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Pa. governor could lobby New York for Constitution approval; Trump promises to slash energy regulation

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Pa. governor could lobby New York for Constitution approval; Trump promises to slash energy regulation

Gov.Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania is willing to talk with his New York counterpart tohelp the FERC-approved Constitution pipeline get the Clean Water Act permit itneeds to complete its route in New York, an aide to Wolf said Sept. 21 inPittsburgh.

YeseniaBane, Wolf's special assistant for infrastructure, said the governor has metwith stakeholders of the project, being developed by to take naturalgas from northeast Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale to an interconnect in NewYork. Bane, speaking at the Shale Insight conference, said no further actionhad been taken beyond an expression of support, and she was not aware of how orwhen the Democrat Wolf would reach out to New York's Democratic governor,Andrew Cuomo.

Republicanpresidential candidate Donald Trump promised the energy industry that he wouldcut taxes and regulations on fossil fuel energy production and infrastructureto unleash what he called "a treasure trove" of coal, oil and naturalgas in the United States.

"Youwill like me so much," he told an audience of roughly 1,000 natural gasexecutives and workers at the Shale Insight 2016 conference in Pittsburgh onSept. 22. "You are going to like Donald Trump."

Greetedby a standing ovation, he claimed that he is leading in polls and predicted hewould win a "big, big" victory in the swing states of Pennsylvaniaand Ohio. In West Virginia, "it's like I'm running unopposed."

The U.S.Departments of the Army, Interior and Justice invited Native American triballeaders to share their views on how the U.S. government can do better ingathering input from the tribes in decisions on energy projects and otherinfrastructure.

In aSept. 23 letter to leaders of all 567 tribes recognized by the U.S. government,the departments asked for information on how the government can obtain moreinput from tribes on protecting their lands, sacred sites, resources andrights. The departments asked the tribal leaders if federal agencies shouldpropose new legislation in pursuit of this goal.

TwoDemocratic members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee introducedamendments to theSafe Drinking Water Act that include removing a regulatory exemption forfracking.

Amongother changes, the amendment seeks to require companies to disclose chemicalsused in fracking and remove what is called the "Halliburtonloophole," which exempted fracking from regulation under the UndergroundInjection Control Program.

TheCalifornia Public Utilities Commission's policies are not strict enough toensure that the commission maintains its independence from the companies itregulates, a state audit found.

Statestandards make it difficult to require a commissioner to be recused from acase, even when outside parties can point to reasons the commissioner might bebiased, according to the California State Auditor. California requires evidencethat clearly and convincingly shows the commissioner has an unalterableposition on the matter at hand.

California'sgas utilities may have to use more renewable gas as a result of a bill signedinto law Sept. 19 by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Thelegislation required state regulators to lay out recommendations for how to usemore renewable gas in the state. The regulators are to find cost-effectivestrategies for prioritizing biomethane, biogas and other renewable forms ofgas, in an effort to curb the state's methane emissions 40% below 2013 levelsby 2030.

AFirst Nation in the heart of Alberta's oil sands region plans to resume a courtbattle aimed at stopping a 900,000-barrel-per-day pipeline that would be ownedby TransCanada Corp.and a unit of PetroChina.

TheAthabasca Chipewyan First Nation is challenging a 2014 decision by the AlbertaEnergy Regulator that allowed TransCanada and Brion Energy Corp., a subsidiaryof the Chinese state-owned energy company, to proceed with the C$3 billionGrand Rapids project. The nation filed the suit in Alberta Court of Queen'sBench in early 2015, then put it on hold after the election of the leftist NewDemocratic Party in Alberta later that year. The case is now scheduled toreturn to court Nov. 8.