Regulator

Royalties Due from BP on Oil Captured from Leak

The Interior Department’s chief oil and gas regulator said Thursday that BP plc must pay royalties on all oil and natural gas captured from the damaged Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. The company also is potentially liable for royalties on lost or wasted oil and gas from the well if it is determined that negligence or regulatory violations caused or contributed to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill.

July 16, 2010

Pennsylvania IRRC Approves Tougher Wastewater Rules

Pennsylvania’s Independent Regulator Review Commission (IRRC) on Thursday approved regulations that would significantly lower the amount of total dissolved solids (TDS) permitted in wastewater discharges from drilling operations in the state’s prolific Marcellus Shale area.

June 21, 2010

Pennsylvania IRRC Approves Tougher Wastewater Rules

Pennsylvania’s Independent Regulator Review Commission (IRRC) on Thursday approved regulations that would significantly lower the amount of total dissolved solids (TDS) permitted in wastewater discharges from drilling operations in the state’s prolific Marcellus Shale area.

June 18, 2010

People

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger chose an economist to be the newest regulator on the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC). Nancy Ryan, the regulatory body’s current deputy executive director for policy, gives the CPUC a full complement of regulators a month after the Senate refused to reconfirm Rachelle Chong, a telecommunications attorney and former member of the Federal Communications Commission, to a full six-year term. Ryan, 49, has expertise in energy markets, climate change policy and the public health and ecological impacts of energy production, and she worked for several years in the environmental sector. The appointment requires Senate confirmation within a year’s time. Ryan has been a member of the CPUC management team since January 2006 when she began as CPUC President Michael Peevey’s chief energy adviser and served as his chief of staff from April 2007 to February 2009.

February 1, 2010

Economist Slated to Join California Regulatory Panel

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger chose an economist to be newest regulator on the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC). Nancy Ryan, the regulatory body’s current deputy executive director for policy, gives the CPUC a full complement of regulators a month after the Senate refused to reconfirm Rachelle Chong, a telecommunications attorney and former member of the Federal Communications Commission, to a full six-year term.

January 29, 2010

Economist Slated to Join California Regulatory Panel

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger chose an economist to be newest regulator on the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC). Nancy Ryan, the regulatory body’s current deputy executive director for policy, gives the CPUC a full complement of regulators a month after the Senate refused to reconfirm Rachelle Chong, a telecommunications attorney and former member of the Federal Communications Commission, to a full six-year term.

January 29, 2010

People

Former Iowa utility regulator John Norris is to be sworn in Monday by FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, becoming the newest member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The Senate confirmed Norris in late December, ending a three-month stalemate over his nomination (see NGI, Jan. 4). Norris, a Democrat, joins Wellinghoff, a Democrat; Commissioner Philip D. Moeller, a Republican; and Commissioner Marc Spitzer, a Republican. One Democrat seat will be vacant. Because the political make-up of the Commission will be evenly split, at least for the time being, the agency in the coming months could be tied on certain energy orders, which would prevent them from being voted out. The White House reportedly is looking at two prominent female state commissioners — Colette D. Honorable, a member of the Arkansas Public Service Commission; and Lauren Azar, a member of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission — to succeed former Commissioner Suedeen Kelly, who left the agency in late December. Norris will finish the term vacated by former FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher, which expires on June 30, 2012. Norris was a board member and chairman of the Iowa Utilities Board from March 2005 until early 2009. Prior to joining FERC, Norris was chief of staff for Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

January 11, 2010

Norris to Be Sworn in as FERC Commissioner Monday

Former Iowa utility regulator John Norris will be sworn in Monday by FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, becoming the newest member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

January 11, 2010

CFTC’s Chilton: Proposal on Position Limits, Hedge Exemptions Near

CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton says he is “optimistic” that the futures regulator will issue a proposal addressing position limits and hedge exemptions in energy futures trading by the middle of the month.

January 7, 2010

People

A California Senate committee unanimously approved the reappointment of the state’s chief regulator while refusing to reconfirm a second member of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Michael Peevey will continue as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s choice for CPUC president and will fulfill a second six-year term that runs through 2014. A former president and board member at Southern California Edison Co., Peevey has headed the CPUC for the past seven years and was originally appointed by former Gov. Gray Davis. Commissioner Rachelle Chong was not reconfirmed because the state legislative panel refused to hear her nomination to a second term by Schwarzenegger. Chong is an attorney specializing in telecommunications and a former member of the Federal Communications Commission. Lawmakers refused to even consider confirming Chong, saying she failed to protect consumers, particularly telecommunications customers. They accused her of not resolving many major consumer complaints. Chong’s last meeting was last Thursday, and she left the CPUC hearing room abruptly at the end of the business session, asking Peevey to read a long prepared statement. At the end, Peevey expressed he and his fellow commissioners’ sadness in seeing Chong’s tenure on the five-member panel come to an end.

December 21, 2009