SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pleaded not guilty Monday to charges in a new indictment that accuses the utility of lying to federal investigators looking into a fatal pipeline explosion in a San Francisco Bay Area neighborhood.
Steve Bauer, an attorney for the company, entered the plea in federal court to all 28 counts, including obstruction of justice. The new indictment — announced last month — replaced a 12-count indictment that related to PG&E's safety practices but did not include an obstruction charge.
Prosecutors say PG&E tried to mislead federal investigators about pipeline testing and maintenance procedures it was following at the time of the 2010 explosion in the city of San Bruno and for six months afterward.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Falling gasoline costs lowered the prices that U.S. companies received for their goods and services last month, keeping overall inflation in check.
The producer price index rose 0.1 percent in July, following a 0.4 percent gain in June, the Labor Department said Friday. The index measures the cost of goods and services before they reach the consumer.
The Lower 48 states will see an annual 1.3 percent increase in natural gas use by the power sector over the next 25 years, in large measure because of the boom in natural gas production, according to a prediction from the Energy Information Administration, Platts reports.
Cheniere Energy, which has already won construction permits from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for its plans to add liquefaction capacity to its Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, and Exxon Mobil, whose Golden Pass project in southeastern Texas is well into its FERC review, stand to gain from changes in the way the Energy Department will review requests for LNG exports, FuelFix reports.
Even if they can figure out how to pay for the work, authorities in New England trying to improve the region’s energy infrastructure are faced with two different proposals for natural gas pipeline construction: One from three utility holding companies or another from an aggregator, E&E reports.
One of the buyers as Royal Dutch Shell shed assets this week was private equity giant the Blackstone Group, which picked up a 50 percent stake in a gas field in the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana for $1.2 billion, The New York Times reports.
Houston-based Columbia Pipeline Group has announced plans to spend $1.75 billion to build two new pipelines to move natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays into the Northeast and also to connect to systems linked to the Gulf and the Midwest, FuelFix reports.
The Energy Department is set to finalize its new process to review liquefied natural gas exports to non-free trade agreement countries, one that could slow the pace of new approvals to follow the handful issued to date.
The department said the changes would go into effect immediately upon publication of a notice in the Federal Register on Friday, less than a month after a comment period ended.
Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell drilling rights in shale formations in Louisiana and Wyoming for $2.1 billion in two transactions.
In one of the deals, announced Thursday, Shell will also receive drilling rights to land in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Shell is working to focus its onshore U.S. drilling program on a few of the more prolific formations in an effort to boost profitability. The company wrote down the value of its shale acreage in the U.S. by $2.1 billion last year amid lower natural gas prices.
Analysts surveyed by Platts were predicting that Energy Information Administration numbers on last week’s natural gas storage build would come in between 81 and 85 billion cubic feet, which they’ll examine for signals power generators are continuing to switch from coal to gas.
Plants would no longer be exempt from air pollution regulations when they’re starting up, shutting down or malfunctioning, under a new regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency, The Hill reports.
A series of major energy and environmental regulations will be published by federal agencies between June and August, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules limiting power plant carbon emissions, the Interior Department’s rule protecting streams from mountaintop removal coal mining, and the Obama administration strategy for cutting methane emissions, The Hill reports.
A group of senators - 17 Democrats and Independent Bernie Sanders - has written to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, asking her to stop Royal Dutch Shell or anyone else from drilling in the Arctic, Reuters reports.
The reaction in Washington to this week’s oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara has been muted, National Journal reports, despite wishes expressed by environmentalists that the incident generate backing for policies moving the country away from fossil fuels.
A website set up by Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., to collect grievances about federal regulation and bureaucracy has received complaints about a wide variety of the Environmental Protection Agency’s pending regulations, E&E reports.
Mississippi electric power cooperatives are backing away from a deal in which they would take 15 percent ownership of the Kemper County coal plant that will use carbon capture technology, because they said the power it generates would end up being too expensive, E&E reports.
A stronger dollar combined with the drop of only 1 oil rig in Baker Hughes’ weekly count sent crude prices sliding Friday. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude lost 1.6 percent, or $1, to settle at $59.72 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London, Brent was $1.17 , or 1.8 percent, lower, at $65.37, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Standard & Poor’s thinks oil companies that have managed to survive the slide in crude prices by borrowing more money may start running into trouble in the coming months, particularly if the price stays in the $50 range, FuelFix reports.
A new analysis concludes that wells in Mountrail and McKenzie counties in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale are productive enough to remain profitable even with oil prices around $60 a barrel, FuelFix reports.
With oil prices dramatically lower than a year ago, AAA predicts that more than 37 million people will travel more than 50 miles over the Memorial Day weekend - the most since 2005, The New York Times reports.