Pipeline protesters rally in Boston

The Associated Press

Hundreds rallied in Boston Wednesday to express their opposition to a Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline proposed to run through northwest Massachusetts, urging Gov. Deval Patrick to pull his support from it, The Associated Press reports.

PG&E charged with obstruction over San Bruno blast

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal grand jury charged Pacific Gas & Electric on Tuesday with lying to federal investigators in connection with a fatal pipeline explosion that killed eight people and leveled a suburban Northern California neighborhood in 2010.

The U.S. attorney in San Francisco announced the obstruction of justice charge and 27 related counts, which are in a new indictment charging the utility with felonies. It replaces a previous indictment that contained 12 counts related to PG&E's safety practices, but not obstruction.

Bilfinger photo

FERC: Carbon rule to pose challenge for natural gas system

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.

Elkins: EPA should weigh rules to curb local natural gas leaks

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.

Accelerating natgas pipeline replacement would provide boost


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.

Conflict between gas needs and property rights in Massachusetts

The New York Times

Massachusetts officials hopeful that building a new network of natural gas pipelines will alleviate winter fuel shortages are meeting opposition from rural landowners concerned the new infrastructure will infringe on their property, The New York Times reports.

Enbridge, Alaska in talks on new gas pipeline

The Wall Street Journal

Canada's Enbridge Inc. is negotiating with Alaska to build a new natural gas pipeline along the North Slope, a potential challenger to a similar project proposed by TransCanada, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Bulgaria, Russia push for pipeline blocked by EU

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria and Russia on Monday voiced hope that work on the Russia-led South Stream gas pipeline project, which had been blocked by the European Union, can be resumed.

Last month, Bulgaria, an EU member, suspended work on the pipeline after the EU executive commission said Bulgaria hadn't respected internal market rules covering the award of public contracts.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Oresharski said the pipeline project is very important to his country and its implementation will be resumed within the European legal framework. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who was visiting, called on the EU to restart dialogue with Russia on the pipeline project, adding that construction is still on deadline.

Hungary to build its part of South Stream

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Hungary says it will go ahead and build its part of Gazprom's South Stream gas pipeline that bypasses Ukraine to supply Europe, despite U.S. and EU objections to the project.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Tuesday in Serbia that "those who say we shouldn't build South Stream should make an alternative proposal about how we could live without energy."

Orban added that "we are going to build the South Stream."

South Stream caught in political dispute

The New York Times

The fallout from the Ukraine crisis has stalled the project to build the South Stream pipeline that would bring Russian gas to the heart of Europe through the Balkans, The New York Times reports.


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