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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A section of the 124-mile route of the planned Constitution Pipeline has been redrawn to avoid a 1,000-acre private forest with fragile wetlands.

Christopher Stockton, spokesman for the pipeline that will bring natural gas from Pennsylvania to New York City and New England, confirmed the route change Tuesday. Stockton says the change adds almost three miles to the route and affects 11 landowners who have signed right-of-way agreements.

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The Public Utilities Commission is considering whether to approve for the second time in just over five years construction of the South Dakota portion of the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The hearing process started Monday. The state authorized TransCanada Corp.'s project in 2010, but permits must be revisited if construction doesn't start within four years.

The commission is now considering the company's guarantee that it can complete the project while meeting the conditions of the 2010 approval.

It's unlikely the panel will make a decision immediately.

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Natural gas overtook coal as the top source of U.S. electric power generation for the first time ever earlier this spring, a milestone that has been in the making for years as the price of gas slides and new regulations make coal more risky for power generators.

About 31% of electric power generation in April came from natural gas, and 30% from coal, according to a recently released report from the research company SNL Energy, which used data from the U.S. Energy Department. Nuclear power came in third at 20%.

July 2015, Vol.242, No. 7

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — When Vermont became the first state to ban hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in 2012, Gov. Peter Shumlin said the ban was "in keeping with our environmental ethic and our protection of our natural resources."

But the state is likely on the verge of a big increase in the use of fracked gas from Canada.

July 2015, Vol. 242, No. 7

Although we are already 15 years deep into the 21st century and women working at the top rungs of professional life no longer turn heads, when it comes to the “hard” numbers-crunching parts in the global economy – science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) – women still get asked why they selected this way to earn a buck.

This same question is occasionally put to Paula Gant, holder of a doctorate degree in economics and the deputy assistant secretary for oil and natural gas in the federal Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy.

July 2015, Vol.242, No. 7

TransCanada Corp. has written to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arguing that new Canadian rules on emissions should persuade him to approve the construction of the much-delayed Keystone XL pipeline.

The proposed $6.4 billion project would carry an estimated 830,000 bpd of Canadian crude oil per from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, NE, then link up with Keystone’s existing line, which would take the oil on the final leg to the Texas coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

July 2015, Vol.242, No. 7

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Environmentalists called on California Gov. Jerry Brown to halt plans for months of hydraulic fracturing in the waters off Southern California, warning that it could lead to chemical pollution or an oil spill.

State regulators this month approved nine permits for operator Thums Long Beach Co. for so-called fracking operations between August and December in Long Beach Harbor.

July 2015, Vol. 242, No. 7

The federal Environmental Protection Agency on June 4 released a much-anticipated study of whether hydraulic fracturing contaminates drinking water supplies, concluding that while there have been some cases of contamination, the issue is not widespread.

July 2015, Vol.242, No. 7

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Firefighters investigating a reported petroleum stench at a California beach last month didn't take long to find a spill — oil was spreading across the sand and into the surf. Tracing the source, they found crude gushing from a bluff like a fire hose "without a nozzle," records show.

July 2015, Vol.242, No. 7

LOS ANGELES (AP) — ExxonMobil has been forced to halt operations at three offshore oil platforms because it couldn't deliver to refineries in the wake of a broken pipeline that spilled up to 101,000 gallons of crude on the Santa Barbara coast, the company said.

Operations temporarily ceased last week because Santa Barbara County rejected its emergency application to truck oil to refineries, spokesman Richard Keil said Tuesday.

July 2015, Vol.242, No. 7

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Photos of the pipeline that spilled oil on the Santa Barbara coast show extensive corrosion and provide clues about the cause of the rupture, experts said.

Corrosion visible around the crack, coupled with wear documented inside the pipe, led Robert Bea, a civil engineering professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, to believe the pipe burst during a pressure spike when the operator restarted pumps that had failed the morning of the May 19 spill.

July 2015, Vol.242, No. 7

GOLETA, CA — The cost of cleaning up the oil spill that fouled beaches last month on the California coast has reached $62 million so far, pipeline company Plains All American Pipeline said Wednesday.

Costs are running at $3 million a day, and there is no timetable for when the cleanup will be complete, the company's on-scene coordinator, Patrick Hodgins, told The Associated Press.

The Plains All American is responsible for footing the bill after a pipeline break near Santa Barbara forced the closure of two state beaches and prompted a fishing ban in the area.

July 2015, Vol.242, No. 7

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Texas company whose ruptured pipeline created the largest coastal oil spill in California in 25 years had assured the government that a break in the line while possible was "extremely unlikely" and state-of-the-art monitoring could quickly detect possible leaks and alert operators, documents show.

Nearly 1,200 pages of records, filed with state regulators by Plains All American Pipeline, detail a range of defenses the company established to guard against crude oil spills and, at the same time, prepare for the worst should a spill occur.

July 2015, Vol.242, No. 7

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal jury has found a former BP executive not guilty of making false statements to investigators in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Prosecutors said David Rainey, the former vice president of Exploration for the Gulf of Mexico, in the early days of the spill, manipulated calculations to match a far-too-low government estimate of the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. However, defense attorneys said Rainey's figures were made honestly and that he had no reason to lie.

July 2015, Vol.242, No. 7

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A pipeline rupture that spilled an estimated 101,000 gallons of crude oil near Santa Barbara last month occurred along a badly corroded section that had worn away to a fraction of an inch in thickness, according to federal regulators.

The preliminary findings released Wednesday by the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration point to a possible cause of the May 19 spill that blackened popular beaches and created a 9-mile slick in the Pacific Ocean.

June 2015, Vol. 242, No. 6

Key House members berated the federal pipeline safety agency in advance of upcoming efforts by Congress to reauthorize federal pipeline safety laws. Leaders of the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials were harshly critical of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for failing to complete numerous rulemakings stemming from the 2012 Pipeline Safety Act. Hearings in the subcommittee took place April 14. That unhappiness could result in more onerous safety regulations for natural gas transportation companies.

May 2015, Vol 242, No. 5

Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) recently delivered its Expanded Containment System (ECS), designed for well-containment capabilities and response readiness for operators in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The enhanced system builds on the equipment and technology put into place with MWCC’s Interim Containment System, made available in February 2011.

April 2015, Vol. 242, No. 4

With energy security and climate change at the top of the global agenda, carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) is gaining momentum. CCUS technology offers a solution supporting production of incremental hydrocarbon reserves from existing fields while storing CO2 away from the atmosphere.

March 2015, Vol. 242, No. 3

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy calls our nation’s natural gas abundance “a game-changer in our ability to really move forward with pollution reductions.” She’s right. Expanding natural gas use for power generation is the primary reason the U.S. has reduced carbon emissions more than any other country over the past eight years and driven sulfur dioxide and smog-forming NOx emissions down by more than two-thirds over the past two decades.

July 2015, Vol.242, No. 7

The Obama administration announced a plan to cut methane emissions from pipeline operations but gave no specifics beyond the federal agencies which would handle rule-makings. The technical details of those rule-makings and the extent of the cut of methane emissions they seek to produce won't be known for some time.