Lawsuit Halts Construction in LA Park

In response to the filing of lawsuit by the Luna & Glushon law firm on behalf of Hollywood Hills neighbors and Runyon Canyon Park users, the City of Los Angeles has halted construction of a basketball court in the park with the logo of a private company.

City Councilmember David Ryu asked City officials to stop construction after the lawsuit exposed that the project had been approved without proper notice to neighbors, Park users and the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council.

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Gas Storage Facility May Remain Closed

The Aliso Canyon underground natural gas storage field, the state’s largest, may have to be shut socalgas_logodown, the president of the California Public Utilities Commission said. His agency has approved gas and electric power conservation efforts aimed at avoiding power outages.

A four-month leak from the 3,600-acre facility operated by Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), which was halted in February, has resulted in problems that the state’s energy utilities will have to deal with for an extended period of time, said CPUC President Michael Picker.

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Final Offshore Drilling Rules Released

The Department of the Interior has released its final rule on control of offshore oil and gas wells, oil_platformaimed at preventing incidents such as the 2010 Deep Horizon blowout and mitigating any spills that do occur. The final rule amends regulations issued in April of last year.

The rule includes new design standards for blowout preventers, along with new regulations for monitoring of wells and well containment, well casing, cementing, and many other  operational practices.

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ExxonMobil Gets OK to Restore Torrance Refinery

In a 3-2 vote, the South Coast Air Quality Management District gave ExxonMobil approval to fully exxonmobil_redrestore operations at its Torrance refinery, which had been operating at about 20% capacity following an explosion there in February of last year.

Restoration of the refinery’s full output, which will only take a few days, is expected to be followed by the sale of the facility to PBF Energy (NYSE:PBF) for $537.5 million . New Jersey-based PBF announced in September that it planned to acquire the refinery when it resumes full operations. The transaction is expected to closed within a few months.

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Safety Panel Created for Gas Storage Facilities

Prompted by the leak from the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, a task force of federal, state and local officials is being formed to look into safety issues related to that Los Angeles facility and others around the country.

The Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety will be chaired by officials from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

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Energy Commission Invests in Gas Efficiency Projects

California-Energy-Commission-LogoThe California Energy Commission approved $4.3 million in grants for projects to increase the efficiency of natural gas technology used in industrial, agriculture and water processes, and more than $40 million in other energy-efficiency projects.

The City of Petaluma received a $3 million grant to design and operate an anaerobic digestion system to produce 150,000 gasoline gallon equivalents of renewable natural gas from food and beverage waste. The gas will be used to fuel refuse trucks.

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