Minn. regulator misjudged in-trench oil line replacement, Enbridge says
Enbridge Inc. took issue with a Minnesota Public Utilities Commission judge's recommendations for how the company could replace its Line 3 crude oil pipeline, arguing in a May 9 filing that the judge downplayed safety and environmental risks and tribal objections. In recommending that Enbridge's project to increase capacity on the aging Line 3 pipeline system go forward, the administrative law judge had said the company should remove the existing line and put the new one in its place, rather than abandoning the old line where it is and creating a separate corridor for the new project. Calling the judge's analysis "flawed," Enbridge took exception to the recommendation.
Ohio urges FERC to take close look at chemical it links to Rover Pipeline spills
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency asked federal regulators to take a closer look at waste drilling fluids that were released during construction of the $4.2 billion Rover natural gas pipeline, and in particular a pollutant found in the fluids. The state agency cited "a pattern of drilling muds containing PCE [tetrachloroethylene, also called perchloroethylene] from Rover" in a May 8 letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. According to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, PCE is used for cleaning and metal degreasing and is "likely to be carcinogenic to humans."
Most East Coast states pushing back against offshore oil, gas drilling plan
States on the U.S. East Coast are almost uniformly opposed to the federal government's plan to allow oil and gas development off the coast, with governors from both major parties citing their established fishing and tourism industries. If Gov. Andrew Cuomo gets his way, New York will join New Jersey in passing a ban on drilling in waters the state controls and will prohibit the construction of pipelines bringing oil and gas ashore. While announcing his Saving Our Waters bill on May 4, Cuomo threatened to lead a flotilla of private boats to get in the way of developers. The U.S. Department of the Interior just wrapped up a comment period on its first draft of a new leasing program that would open the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to offshore drilling. The department is expected to produce a revised plan by the end of 2018.
US House energy committee approves LNG, cybersecurity bills
The U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Energy and Commerce on May 9 approved several bills to bolster energy sector cybersecurity as well as legislation to speed exports of small quantities of LNG sending the proposals to the full House for a vote.