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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


California Fracking Foes Pump Up Volume in Sacramento

The eclectic coalition that has become Californians Against Fracking converged Tuesday in Sacramento, targeting the state’s oil/natural gas regulators who are working to implement a new set of statewide rules governing hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The protesters carried anti-fracking signs and delivered what a purported 100,000 signatures of citizens commenting on the state’s draft new rules.

January 15, 2014

Colorado to Toughen Air, Water Protections, Governor Says

While he said Colorado has some of the strictest standards in the nation for oil and natural gas development, Gov. John Hickenlooper pledged to toughen the state’s protections for air and water, working with lawmakers, the energy industry and environmental groups.

January 15, 2014

Amid Political Fight, LADWP Head Resigns

The nation’s largest municipal utility, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), a major force on the California energy landscape, is surrounded by public controversy at the start of the new year, caught between political infighting with a newly-elected mayor and an entrenched utility union boss. As a result, LADWP General Manager Ron Nichols resigned suddenly last Thursday.

January 14, 2014

Colorado Pro-Fracking Website Launched

A four-month-old group supporting hydraulic fracturing (fracking), Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED), has launched a website ( to spread its message in a state where fracking faces increased opposition from activists.

January 14, 2014

15-Liter NatGas Engine Delayed, But NGVs Keep Trucking

Citing the need for more fueling infrastructure, one of nation’s major makers of natural gas engines, Cummins Inc., has decided to “pause” the development of its 15-liter spark ignition engine for at least the first six months of this year. Industry sources, however, indicate that this should not slow the development of more long-haul trucking moving to natural gas vehicles (NGV).

January 13, 2014

New Federal EPA Rule for SoCal Offshore Fracking

Although state sources contend they are unaware of recent drilling activity in federal waters, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday published a new rule requiring reporting of future use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) offshore Southern California. The new requirement is to be effective March 1, according to a notice in the Federal Register.

January 13, 2014

Producers Appeal Utah BLM Lease Deferrals

Contending that uncertainty is raising doubts about the federal leasing process, Denver-based Western Energy Alliance, the independent petroleum organization for the Rockies, said on Monday it has filed an appeal to the federal Interior Board of Land Appeals seeking to reverse a decision last November to defer 57 leases on federal lands in Utah.

January 13, 2014

Fracking Not Focus of Drilling Complaints in Several Western States

Although the layman’s common perception is that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is environmentally harmful, threatening water supplies around the nation, at least three states with robust fossil fuel production — Colorado, North Dakota and Wyoming — don’t have much data to support the perceptions.

January 10, 2014

Black Hills Acquires Anadarko Wyoming Gas Utility Pipelines

Following its plan to add utility assets, Rapid City, SD-based Black Hills Corp. said Thursday it has agreed to acquire the natural gas transmission pipeline and distribution utility assets of Anadarko Petroleum Corp.’s utility pipeline operator, MGTC Inc., in Wyoming where Black Hills has existing combination utility operations.

January 10, 2014

California Budget Includes Climate, Oil Rail Issues

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday outlined a multi-billion-dollar state budget that includes $850 million of revenues from the state’s cap-and-trade auction for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions credits, a preparedness program for increased rail shipments of oil into the state from Wyoming, and additional spending to implement new rules on hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

January 10, 2014