The Obama administration's proposed carbon rule for existing power plants will require more natural gas pipelines to ensure reliable electricity service, federal energy regulators warned lawmakers on Tuesday.
Members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told a House subcommittee that it is too soon to know the exact impacts of the rule, because states will be left to draw up their own implementation plans.
Yet, Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur said the rule's expectation of greater gas use, to about 30 percent of U.S. generation, poses transmission challenges in the coming years.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Top California regulators communicated often and enthusiastically with executives at Pacific Gas & Electric Co., even offering unsolicited advice on handling the media while they presided over a case to decide how much the utility should pay for a deadly explosion in a San Francisco Bay Area suburb, according to a trove of emails released Monday.
The 7,000 pages of emails between leaders at PG&E and California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey and his staff were released as the result of a lawsuit filed by the city of San Bruno.
The Environmental Protection Agency's voluntary program to reduce leaks of the potent greenhouse gas methane from natural gas systems has had limited success in cutting emissions from aging local distribution systems, and officials should consider direct regulation, its internal watchdog reported Friday.
EPA Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins, Jr. said in the report that the Natural Gas STAR program has been held back by factors at the distribution stage, including market disincentives for companies to fix leaks that are costing consumers an estimated $192 million annually.
The problems have the potential to undercut President Barack Obama's climate action plan, which seeks to curb methane as well as carbon dioxide.
At the current rate of work, it would take 30 years to repair and replace utilities’ aging natural gas pipelines around the country, but compressing that to 10 years would create more than 300,000 jobs and slash methane emissions, according to a report from the BlueGreen Alliance, FuelFix reports.
A 20 percent increase in revenue for Noble Energy in the second quarter on higher shale production wasn’t enough to sustain last year's profits, which fell 49 percent compared to the year-ago period, to $192 million, FuelFix reports, noting the company dropped $187 million on commodity derivatives.
HOUSTON (AP) — Breitburn Energy is buying QR Energy LP in a deal worth about $1.46 billion.
QR unitholders will receive approximately 72 million common units of Breitburn Energy Partners LP, or 0.9856 of a Breitburn unit, for each unit of QR Energy that they own. The consideration to be received by QR unitholders is valued at $22.48 per unit, a 19 percent premium to Wednesday's closing price of $18.87.
Shares of Houston's QR Energy were up more than 8 percent Thursday in premarket trading.
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's trade deficit surged to a record 7.6 trillion yen ($74.9 billion) in the first half of the year as exports failed to keep pace with surging imports, the Finance Ministry reported Thursday.
Japan's bulging import bill was partly due to a jump in demand as businesses and consumers stepped up purchases ahead of an April 1 increase in the sales tax to 8 percent from 5 percent.
Imports for the six months jumped 10 percent to 42.6 trillion yen ($420 billion) while exports rose 3.2 percent to 35.1 trillion yen ($346 billion), the preliminary data show.
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.