Monday, July 26, 2010
"The oil and gas industry has a long history of spills in the Gulf of Mexico, dumping 517,847 barrels of petroleum into the Gulf between 1964 and 2009, federal records show.
In all, those spills double the volume of oil that leaked in the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989. The oil has reached as far as Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and has killed thousands of birds and other wildlife." More>>>>
Saturday, July 24, 2010
"CANONSBURG, Pa. — The streams of people came to the public meeting here armed with stories of yellowed and foul-smelling well water, deformed livestock, poisoned fish and itchy skin. One resident invoked the 1968 zombie thriller “Night of the Living Dead,” which, as it happens, was filmed just an hour away from this southwestern corner of Pennsylvania.
The culprit, these people argued, was hydraulic fracturing, a method of extracting natural gas that involves blasting underground rock with a cocktail of water, sand and chemicals.
Gas companies countered that the horror stories described in Pennsylvania and at other meetings held recently in Texas and Colorado are either fictions or not the companies’ fault. More regulation, the industry warned, would kill jobs and stifle production of gas, which the companies consider a clean-burning fuel the nation desperately needs." More>>>>
"A critical alarm system that should have warned workers of danger aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig had been disabled before the rig erupted into flames on April 20, the vessel's chief electrician testified Friday at a federal hearing into the accident.
Michael Williams, an employee of Transocean Ltd., the company that owned the rig, said the general alarm system aboard the Deepwater Horizon had been "inhibited." It was intended to automatically sound an alarm warning workers to move immediately out of harm's way.
But Mr. Williams said the automatic system had been switched off because Transocean rig managers "did not want people woken up at 3 a.m. with false alarms." Instead, the rig-wide alarm had to be triggered manually—and never sounded.
Many workers aboard the rig said that they had no advance notice there was a serious problem with the well until after a surge of natural gas set off the first of two massive explosions. Eleven workers died before the rig sank and unleashed the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
Mr. Williams, who filed a lawsuit against Transocean in federal court in New Orleans on April 29, said he voiced concerns about the alarm system to his supervisors. He was testifying Friday at a hearing in Kenner, La. which is being conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement." More>>>>
"Santa Fe homeowners anxious to retrofit their houses with renewable-energy systems using loans from a ready-to-launch county program will have to wait longer.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency is challenging loan programs that help homeowners cover the initial purchase and installation costs of renewable-energy systems through specially assessed property taxes. The agency's stance has stalled the launch of Santa Fe County's version of a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. Santa Fe legislators who championed a 2009 state law allowing counties to establish the program are angry.
"The FHFA is making a bone-headed decision," said Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe.
In 2009, the Legislature passed bills drafted by Egolf and Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, allowing New Mexico counties to create special assessment tax districts for renewable-energy retrofits. Homeowners can opt into the district, take out a long-term loan to install a solar photovoltaic, solar thermal or other renewable-energy system and pay the loan back through their property taxes. The special assessment in the "renewable energy financing district," only applies to homeowners who want to join the program.
Santa Fe County was ready to launch the state's first renewable-energy financing district this summer. Similar programs are available in 22 other states, according to Wirth. The legislators say special assessments for renewable-energy retrofit loans are little different from special assessments levied on property owners to pay for paving, water systems and other projects.
But FHFA, the agency that regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and a dozen federal home loan banks, took issue with the programs and issued directives that will restrict the kinds of loans homeowners can get if they live in an area that offers a PACE program for renewable-energy retrofits. " More>>>>
Friday, July 23, 2010
"A U.S. EPA hearing yesterday in Pennsylvania over the risks of drilling in Marcellus Shale got loud at times as most of the 1,200 attendees made it clear they opposed the hydraulic fracturing process.
Many speakers shared stories of well contamination and human and animal sickness that they say was linked to water contamination from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which uses water and chemicals to crack tight rock formations and release natural gas."...
And the article continues with these amazing and disputable industry advocate statements:
..."Not all at the hearing criticized the process. Lou D'Amico, president of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association, said fracking was "neither a new nor controversial" technique. "Any controversy is based on hysteria, not facts," he said. "It's had no negative impact on groundwater anywhere it's been used."' More, subscription required>>>>
Thursday, July 22, 2010
“Our view is that this accident was preventable,” said James T. Hackett, chief executive of the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, a part owner in the well.
