Governor Signs Texas Frack Legislation

Texas is on its way to leading the nation in the public disclosure of hydraulic fracturing chemicals. Gov. Rick Perry Friday signed into law HB 3328, making the Lone Star State a leader on an issue with which other states producing natural gas from shale plays have struggled.

June 21, 2011

California Consumer Group Calls for New San Bruno Pipe Probe

Consumer advocates on Wednesday asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to launch a new statewide investigation of the fatal natural gas transmission pipeline explosion last September in San Bruno, a suburb south of San Francisco.

January 27, 2011

New York’s New DEC Chief Urged Go-Slow Approach to Hydrofracking

Joseph Martens, who was tapped by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday to lead New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), last year suggested the state wait until a federal study had been completed on hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking) impacts to health and the environment before implementing rules for Marcellus Shale drillers.

January 6, 2011

Coalition Urges CFTC to Act Swiftly on Speculative Limits

A coalition of trade groups, business and consumer advocates has called on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to move forward with its proposal to set limits on speculation in commodity markets.

December 23, 2010

Consumer Unit Seeks to Halt Customer Shutoffs in California

The California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) independent consumer unit, the Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA), took a few punches Friday at the state’s major private-sector utilities, saying they aren’t doing enough to curb the rising numbers of customer shutoffs for nonpayment. The action followed a six-hour, CPUC-hosted workshop last Tuesday in San Francisco.

January 11, 2010

Obama, Salazar Open OCS to Wind; Atlantic Projects First in Line

Offshore wind power advocates received a firm gust in the right direction on Earth Day after President Obama and Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar revealed guidelines aimed at clearing the way for the development of major offshore wind power projects on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

April 27, 2009

High Court Reversal Sides With Generators Over Environmentalists

Putting to bed the long-running dispute between utilities and environmental advocates over power plant cooling water intake structures, the U.S. Supreme Court said last week that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can run a cost-benefit analysis to determine the best technology for mitigating the environmental impact rather than simply selecting the best technology available. The high court’s 6-3 ruling overturned a decision made last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

April 6, 2009

CPUC Consumer Unit: Southwest Gas Seeking Too Much

The California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) is recommending changes in three general rate case requests by Southwest Gas Corp., it said Thursday. Southwest serves the fringe mountain and desert areas in eastern California.

June 13, 2008

Renewable Tax Credits Omitted from Stimulus Plan

Dashing the hopes of renewable energy advocates and some lawmakers, the $150 billion economic stimulus package ironed out by the Bush administration and Capitol Hill leaders last week failed to include an extension for renewable energy tax credits that are set to expire at the end of the year.

January 28, 2008

Colorado Governor Offers Compromise on Roan Plateau

Environmentalists and energy industry advocates are generally praising a Roan Plateau plan by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, who Thursday called on federal officials to compromise in their plans for the northwestern landmark. Ritter wants to increase the federally protected lands around the Roan by 72%, but he also wants natural gas drillers to have access via narrow corridors.

December 26, 2007