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October 1, 2006
Regarding "Natural Gas From Overseas Sources Is Raising Concerns," Sept. 21: The California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to approve my order establishing natural-gas quality standards for investor-owned utilities, including Southern California Gas Co. With liquefied natural gas expected to enter our state within the next two years, it is crucial that we act now to put in place more restrictive natural gas quality specifications to...
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NATIONAL
April 24, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
Soaring flames kept a major natural gas plant in southwestern Wyoming closed on Thursday, affecting fuel supplies across the West. The fire followed an explosion Wednesday afternoon at one of the five natural-gas processing units at a Williams Cos. plant near Opal, Wyo. About 40 workers immediately left the plant, shutting off incoming and outgoing pipes on the way out. No one was injured. The entire 88-acre town of Opal was evacuated Wednesday and some 60 residents who spent the night in hotels were allowed back into their homes at about noon Thursday, Opal Mayor Mary Hall told the Los Angeles Times.  Authorities used air monitoring equipment to see whether methane levels were low enough for the town to be safe, Williams spokesman George Angerbauer told The Times.
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BUSINESS
January 27, 2014 | Ronald D. White
Clean Energy Fuels Corp., the Seal Beach company that builds and operates natural-gas filling stations for some of the nation's biggest bus and truck fleets, is banking on corporate customers to buy more clean-energy vehicles this year. Executives hope that a growing fleet will boost sales of natural gas and propel Clean Energy to its first annual profit since its 1997 founding by Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, the onetime oil baron and corporate raider, and the company's chief executive, Andrew Littlefair.
SCIENCE
April 15, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
Greenhouse gas emissions in the United States dropped by 3.4% in 2012, federal environmental regulators reported Tuesday. The decline over the previous year was driven mostly by power plant operators switching from coal to natural gas, improvements in fuel efficiency for transportation and a warmer winter that cut demand for heating, according to an inventory released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The analysis shows the nation released the equivalent of 6,526 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2012, the lowest level since 1994.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 15, 2011 | By Dean Kuipers
A music video about "fracking"? Last week, Time magazine named a funny video about the natural-gas extraction process called fracking the No. 2 most creative video of 2011. It may be fun to say, but fracking is hard on the environment and local water safety, and that's the message behind this video, which has now gone viral and has over 200,000 views on YouTube. “It's a word you hear but you don't exactly know what it means or what it all entails. So I think it helps get people interested in the topic, and hopefully, if they watch the video, they'll go read an article about it or find out more information about what it is and what the effects are,” says Lisa Rucker, an editor in Los Angeles for  production company Pictures in a Row. She called from a set in Kentucky where she was helping to shoot a commercial.
NEWS
April 10, 1989 | from Associated Press
An explosion apparently caused by natural gas ripped a 40-foot section from a motel Sunday, injuring 31 people. The blast occurred four minutes after someone phoned Montana-Dakota Utilities and reported a strong smell of natural gas, said Dick Blee, the acting Billings fire chief. Firefighters controlled the blaze within three hours. "We have witnessed a miracle," Fire Department Capt. Marvin Jochems said after searchers accounted for all 60 people registered at the three-story Super 8 Motel.
BUSINESS
January 22, 2010 | By Tiffany Hsu
Utility regulators have approved $350 million in rebates to encourage Californians to install water-heating systems powered by solar energy. The state Public Utilities Commission on Thursday established the California Solar Initiative Thermal Program, which will be funded using $250 million to replace natural-gas-powered water heaters, with $25 million set aside for low-income customers. An additional $100.8 million will be used to swap out water heaters powered by electricity. The rebates could reduce the cost of a solar water heater by 15% to 25%, industry experts said.
BUSINESS
February 6, 2014 | By Shan Li
California hasn't completely escaped the effects of the polar vortex. Although the Golden State avoided the freezing snowfalls that affected regions farther east, power plants in the Southland are now grappling with low supplies of natural gas brought on by cold weather that won't quit. That has prompted the state's electric power grid operator, known as the California Independent System Operator, to issue a Flex Alert asking for voluntary energy conservation on Thursday until 10 p.m. PHOTOS: Richest and poorest cities in America The operator, which normally issues such alerts during the hot days of summer when air conditioners are on full blast, is working closely with California gas companies to ensure "the reliability of the electric and gas systems in California.
OPINION
January 3, 2012 | By Hal Harvey
Political leaders from both parties argue that natural gas could save our economy, the environment and promote our national security. Is this so? Or is it just a dream? It turns out that the way one develops natural gas will determine whether it is a serious help to our energy and climate problems, or a dangerous extension of bad habits. On the face of it, natural gas looks terrific. The United States — and many other countries — have abundant domestic supplies. The cost, per delivered unit of energy, is about a third of that of oil. It is cheap and fast to build power plants fueled by natural gas. And when burned, it emits only half as much carbon as coal.