The well is owned jointly by BP and its investment partners, Anadarko and a subsidiary of the Mitsui Oil Exploration Corporation known as MOEX Offshore 2007.
BP, listed in the contracts as the operator of the well, owns 65 percent; Anadarko owns 25 percent; MOEX, 10 percent. By the terms of the companies’ joint operating agreement, their legal liability for the well corresponds to their share of ownership.
The joint ownership is distinct from the legal relationships with the contractors involved in the drilling, like Transocean, the owner of the rig. Transocean and the other contractors argue that under their own operating agreements, BP has broadly shielded them from liability.
BP has already billed the partners more than $1 billion for their share of expenses so far, but the companies have declined to pay." More>>>>
Katie Howell, E&E reporter
"A coalition of nearly 75 environmental groups is lobbying Democratic leaders to include onshore oil and gas reforms in broad packages of offshore reforms the House and Senate could consider next week.
In a letter yesterday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the groups stress the importance of improving safety regulations at onshore oil and gas wells." More, trial subscription or subscription required>>>>
"NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Four of the big five Western oil majors have formed a $1 billion nonprofit joint venture aimed at combating future oil spills, possibly to head off stricter offshore-drilling rules." More>>>>
by Yereth Rosen
"All activity on oil and leases in the Chukchi Sea off northwestern Alaska must cease until federal regulators complete a review of how the drilling would impact the environment, a federal judge in Anchorage ruled Wednesday.
U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline, ruling in a lawsuit filed by several environmental and Alaska Native organizations, said the Minerals Management Service failed to abide by federal environmental law when it sold $2.66 billion worth of leases in the Chukchi in 2008, mostly to Royal Dutch Shell."...
..."The Chukchi lease sale "was the product of the same broken system that led to poor oversight of BP's drilling operations," Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director, said in a joint statement released by the plaintiffs." Article>>>>
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN (AP) – 59 minutes ago
"ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Several environmental groups are crying foul over the recent hire of a former Bureau of Land Management official as the president of New Mexico's leading oil and natural gas industry group.
The groups sent a letter Wednesday to BLM Director Bob Abbey and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, asking for an investigation into whether the industry improperly influenced Steve Henke during his time as head of the BLM's Farmington field office in northwestern New Mexico. The area is home to the San Juan Basin, one of the nation's largest natural gas fields.
The groups also want an independent ethics review of Henke's hiring by the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, and they are requesting that he be restricted in his new position from interacting with BLM offices in New Mexico for two years.
"We cannot help but view Mr. Henke's sudden hiring by NMOGA as an example of the cozy relationship between industry and government officials that Interior Secretary Salazar has committed to confronting," said the letter, which also was sent to members of New Mexico's congressional delegation."...
..."Other groups signing on to the letter include the San Juan Citizens Alliance, Earthworks' Oil and Gas Accountability Project, Dine Citizens Against Ruining our Environment, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and Drilling Santa Fe." Full article>>>>
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
"July 20 (Bloomberg) -- The Obama administration continued a decade-long pattern of lax U.S. regulation of offshore oil and natural gas drilling that led to BP Plc’s spill in the Gulf of Mexico, lawmakers investigating the spill said.
Regulators during George W. Bush’s presidency failed to protect safety and the environment, and actions by President Barack Obama’s Interior Department have been “more cosmetic than substantive,” Representative Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat, said today at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing.
Decisions dating to the start of President Bush’s administration played a role in the BP spill, the worst in U.S. history, Stupak said. The Interior Department agency responsible for oversight of drilling failed to keep pace with increases in offshore exploration, he said.
“There has been a pervasive failure by the regulators to take the actions necessary to protect safety and the environment,” Stupak said. “These failures to regulate happened at the time federal officials offered oil and gas companies new incentives to drill in deeper and riskier waters in the Gulf of Mexico.”
While Obama’s Interior secretary, Ken Salazar, canceled a royalty-in-kind program faulted by a government watchdog, adopted ethics rules and sought more inspectors for offshore facilities, “there is little evidence that these reforms changed the laissez-faire approach” by the Minerals Management Service “in regulating the BP well,” said Representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat."
