…

May 4, 2021
Xcel Utilities See $1B in Added Fuel Costs from Winter Storm Uri

Xcel Utilities See $1B in Added Fuel Costs from Winter Storm Uri

Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy Corp. was tagged with $1 billion in added fuel costs by Winter Storm Uri in February, for which it plans to seek recovery from state regulatory commissions, according to CEO Ben Fowke. Fowke, during a 1Q2021 earnings conference call Thursday said the fuel costs from the storm came “despite strong operational performance.”…

May 2, 2021
PG&E Assessing Long-Term Future of Natural Gas, CEO Says

PG&E Assessing Long-Term Future of Natural Gas, CEO Says

For the next 15 years, natural gas will be an important transition fuel, but longer term, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) is still conducting an assessment of what its future will be, CEO Patti Poppe said Thursday. “In all the clean energy scenarios, and certainly in the near-term over the next 15 years, there…

April 30, 2021
Avista Sets Carbon-Free Goal for Natural Gas, Electric Operations by 2045

Avista Sets Carbon-Free Goal for Natural Gas, Electric Operations by 2045

Four-state combination utility holding company Avista Corp. on Thursday set a goal of making its natural gas system carbon neutral by 2045, starting with a near-term goal of reducing carbon emissions 30% by 2030. CEO Dennis Vermillion said Avista sees increasing opportunities to even further bring down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Natural gas already plays…

April 27, 2021
California Regulator’s Proposed Decision Critical of Utility Wildfire Power Shutoffs

California Regulator’s Proposed Decision Critical of Utility Wildfire Power Shutoffs

California regulators have proposed revenue losses and corrective actions for the state’s three major investor-owned electric utilities because of alleged violations in staging numerous planned power outages in 2019. The five-member California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) plans to vote on the proposed decision (PD) on May 20 as the culmination of its ongoing investigation of…

April 27, 2021
California Governor Seeks to Ban New Drilling Permits by 2024, End Oil Extraction by 2045

California Governor Seeks to Ban New Drilling Permits by 2024, End Oil Extraction by 2045

Moving closer to an all-out ban, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has directed regulators to start a regulatory process for banning new permits for drilling using hydraulic fracturing (fracking) by January 2024.  The governor said he chose the regulatory route after a legislative attempt earlier this month again failed. He has directed the Department of Conservation’s…

April 26, 2021
Amazon Inks RNG Agreement, Considers Possible Stake in Clean Energy Fuels

Amazon Inks RNG Agreement, Considers Possible Stake in Clean Energy Fuels

Amazon Inc. said it has inked a five-year contract for renewable natural gas (RNG) with Clean Energy Fuels Corp. and could take up to a 20% stake in the fuel supplier over the next decade. Beginning last Friday (April 16), RNG is to be provided to Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC through 27 existing fueling…

April 25, 2021
PG&E to Expand Use of Permanent Microgrids in Northern California

PG&E to Expand Use of Permanent Microgrids in Northern California

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) on Tuesday introduced a program to help Northern California communities develop permanent, multi-customer microgrids to ensure off-the-grid electricity to critical facilities and vulnerable customer groups. The first installation is set for the Yurok Tribe of Native Americans. The Community Microgrid Enablement Program (CMEP) would provide technical support and capital…

April 20, 2021
California Drilling Ban Proposal Rejected in State Senate Committee

California Drilling Ban Proposal Rejected in State Senate Committee

Another attempt in California to ban the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and other well stimulation technologies has failed to get a key legislative committee’s endorsement, drawing cautious optimism from industry representatives. Senate Bill 467 by state Sen. Scott Wiener was granted reconsideration to possibly be reintroduced. The bill also would have prohibited wells from…

April 19, 2021
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