A newly formed organization that represents about 2,000 New York property owners in Tioga County has signed a preliminary agreement with developers to stimulate unconventional natural gas wells using waterless hydraulic fracturing (fracking) that may bypass the state’s drilling moratorium.
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A federal judge in Erie, PA, has refused to overturn a U.S. Forest Service (USFS) ban on surface and groundwater withdrawals in the Allegheny National Forest for oil and gas operations, asserting that laws protecting access to mineral rights are not applicable to water rights.
The five-member California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday split over the fate of an independent power provider’s natural gas-fired generation plant, but in the end approved it and a long-delayed gas-fired peaking plant in Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Citizens Advisory Council has appointed Marjorie Hughes as executive director. The 18-member council reviews the work of the DEP and makes recommendations to the department, the governor and the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Hughes comes to the position following 35 years working on environmental and transportation issues for state and local governments, most recently serving as the chief of the DEP’s Conservation District Support Division in the Bureau of Waterways and Wetlands. She is replacing Sue Wilson, who retired from the position in December after 19 years.
Two members of the five-member California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) have been confirmed by the state Senate, preserving their six-year tenures in the regulatory body. Commissioners Mike Florio, a former consumer attorney, and Catherine Sandoval, a former official with the Federal Communications Commission, were appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown and would have had to step down in February if the Senate had failed to act. Both of their terms are to expire Jan. 1, 2017. A third Brown appointee from last year to the CPUC, Mark Ferron, is still unconfirmed, but he has until mid-March to gain confirmation.
Tulsa-based WPX Energy, which recently spun off from Williams as an independent exploration and production company, has elected its 10-member board of directors. William G. Lowrie, the former deputy CEO of a BP plc predecessor company, is to chair the company, which is focused on natural gas, natural gas liquids and oil reserves, particularly in the Piceance Basin, Bakken Shale and Marcellus Shale. The directors are WPX CEO Ralph A. Hill, Kimberly S. Bowers, John A. Carrig, William R. Granberry, Don J. Gunther, Robert K. Herdman, Henry E. Lentz, George A. Lorch and David F. Work. Lorch is to serve as chair of the board’s nominating and governance committee. Granberry was appointed to serve as chair of the compensation committee, while Herdman will chair the audit committee.
A federal appeals court has refused to reconsider its decision to throw out a ban on oil and natural gas drilling in the Allegheny National Forest.
The nine-member city council in Colorado’s second largest city, Colorado Springs (pop. 416,000), voted unanimously Wednesday to invoke a 60-day moratorium on oil and gas drilling within the city limits. The action was taken in an emergency meeting scheduled to look at exploration and production (E&P) activity.
The meltdown of securities firm giant MF Global Holdings Ltd. is a “fresh slap-in-the-face reminder” of why the country needs tougher financial regulations, a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said Tuesday.