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Natural Gas

Democratic Senators Seek 'Time Out' To Assess Impacts Of Exporting LNG

Two Democratic senators are urging the Obama administration to put off decisions related to exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG), to allow for additional research into the potential economic, environmental and infrastructure impacts.

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) both spoke to what is becoming an increasingly divisive issue among manufacturers, utilities and energy producers during a March 20 panel, "Unleashing Potential: Finding the Best Regulatory Environment to Boost Responsible Natural Gas Production," hosted by National Journal in Washington, DC.

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New Study Could Help EPA Address Growing Seismic Risks From Fracking

The Obama administration's call for Congress to fund an expanded study on the risks of hydraulic fracturing could help EPA determine whether its rules are adequate to address potential seismic risks stemming from wastewater disposal from the gas drilling practice, concerns that have been heightened by Ohio's recent finding that a series of quakes were caused by such disposal.

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GAO Produced Water Study Could Boost Industry Push To Stop Gas ELGs

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) study, which found that produced water associated with natural gas development widely varies according to region, could bolster industry efforts to push back against forthcoming EPA wastewater rules for the natural gas drilling sector.

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California Plant's GHG Permit Could Set Precedent For Backup Power

EPA Region IX officials are struggling to finalize a proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) emission limit for a California simple-cycle, natural gas-fired peaking power plant that will back up renewable energy facilities, in a decision that could set a national precedent for other backup power sources, sources say.

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EPA Examining Existing Authorities To Step Up Regulation Of Fracking

EPA is conducting a broad review of its legal authorities to increase its oversight of hydraulic fracturing and bypass statutory exemptions that may make it difficult for the agency to regulate some practices, a review that some sources say is getting a boost by President Obama's calls for safe development of natural gas resources.

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EPA Seeks More Time From Industry To Craft Revised Diesel Fracking Policy

EPA is seeking more time from industry groups to revise its policy for permitting hydraulic fracturing operations that use diesel fuel in their fluid under its underground injection control (UIC) program, sources say.

The agency missed a March 15 deadline to soften its informal policy recommending that drillers using diesel fuel in their fracking fluid seek strict Class II underground injection control (UIC) permits, changes that are required by a recent settlement with industry groups that feared the policy could subject companies that used the fuel to retroactive enforcement.

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API Faces Doubts Over Alleged Economic Harm From EPA Fracking Rules

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is facing questions over a new study claiming that forthcoming EPA rules limiting air emissions from hydraulic fracturing are infeasible and will drastically curtail extraction because an earlier natural gas industry study showed that many drillers are already complying with the rule's expected requirements.

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EPA Rejects Call To Exempt Fracking Equipment As 'Intermittent' Source

EPA headquarters is concurring with an opinion by Region II that air emissions from drilling equipment at hydraulic fracturing operations are subject to modeling requirements to determine whether they must be regulated, rejecting industry calls to exempt the emissions under the agency's policy for "intermittent" sources.

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EPA Slated To Soften Diesel Fracking Policy

Under a recent settlement agreement with industry groups, EPA is slated March 15 to soften controversial policy language on its website that had required hydraulic fracturing operations that use diesel fuel in their injection fluid to seek strict underground injection control (UIC) permits.

The settlement deadline may also coincide with release of the agency's long-awaited draft guidance for how states and regions should craft permitting conditions for those operations -- which has been under review by the White House Office of Management & Budget since Dec. 14.

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EPA Seeks More Fracking Well Tests

EPA is conducting an additional round of water-well testing to determine whether natural gas drilling activities contaminated a Pavillion, WY, aquifer and will delay a peer review of its controversial draft conclusions that drilling fluids may have caused the pollution until the new test data is available.

The additional testing could quell concerns expressed by state officials, industry groups and GOP lawmakers that the agency could use the draft conclusions of a single study to make the case for increased regulation of drilling activities.

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