The Energy Department has not stopped processing liquefied natural gas export applications, even as questions continue to be raised about the possible impact to domestic prices from additional approvals, a key official said on Monday.
"We're continuing to move forward on these things," said Christopher A. Smith, the department's principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil fuel, at a forum in Washington. "As it has been in the past, it's been our job to make sure we're moving this process expeditiously...we have no pause to announce," he added.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pleaded not guilty Monday to a dozen felony charges stemming from alleged safety violations in a deadly 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion that leveled a suburban neighborhood in the San Francisco Bay Area.
As survivors of the blast looked on, attorneys for California's largest utility entered the plea in federal court in San Francisco to 12 felony violations of federal pipeline safety laws.
Federal Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero noted prosecutors' request to increase the maximum fine PG&E could face to more than $6 million, if the court decides the company somehow benefited financially or saved money as a result of criminal misconduct.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom.
That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit the drilling process known as fracking."The shale became a lifesaver and a lifeline for a lot of working families," said Dennis Martire, the mid-Atlantic regional manager for the Laborers' International Union, or LIUNA, which represents workers in numerous construction trades.
Martire said that as huge quantities of natural gas were extracted from the vast shale reserves over the last five years, union work on large pipeline jobs in Pennsylvania and West Virginia has increased significantly. In 2008, LIUNA members worked about 400,000 hours on such jobs; by 2012, that had risen to 5.7 million hours.
Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says total employment in the nation's oil and gas industry rose from about 120,000 in early 2004 to about 208,000 last month. Less than 10 percent of full-time oil and gas industry workers are represented by unions.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Legislature has passed a bill setting the state's participation in a major liquefied natural gas project.
The House voted 36-4 on the measure Sunday. The Senate later voted 16-4 to agree to the House changes.
SB138, from Gov. Sean Parnell, would set state participation at about 25 percent in a project also being pursued TransCanada, the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., and the North Slope's major players. It would allow the project to move to a stage of preliminary engineering and design and cost refinement.
A subsidiary of American Energy Partners, the company run by shale pioneer Aubrey McClendon, is renting seven rigs from his former firm Chesapeake Energy to drill for gas in the Utica Shale, Bloomberg reports.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The House Finance Committee is nearing the end of its work on a bill aimed at advancing a major liquefied natural gas project.
The committee did a relatively light rewrite on the bill, after powering through amendments late Thursday. Co-chair Bill Stoltze planned to bring the bill back for discussion before it's sent to the floor.
SB138, from Gov. Sean Parnell, would set state participation in the project at about 25 percent. It's also aimed at moving the project into a phase of preliminary engineering and design.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — A small portion of Pennsylvania state forest land has been impacted by shale gas drilling, but many questions remain about how to manage the politically sensitive issue that is opposed by many residents, according to a new report.
The 268-page Department of Conservation and Natural Resources report issued this week concluded that "shale-gas production on state forest lands is neither benign nor catastrophic" and that there are clearly impacts and trade-offs.
"The question is what trade-offs are acceptable," the report said.
The power substation in San Jose where a sniper attack last year raised concern about the security of the country’s grid has been breached again, according to Pacific Gas and Electric, which said thieves cut through a fence and stole some equipment, The New York Times reports.
A corn ethanol plant at the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon, which Valero Energy Corp. bought in March, has restarted, FuelFix reports. It is expected to boost the company’s output to 1.3 billion gallons a year, making Valero the country’s third-largest ethanol producer.
Oil looks set to finish out the week higher in the wake of another positive piece of data on the U.S. economy, news of an unexpected rise in consumer confidence. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery was up 66 cents to $95.21 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London Brent crude settled 35 cents higher to $102.81, Bloomberg reports.
Fighting in Tripoli may have been escalating, but in the east of Libya, the key oil port of Es Sider is once again getting a flow of crude from oilfields after exports there resumed last week following a one-year hiatus, an official told The Wall Street Journal.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., listed her parents’ home in New Orleans as her address in filing last week to qualify for the ballot in Louisiana, prompting some critics to question her residency status, The Washington Post reports.
Clean Air Act violations for the release of phosgene, methyl chloride and oleum at a West Virginia facility between 2006 and 2010 will cost DuPont $1.3 million in fines, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department said in announcing a settlement, The Hill reports.
A project to build a big $25 billion water tunnel system in Northern California poses water quality problems to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and a possible threat to smelt and salmon, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a letter accompanying comments posted online, the Los Angeles Times reports.