Tuesday, July 20th 2010, 10:26 AM
"The U.S. is no longer the world's biggest user of energy.
It's now China, according to new data released this week.
America had been the biggest consumer of energy for more than 100 years, but China's rapid economic growth in the past 20 years pushed its energy demands beyond those of the U.S.
Monday, July 19, 2010
(AP) – 14 minutes ago
"WASHINGTON — A White House spokesman says BP's ruptured oil well is leaking at the top, along with seepage about two miles away.
Robert Gibbs also says officials are monitoring bubbles that can be seen on an underwater camera.
Leaks could mean the cap on the well has to be opened to prevent oil and gas from escaping elsewhere.
The mechanical cap on the well stopped the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below. More>>>>
Friday, July 16, 2010
"...The company defended the performance of its vessel and said the large quantity of dispersants poured into the water near the source of the spill made skimming difficult.
"The particular conditions present in the Macondo spill did not afford the vessel the opportunity to recover a significant amount of oil," said a statement by Bob Grantham, spokesman for TMT Offshore.
"This is due to the highly dispersed nature of the oil in the Gulf. When dispersants are used in high volume, virtually from the point that oil leaves the well, it presents real challenges for high-volume skimming," Grantham said..." More>>>>
~~~Why did BP use so much of the toxic dispersants?
"SANTA FE, N.M.
The Bureau of Land Management says it will offer oil and gas leasing mineral rights on parcels totaling more than 42,000 acres in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas at its next lease sale.
The oral auction will be Wednesday in Santa Fe.
Parcels will be awarded to qualified bidders offering the highest acceptable bid. The minimum acceptable bid is $2 per acre." More>>>>
"The New Mexico Independent
Of the 71 safety violations, 55 were “serious,” meaning they were potentially life-threatening, according to the Utah Occupational Safety and Health ..." More>>>>
"Artesia Fire Chief J.D. Hummingbird heard the explosion at the Navajo Refinery just before 1 p.m. March 2. He stepped outside to see a large, black plume of smoke rising from the facility, which sits at the intersection of two busy highways less than a mile from the fire station.
Firefighters arrived to find a storage tank, where contractors had been welding, engulfed in flames.
Two of the workers, Natividad Andajo and Victor Villa, were dead. Their bodies were burned beyond recognition.
Two other workers, both critically-injured, were airlifted to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas. One of them, Juan Carlos Hermosillo, 24, suffered broken arms, broken hips and fractured vertebrae." More>>>>
"FARMINGTON — Steve Henke, the former manager of the Bureau of Land Management's Farmington field office, will take the helm as president of New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, the industry advocacy group announced Wednesday.
Henke, 56, starts work as NMOGA president Aug. 1.
Henke replaces longtime association president Bob Gallagher, who was fired by the organization in January for reportedly damaging the group's credibility among state lawmakers." More>>>>
~~~ Since the Gulf Oil Disaster, there has been more awareness of issues of concern regarding the relationships between federal agencies and the oil & gas industry. It has been in the press much lately. But, it begs the question: What could go wrong?
Thursday, July 15, 2010
From an email:
"Hello, wonderful supporters!
What an honor! We are so grateful for all of your support. None of the work we have been able to do to increase awareness of these critical issues would have been possible without you. Thank you!
Deb Anderson and the team at Red Rock Pictures"
"Listening Session and Discussion Information:
|When:||Saturday, July 17, 1:30- 4:00 pm |
|What||Public Listening Session on President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative |
|Where:||Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid North |
5151 San Francisco Road, NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109
|Who: ||Senior Washington, D.C. and local leadership from Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other Federal agencies will be present to hear your thoughts and to participate in a conversation with you about America’s Great Outdoors. |
|Please Register:||This event is free and open to the public. For planning purposes it would be helpful if you would pre-register by Wednesday, July 14 by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (or fax: 505-462-3794) with your name, the name of the organization with which you are affiliated, if any, your telephone number and email address. We will make every effort to accommodate everyone.|
If you have questions, please call Mary Carlson at (505) 462-3576."
Link with more information>>>>
"Talk about bad timing. Just days before the start of Intersolar North America, a large solar-industry conference in San Francisco, the state of California temporarily suspended part of its popular solar incentive.
