Regulators Veto North-South Gas Pipeline

State regulators turned down a proposal to construct a natural gas pipeline that would have fed the socalgas_logoSouthern California Gas Co. distribution system.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) said that, in the wake of the prolonged shutdown of the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon storage facility, there is not enough spare natural gas in Northern California to make the pipeline worthwhile.

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Leaks Close PG&E’s McDonald Island Facility

Pacific Gas & Electric said it has taken its McDonald Island natural gas facility out of service after pge_logothe utility detected small leaks of methane from some of the wells on the island.

PG&E said the “low-level emissions” on the man-made island in an unpopulated area near the Sacramento River Delta, do not present any risk to the public or the environment.

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PG&E Gets $950 Million Rate Hike

The California Public Utilities Commission has approved $950 million in increased rates for pge_logoPacific Gas & Electric Co. to cover the costs of improvements to its natural gas storage facilities and pipeline capacity.

The rate hike for PG&E is separate from a pending rate disallowance of $850 million related to the utility’s alleged shortcomings in responding to the 2010 failure of a natural gas pipeline in San Bruno. Continue reading

Federal Judge Blocks BLM Regulation of Fracking

In a victory for oil and gas producers, a federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Bureau of Land gavel_250Management (BLM) does not have the authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed last year by the Western Energy Alliance, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, and Native American tribes in several western states.

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ARB To Hold Hearing on Greenhouse Gas Regulations

The Air Resources Board will conduct a two-day public hearing in Sacramento in July on the  carb-logoproposed Regulation for Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Facilities.

The hearing will be held at the Board’s Byron Sher Auditorium, 1001 I St., in Sacramento. It will begin 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 21, and reconvene at 8:30 a.m. on the following day. The agenda will be available at least 10 days in advance.

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Assembly OK’s Aliso Canyon Moratorium

By a 68-1 vote, the California Assembly has approved legislation to halt injection of new gas into socalgas_logowells in the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility until every well there is fully tested. The measure now goes to the state Senate and, if approved there, to Gov. Jerry Brown for final action.

The proposed legislation would continue a moratorium that has been in place since February, when Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) was able to seal a well that leaked  methane into the air over a four-month period.

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