Facing pushback from lawmakers and industry, and from dissenters within its own ranks, the Democratic-led FERC on Thursday walked back the rollout of controversial updates to its policies for reviewing natural gas infrastructure. As part of its monthly meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted to seek comments on an update to its 1999 Certificate…
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Alberta Natural Gas, Oil Emissions Cuts Said on Target to Hit Canada’s 2025 Target
Most of Alberta’s natural gas and oil production will hit the national 2025 methane emission target of a 45% reduction of 2014 volumes, provincial regulators said Wednesday. Industry has already achieved more than half of the cleanup sought for the most potent greenhouse gas (GHG) from oil and gas fields, according to a report by…
Outgoing Trump Officials Warn of ‘Significant Uncertainty’ in Mexico Energy Sector
Members of the outgoing administration of President Trump have sent a letter to Mexican counterparts, including Energy Minister Rocío Nahle, admonishing regulatory changes they said are damaging Mexico’s investment climate. The letter, signed last week by U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross indicated that recent government…
FERC Back to Five Commissioners for First Time in Nearly Two Years as Senate Confirms Nominees
FERC is set to return to a full complement of five commissioners following a Senate voice vote late Monday to confirm the nominations of Republican Mark Christie and Democrat Allison Clements. Christie, who’s been serving as chairman of the Virginia State Corporation Commission, was confirmed to a term that ends in 2025. Clements, a policy…
Dakota Access Legal Battle Moves to D.C. Circuit as Clock Runs Down on Judge’s Order to Halt Operations
The operator of the Dakota Access (DAPL) pipeline on Thursday filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit an appeal for review of a district court’s order denying a stay request. Dallas-based Energy Transfer LP (ET) filed the appeal minutes after D.C. District Court Judge James Boasberg denied the stay request, which…
Mexico Supreme Court Upholds Competition Principles in Power Sector Dispute
The suspension in late June by Mexico’s Supreme Court of new power sector rules imposed by the energy ministry marked a rare victory for proponents of competition in the country’s energy industry, analysts said. The controversial rulemaking, dubbed the Policy of Reliability, Safety, Continuity and Quality in the National Electric System, halted preoperative tests for…
PG&E Fails Another Test with California Regulators
Bankruptcy bound and hectored by regulators, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) has been officially accused in a state investigation of shirking its responsibility for transmission line inspections and maintenance, helping to create an explosive mixture that led to California’s deadliest wildfire last year.
California Regulators Face More Scrutiny on Pipe Safety
California regulators are facing increased scrutiny on their response to stepping up natural gas pipeline safety oversight following a 2010 explosion in San Bruno on a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) line.
NW Natural Proposes Oregon CNG Service
Portland, OR-based NW Natural has asked Oregon regulators for approval to provide compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling service to business customers. The cost of the service would be paid by the individual customers using it.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) late last Friday filed its second annual report to state regulators summarizing its progress on current and future work aimed at improving its natural gas system’s safety as mandated by a state law (SB 705) passed in 2011 in response to the 2010 San Bruno transmission pipeline failure. Under its pipeline safety enhancement plan, PG&E told the California Public Utilities Commission that it has strength-tested 456 miles of its 6,750-mile gas transmission pipeline system. The utility said its has installed 76 automated shutoff valves on critical parts of the system while validating the safe operating pressure for the entire system. In addition, the utility said it is pursuing an internationally recognized gas safety certification for its system called “Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 55”; it also has established an employee-led company wide, grassroots safety committee to promote safe work habits, best practices and open communications; and it has a new Corrective Action Program to collect and act on gas system issues and ideas though a central internal company processing center. In addition, PG&E said its ongoing gas safety plan overall has been reviewed by several outside parties and includes input from employees at all levels of the PG&E gas operations organization.