Not only did the ruling come -- somewhat embarrassingly -- right as the industry was celebrating its success in the Golden State, the largest solar market in the U.S., but it also came during the industry's busiest season for installations. Adding to the pain, the decision puts large installations on hold at a time when installers are racing to take advantage of federal Treasury grants, which expire at the end of this year.
Industry on Fire, Now on Hold" More>>>>
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
By Siobhan Hughes
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
"WASHINGTON (Dow Jones) -- A House panel on Wednesday voted to ban BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) from obtaining new offshore leases or drilling permits for as many as seven years if the company winds up paying substantial civil penalties and criminal fines in connection with a prolonged oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The amendment, offered by Rep. George Miller (D, Calif.), was approved by voice vote in the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. The panel voted to add the measure to a bill that responds to the Gulf spill by dividing responsibility for drilling oversight among three new agencies." More>>>>
By MATTHEW BROWN and RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI (AP) – 3 hours ago
"NEW ORLEANS — Scientists are reporting early signs that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is altering the marine food web by killing or tainting some creatures and spurring the growth of others more suited to a fouled environment.
Near the spill site, researchers have documented a massive die-off of pyrosomes — cucumber-shaped, gelatinous organisms fed on by endangered sea turtles.
Along the coast, droplets of oil are being found inside the shells of young crabs that are a mainstay in the diet of fish, turtles and shorebirds.
And at the base of the food web, tiny organisms that consume oil and gas are proliferating.
If such impacts continue, the scientists warn of a grim reshuffling of sealife that could over time cascade through the ecosystem and imperil the region's multibillion-dollar fishing industry." More>>>>
By Renee Schoof, McClatchy News
"WASHINGTON — The number of naturally occurring microbes that eat methane grew surprisingly fast inside a plume spreading from BP's ruptured oil well, an oceanographer who was one of the first to detect the plumes said Tuesday.
Samantha Joye , a marine sciences professor at the University of Georgia at Athens , said it's good news that the microbes are eating the methane. However, the microbes also use oxygen in the water, and Joye said the repercussions of the resulting oxygen depletion aren't yet known.
Joye said she hadn't completed her analysis yet, but that the data so far show that the microbes are much more abundant in the plume than they are in the water layers above and below it.
In lab experiments, the number of microbes nearly doubled in a 24-hour period.
"That's really, really surprising," Joye said. "Clearly the microbial community is responding rapidly and rigorously to the input of oil and gas."' More>>>>
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
(Image, WSJ: A man works on the deck of the Pacific Responder oil skimming vessel in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana on Monday.)
"WASHINGTON—The Obama administration on Monday issued a new order banning most new deepwater-drilling activities until Nov. 30, setting up a fresh round of conflict with the oil industry over when it will be safe to drill again offshore.
(Imgae, WSJ: An image from a BP video shows a robotic arm working on the new containment cap Monday at the source of the Deepwater Horizon spill.)
The latest round in the clash over the ban on new drilling got under way as BP installed a new cap on its blown-out undersea well that company and government officials hope will capture all the spewing oil. BP officials have said they are also aiming to finish drilling a relief well that will allow them to permanently stanch the flow. Even after the well is sealed, BP and the Gulf Coast face a lengthy process of cleaning up the huge slick that has fouled beaches and wetlands from Texas to Florida.
The drilling moratorium could last for weeks after oil has stopped gushing into the Gulf. The Obama administration's ban on new deepwater wells is one of the most contentious elements of its response to the nearly three-month-old oil spill." More>>>>
Friday, July 9, 2010
By Tiernan Ray
"Shares of BP (BP) got a lift this afternoon as Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen stated that a new “cap” placed on the well head would better direct the leaking oil to ships collecting the spill, raising the prospect that 60,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil could be collected daily as soon as Monday.
That would effectively contain the leak, though not stop it, said Allen.
BP shares, which traded down most of today’s session, are now up 9 cents at $33.83.
There was bad news as well today, however: Elana Schor with the New York Times’s Greenwire reports that BP has said 20% of the cleanup crew members responding to the Gulf of Mexico displayed high levels of exposure to 2-butoxyethanol, a chemical dispersant that created chronic health problems in those who worked on ExxonMobil’s (XOM) Valdez oil clean-up effort.
