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NY pipeline battle escalates; PG&E records falsification investigation expands


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NY pipeline battle escalates; PG&E records falsification investigation expands

Gas utilities, environmentalists bring big sticks to NY pipeline brawl

The political battle over natural gas pipelines in New York has intensified, with gas utilities saying they will have to reduce services over a lack of new pipeline capacity, environmental advocates releasing a report saying pipelines are not needed, and the state pursuing a gas-free vision. The escalation comes as few pipeline projects still stand in the state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has tried to move New York toward renewable energy and away from fossil fuels, including a plan to transition the state to 100% carbon-free power grid and economy by 2040.

PG&E electric business under scrutiny for possible records falsification

California may expand its investigation into whether Pacific Gas and Electric Co. falsified tens of thousands of gas safety records to include electric system-related records as well. The safety division of the California Public Utilities Commission on March 22 formally requested to expand the safety and records falsification investigation, opened in December 2018, to include the electric side of the business.

Pennsylvania checks possible leak in Sunoco gasoline pipeline

Sunoco Pipeline LP's Pennsylvania pipeline headaches got a little worse after inspectors from the state's Public Utility Commission continued to investigate on March 19 a possible leak in a 14-inch gasoline pipeline outside Reading, Pa. Sunoco claimed there was no leak, and the No. 12001 line that carries gasoline from the company's Montello terminal near Reading north to New York state was still in operation.

California cracks down on idle oil, gas well safety

California oil and gas developers will have to adopt more stringent safety practices for idle wells in light of newly adopted state regulations. "Idle wells that are not properly maintained pose a threat to the environment and surrounding communities, including potential contamination of groundwater," David Bunn, the California Department of Conservation's director, said in a March 21 statement accompanying the rules' release. "These new regulations make the industry more accountable, both environmentally and financially."

Va. regulatory staff says no net rate hike needed for Columbia Gas

Similar to a recent recommendation for Alta Gas Ltd. subsidiary Washington Gas Light Co., the Virginia State Corporation Commission staff proposes that the commission approve no net rate increase for Columbia Gas of Virginia Inc. The staff asserts that no rate change is warranted because Columbia Gas over-earned relative to the 9.5% ROE specified for earnings review and other purposes in the company's prior rate case.

Magnolia LNG cleared to expand export capacity by 0.8 million tonnes per year

Australia's LNG Ltd. received authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy to expand the export capacity of its proposed Magnolia LNG LLC terminal by 0.8 million tonnes per annum for deliveries to countries that have free trade agreements with the U.S.

Colo. county commissioners approve temporary moratorium on oil, gas applications

The board of commissioners in Adams County, Colo., approved a temporary moratorium on new applications for oil and gas facilities as it waits on a bill set to give local entities more regulatory authority over drilling and well locations.