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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

SoCalGas Turning to Fuel Cells to Produce Electricity

SoCalGas Turning to Fuel Cells to Produce Electricity

Sempra Energy’s Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) is producing near carbon-free electricity at two of its largest Los Angeles area facilities with fuel cell microgrids that operate on natural gas, renewable natural gas or hydrogen. SoCalGas is using Bloom Energy solid oxide fuel cells that reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), air pollutants and the cost…

July 22, 2020
PHMSA Sides with North Dakota, Montana in Crude-by-Rail Dispute with Washington State

PHMSA Sides with North Dakota, Montana in Crude-by-Rail Dispute with Washington State

Federal regulators have concluded that rules for transporting oil preempt a state of Washington rule for screening interstate crude-by-rail shipments from North Dakota and Montana. The Department of Transportation’s U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) said the applicable federal law preempts Washington’s vapor pressure limit for oil loaded or unloaded from rail tank…

July 21, 2020
North Dakota Reports ‘Five-Alarm Fire’ as Production Tumbles

North Dakota Reports ‘Five-Alarm Fire’ as Production Tumbles

Calling it a “five-alarm fire,” North Dakota’s chief oil and gas regulator on Friday reported record oil and gas production declines during May among a sea of inactive or under-active Bakken Shale wells. May oil production fell 30% to 26.6 million bbl (858,000 b/d), compared to 36.6 million bbls (1.2 million b/d) in April. Natural…

July 20, 2020
California Regulators Reiterate Support for Gas Phase Out

California Regulators Reiterate Support for Gas Phase Out

California regulators on Thursday reiterated their intention to help move the state away from fossil fuels as part of support for statewide decarbonization to mitigate climate change. The five members of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) underscored their preference for electrification in unanimously taking action to require wireless communications providers to ensure uninterrupted service…

July 20, 2020
Oregon Natural Gas Utilities OK’d to Buy RNG for Customers

Oregon Natural Gas Utilities OK’d to Buy RNG for Customers

Oregon regulators have cleared the way for NW Natural and other natural gas utilities in the state to begin purchasing supplies of renewable natural gas (RNG) for customers. The Oregon Public Utility Commission approved co-mingling RNG and the fossil fuel version in utility operations following the approval of state Senate Bill 98 last year. NW…

July 20, 2020
PG&E Equipment Caused 2019 Wildfire, Says California Investigation

PG&E Equipment Caused 2019 Wildfire, Says California Investigation

A Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) transmission line in the Northern California wine country caused the 77,000-acre Kincade Fire last year, according to an investigation by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The Kincade blaze was caused by PG&E’s electrical transmission lines northeast of Geyserville in Sonoma County, according to the investigation. …

July 17, 2020
California Resources Joins Coronavirus-Led Bankruptcy Filings by U.S. Operators

California Resources Joins Coronavirus-Led Bankruptcy Filings by U.S. Operators

California Resources Corp. (CRC), the state’s largest producer, late Wednesday joined a growing list of U.S. operators to seek Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. Excessive debt related to its spinoff from Occidental Petroleum Corp. (Oxy), as well as Covid-19’s impact on energy demand, were the principal…

July 17, 2020
Wyoming’s Declining Fossil Fuel Revenue Contributes to $1B Budget Deficit

Wyoming’s Declining Fossil Fuel Revenue Contributes to $1B Budget Deficit

Facing a $1 billion budget deficit in part linked to a decline in revenue from the energy sector, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has ordered a 10% budget cut across the board. Given the budget challenges from the coronavirus and the economic slowdown, “the quicker we act, the greater ability the state will have to minimize…

July 15, 2020
Industry Pushes Back on Disparaging RNG Analysis by Sierra Club, Earthjustice

Industry Pushes Back on Disparaging RNG Analysis by Sierra Club, Earthjustice

A report published Tuesday criticizing the use of renewable natural gas (RNG) by Earthjustice and the Sierra Club is facing pushback by the energy industry. The report, “Rhetoric vs. Reality: The myth of renewable natural gas,” refers to RNG as a fossil gas alternative, or FGA, and claims it has inherent limitations to mitigate climate…

July 15, 2020
North Dakota Rejects Bakken Oil, Gas Production Quotas

North Dakota Rejects Bakken Oil, Gas Production Quotas

The three-member North Dakota Industrial Commission headed by Gov. Doug Burgum has unanimously voted not to impose oil and natural gas production cuts, citing similar moves by Texas and Oklahoma. The commission, which also includes the state’s attorney general and agricultural commissioner, said producers were doing a good job reacting to the double whammy of…

July 13, 2020