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Jury in PG&E case will hear about San Bruno; Sempra utilities' North-South pipe project denied


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Jury in PG&E case will hear about San Bruno; Sempra utilities' North-South pipe project denied

Thejury in the criminal case against PacificGas and Electric Co. needs to hear about the fatal 2010 San Bruno,Calif., pipeline explosion that set the case in motion, the judge ruled.

PG&E'sattorneys, who have fought tokeep the explosion out of the case as much as possible, on July 10actually requested that the judge allow more discussion about the incidentduring the trial. Because post-rupture investigations have been brought uprepeatedly, the jury should better understand how the investigations relate tothe charges at hand, PG&E said.

TheCalifornia Public Utilities Commission shot down utilities' proposedNorth-South gas pipeline expansion project.

TheCPUC concluded that there were a number of other viable options that would befar less costly to ratepayers but could provide equivalent reliabilityimprovements, agreeing with an administrative law judge's April .

andSan Diego Gas & Electric Co.had wanted to build a $621.3 million project comprising new pipe and additionalcompression. The utilities argued that the project would improve gasreliability in Southern California by better connecting the Honor Rancho gasstorage field with the rest of the companies' gas system.

Thejury in the criminal trialagainst Pacific Gas and Electric Co. will never see internal company emailsthat the prosecution believes reflect employee awareness of guilt, a judgeruled July 14.

Thecorrespondence in question — sent in the immediate aftermath of the fatal 2010San Bruno, Calif., pipeline explosion — recommended that PG&E employeesshould refrain from using email to discuss the pipe that ruptured and shouldconsider using attorney-client privilege to keep any written correspondenceinternal to the company.

Theprosecution's assertion that this message demonstrates consciousness of guiltand corrupt intentions is just speculation, Judge Thelton Henderson said in aJuly 14 order.

TheNational Energy Board has stopped reviews of applications related to 's proposedNorthern Gateway pipeline project, including the company's request for anextension of the original license to build it, after a federal court quashedapproval of the project.

"TheNEB will also suspend its review of any filings from Northern Gateway regardingcompliance with the 209 conditions attached to the project," the boardsaid in a July 8 posting on its website. "The NEB made these decisions inresponse to the June 23, 2016 Federal Court of Appeal decision that quashed thecertificates of public convenience and necessity for the project and sent thematter back to the federal government for redetermination."

Thepotentially prolific Mancos Shale play in Colorado could be an economic boonfor the region if development is supported by federal agencies, a number ofspeakers told members of the House Natural Resources Committee.

WalterGuidroz, a program coordinator with the U.S. Geological Survey, said the MancosShale holds an estimated 66 Tcf of natural gas, 74 million barrels of oil and45 MMbbl of natural gas liquids. That total, he said, would make the Mancos oneof the most prolific unconventional plays in the U.S.

"Wehave an 84 Tcf mean for the Marcellus Shale. The Mancos ranks second, and thereare a number of plays that fall below that," he told the Subcommittee onEnergy and Mineral Resources.