NEWS
April 13, 2012 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON -- President Obama signed an executive order Friday creating an interagency task force to coordinate oversight of the country's booming natural gas development, a step that eased industry concerns about the relatively high number of federal agencies involved in the process. The task force will be chaired by White House energy adviser Heather Zichal and have "deputy-level representatives” from the departments of Defense, Energy, Interior and Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency, among others.
BUSINESS
April 2, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Pacific Gas & Electric Co., indicted by the federal government for criminal behavior stemming from a Bay Area natural gas explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes, still faces more trouble. In the next few months, PG&E will face the likelihood of a fine from the California Public Utilities Commission as high as $2.25 billion for its role in the September 2010 disaster in the city of San Bruno. On Tuesday, the U.S. attorney in San Francisco announced that a grand jury indicted PG&E on 12 alleged violations of the federal Pipeline Safety Act involving poor record keeping and faulty management practices.
NATIONAL
March 31, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
The owner of a natural gas facility downplayed the danger to residents after an explosion at the facility injured four people and forced the evacuation of a small town in southern Washington on Monday morning. The processing facility is owned by Northwest Pipeline, a subsidiary of Williams Partners, a Tulsa, Okla.-based energy company. The facility is located 2 1/2 miles west of Plymouth, whose 300 to 400 residents were ordered to evacuate after the 8:20 a.m. blast. The company was investigating the cause of the explosion.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Most people may take natural gas for granted. It fuels the flame on your stove, fires your furnace. It's there when you need it. For Sempra Energy, natural gas is big business. The San Diego company owns Southern California Gas Co., the nation's largest natural gas distribution company, and San Diego Gas & Electric, one of the largest publicly owned power companies in the country. Sempra reported net income of $1 billion last year on revenue of $10.6 billion. It has 17,000 employees worldwide and provides energy to more than 30 million people.
NATIONAL
March 22, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
In a Louisiana swamp several miles upriver from the Gulf of Mexico, about 3,000 construction workers are building a massive industrial facility to liquefy natural gas, preparing for a new era when the U.S. will begin exporting energy around the globe. The $12-billion project is one of the largest single industrial investments in the nation, part of a massive transformation of the energy sector that has led to a boom in drilling, transportation and refining from coast to coast. Five years ago, the idea of exporting U.S. gas and oil was not only unheard of, but, in the case of most U.S. crude oil, illegal.
NATIONAL
March 18, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK -- The main pipeline running beneath Park Avenue on the block where a blast killed eight people was leaking outside one of the buildings destroyed, investigators said Tuesday, but they have not determined the cause of the leak. It also is too soon to know whether that leak is what caused the massive March 12 explosion in East Harlem, which destroyed two buildings between 116th and 117th streets. The discovery of the leak came as officials from the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates pipeline blasts, conducted pressure tests on the cast iron gas main and the smaller feeder lines that serve buildings on the block.
BUSINESS
March 17, 2014 | By Shan Li
Chesapeake Energy Corp. said it plans to spin off its oil field services division into a separate publicly traded company. The news came weeks after the the oil and natural gas producer said it was pursuing strategic alternatives for the division, including a possible sale. The Oklahoma City company, which is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the U.S., has been moving to cut costs after a year of upheaval that included the ouster of Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon.
NATIONAL
July 9, 2013 | By Devin Kelly
Workers were attempting to plug a natural gas leak on a well at a platform about 75 miles off the Louisiana coast on Tuesday. No explosion or blowout was reported. Workers were trying to temporarily plug the well Monday night when they lost control of it, the Associated Press reported. The platform was evacuated safely, the Coast Guard said, and two other wells were shut off. A “rainbow sheen” of natural gas, more than four miles wide and three-quarters of a mile long, was floating on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, authorities reported after a fly-over assessment Tuesday.
NEWS
June 22, 2011 | By Tom Hamburger, Washington Bureau
A top official of Koch Industries is sending letters to Capitol Hill on Wednesday urging opposition to energy legislation that would boost the use of natural gas, a proposal backed by energy billionaire T. Boone Pickens. The amiable relationship that David and Charles Koch, who own Koch Industries, once had with Pickens has soured in recent months over legislation backed by Pickens that would provide a federal subsidy for the development of vehicles fueled by natural gas. While Pickens and others in the natural gas industry favor the proposal as a way to reduce dependence on foreign oil and encourage use of cleaner burning gas, the Kochs are urging members to oppose the Pickens-backed legislation, saying they believe government subsidies distort the economy and create inefficiencies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 2014 | By Julie Cart
IVANPAH VALLEY, Calif. - The day begins early at the Ivanpah solar power plant. Long before the sun rises, computers aim five square miles of mirrors to reflect the first rays of dawn onto one of three 40-story towers rising above the desert floor. The 356,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door, focus so much light on the towers that they pulsate with a blinding white light. At the top of each tower is an enormous boiler where the sun's energy heats water to more than 1,000 degrees, creating steam that spins electricity-generating turbines.
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