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Trump order aims to speed pipeline reviews, approvals
The Trump administration plans to quicken the review process for oil and natural gas pipelines in federally designated energy corridors, according to an executive order signed by President Trump last Tuesday.

The order is aimed at quickening the pace of environmental reviews and federal permitting for pipelines and other infrastructure projects, part of an effort to remove regulatory uncertainty for projects, Trump said.

"So it's going to be quick, it's going to be a very streamlined process," Trump said. "And, by the way, if it doesn't meet environmental safeguards, we're not going to approve it. Very simple."

The order calls for making the federal environmental review and permitting process "coordinated, predictable, and transparent," according to the text, setting a goal for federal authorization decisions for major infrastructure projects of two years.

Such infrastructure projects include roads, bridges, railroads and ports, but also infrastructure for "energy production and generation, including from fossil, renewable, nuclear and hydro sources," according to the order. <Continue reading>
U.S. Maritime grant aims to find cleaner river towboat engine
PIOGA's Pipeline and Gas Market Development Committee, led by its Alternative Fueling and Infrastructure Subcommittee, has been an avid supporter of a demonstration project to convert a Pittsburgh towboat from diesel to liquefied natural gas. Here's an update from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Diesel-powered towboats on the nation's inland waterways spew some of the dirtiest exhaust emissions, but an experiment on a vessel docked in the Monongahela River eventually could help clear Pittsburgh's air.

Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities, a local nonprofit that's part of the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities program, is leading the project, which will use natural gas to power the Principio, a towboat that has been pushing barges on thethree rivers since the 1940s. It is currently docked in Braddock.

The retrofit of the towboat, one of three operated by Gulf Materials LLC, will costabout $1.4 millionand use $730,000 from the U.S. Maritime Administration, and other funding, including a pending grant from the Allegheny County Health Department. <Continue reading>
Pennsylvania voters reject bailouts for nuclear power companies, says new poll
API Pennsylvania today released a poll last week showing the overwhelming majority of Pennsylvania voters would oppose legislation that would force consumers in the state to pay a special fee to bailout nuclear power companies. API Pennsylvania urged members of the Pennsylvania state legislature to reject any measure that could raise costs for consumers and hurt workers across the state.
"Despite the fact that half of the voters across the state think electricity prices are too high, some are asking legislators in Harrisburg to force Pennsylvania consumers to pay a special fee to bail out nuclear power companies," said Executive Director Stephanie Catarino Wissman. "Picking winners and losers in the electricity markets by providing bailouts to nuclear power at the expense of Pennsylvania consumers would diminish the benefits that clean-burning natural gas has brought to Pennsylvania workers and consumers. Moving forward, the legislature should reject any measure that could raise costs for consumers and hurt workers across the state."
Key poll results:
  • 84 percent of voters agree that Pennsylvania consumers should not have to pay a special fee to bailout Exelon's nuclear power plants.
  • 84 percent of voters oppose legislation charging consumers a special fee to fund Exelon's nuclear power plants.
  • 77 percent of voters agree that the electricity market should be based on the marketplace, not special treatment for one corporation.
  • 60 percent of voters believe that electricity prices are lower with competition, not government intervention.
Daily gas market report
If you follow natural gas markets religiously, you may be interested in subscribing to a daily email from David Marks of Dominion Field Services. Marks, an active member of PIOGA's Pipeline and Gas Market Development Committee, reports on daily market activities including basis at the region's hubs, market trends, statistics and even provides a few choice historical nuggets to get your day started. Visit the Commodities page of the PIOGA website for an email link to request to be placed on the distribution list for the report. There is no cost to subscribe.
Have you urged your state representative to say no to a severance tax?
Although leaders of Pennsylvania's House of Representatives continue to express skepticism about the Senate-passed budget revenue package that includes a severance tax on unconventional natural gas production, nothing can be taken for granted when it comes to politics.

House leaders have not announced a timetable for taking up a revenue plan of their own, so there is still time to reach out to your representative in opposition to a severance tax. Please take the time to call his or her district office (the House is not in session at this time) or try to schedule a meeting to express your concerns. Need to know how to identify and contact your representative? Use this link and click on My Officials to get started.

The Senate-passed tax initially would be 2 cents per Mcf, but could increase to as much as 3.5 cents depending on the price of natural gas. The tax would be levied on top of the existing unconventional well impact fee. Additionally, the legislation would burden natural gas users with a 5.7 percent gross receipts tax.
Please let your elected officials know how a severance tax will hurt your business, whether you are a producer or a company that serves the oil and gas industry, and encourage them to seek other ways of solving Pennsylvania's budget problems other than on the back our industry and the state's businesses and citizens.
Tips, Tools and Strategies for Completing a Root Cause Accident Investigation
Root cause accident investigations (RCAs) provide insight required to understand and prevent the causes of near misses and undesirable incidents. Managing a successful RCA requires a well-organized and systematic approach. Please join our panel of industrial, legal and regulatory experts on September 14 in Canonsburg as they provide tips, tools and strategies for completing a comprehensive and successful RCA.

Organized by PIOGA's Safety Committee, the program is entitled "Tips, Tools and Strategies for Completing a Root Cause Accident Investigation." It will cover these topics:
  • OSHA Tips and Resources for Conducting Root Cause Analysis Investigations
  • Reducing Risk through Root Cause Analysis- A Practical Approach for Oil and Gas Operations
  • Incident Investigation Tips & Techniques aka "The Lumberjack's Guide to RCA Trees"
  • Emergency Response and Crisis Management: Legal considerations and pitfalls to avoid during crucial investigations
The registration deadline is September 8, but space is limited so don't wait to make your reservation. Click here for complete details and registration.
Join us for fun, networking and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball
SMC Business Councils invites PIOGA members for some baseball, fun and networking on Thursday, August 24, as the Pittsburgh Pirates take on the LA Dodgers in a 4:05 p.m. game at PNC Park. The cost is $50 per person, which includes admission to the Miller Lite Deck, food and beer.

Space is limited, so register today!

Tips, Tools, and Strategies for Completing a Comprehensive Root Cause Accident Investigation


Upcoming Events

20th Annual PIOGA Divot Diggers Golf Outing, August 24, Tam O'Shanter Golf Course, Hermitage 

IOGCC Annual Conference, October 1-3, Pittsburgh

PIOGA Annual Membership Meeting, October 5, DoubleTree Pittsburgh/Cranberry

PIOGA Annual Tax & Accounting Seminar, November 30, location TBA 

Need to find some resource documents that were on the legacy Members Only Area?  Click here. If prompted for a password, use pioga-13.