Schor quotes scientists as saying the announcement by BP is “worrisome” and that “Gulf air quality, if anything, seems to be deteriorating.”' Link>>>>
By Jon Goldstein • 7/09/10, 7:53 am
"The Gulf oil disaster puts a new spin on Ben Franklin’s old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In the case of BP’s Deepwater Horizon well it appears that some relatively small environmental safety measures upfront could have helped prevent or at least ameliorate the millions of gallons of oil that now foul the Gulf of Mexico from Louisiana to Florida.
In New Mexico we know that it is always less expensive to prevent pollution from occurring than it is to clean it up after the fact. That is part of the reason that our Oil Conservation Commission adopted an ounce of prevention in the form of new environmental rules in June 2008, to prevent contamination generated by the oil and gas industry from polluting our water supplies.
Our efforts are working. Since the adoption of this new precautionary rule, commonly known as the Pit Rule, there has not been a single reported case of groundwater contamination caused by a drilling pit. However, some in the oil and gas industry have criticized the cost of these environmental regulations." More>>>>
Thursday, July 8, 2010
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN (AP) – 40 minutes ago
"NEW ORLEANS — A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected the federal government's effort to restore an offshore deepwater drilling moratorium, opening the door to resumed drilling in the Gulf while the legal fight continues.
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled soon after an afternoon hearing in a lawsuit filed by companies that oppose the drilling ban. The moratorium was struck down June 22 by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman.
The Interior Department argued the moratorium was necessary while it studied deepwater drilling risks in the wake of the BP oil spill. Government lawyers asked the appeals court to let the temporary drilling ban stand until the 5th Circuit ruled on their appeal of the lower-court ruling.
A spokeswoman for the Interior Department did not immediately return a call seeking comment."...
..."The 5th Circuit's Thursday ruling won't be the final word. Judge W. Eugene Davis said the three-judge panel is likely to hold a hearing on the merits of the appeal in late August or early September." More>>>>
Fortune has released its list of the top global companies for 2010. The most profitable top ten has some energy companies:
No. 1, Gazprom headquartered in Russia.
No. 2, Exxon headquartered in Texas, USA.
No. 4, BP headquartered in the United Kingdom.
No. 6, Petrobras headquartered in Brazil.
July 8, 2010, 10:36 a.m. EDT
By Claudia Assis
"SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Natural-gas futures declined Thursday after a government report showed a larger-than-expected increase in stockpiles. Natural gas for August delivery retreated 12 cents, or 2.7%, to $4.44 per million British thermal units. The Energy Information Administration reported an increase by 78 billion cubic feet for the week ended July 2. Analysts polled by Platts had expected an increase of 70 to 74 billion cubic feet." More>>>>
If the count for drilling rigs declines, such as in New Mexico, watch for the oil and gas drilling advocates/politicians blame the "Pit Rule," local oil and gas ordinances, and an "unfriendly business environment," instead of a decline in natural gas prices due to a surplus of supply. The ole "supply and demand" concept at work?
Europe July 8, 2010, 6:49AM EST
"EU energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger told parliamentarians he may ask for a temporary halt on new drilling permits for deep-water oil wells"
By Andrew Rettman
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Other features include a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine, gloss-black wheels, a black chromed grill, functional hood scoops and vintage hood pins reminiscent of the pony car era of the 1960s and '70s."
Also of note, "(d)emand for liquid fuels such as gasoline and diesel have started to show "signs of recovery" this year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday (today)."
"Liquid fuels demand shows signs of recovery: EIA," MarketWatch.
"Tesla IPO opens at $19 a share," MarketWatch
"Chrysler Offers a Limited-Edition 2010 'Mopar Challenger'," DailyFinance
Associated Press - July 7, 2010 6:15 AM ET
"SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexicans from across the state can now tune into live audio streaming of proceedings of the Legislature's interim committees.
The Legislative Council voted last week to begin webcasting audio from the interim committee meetings. With this year's meetings being held in Santa Fe, the meeting rooms were already wired and ready to go for webcasting to begin in July.
A link for the webcasts is available at the Legislature's Web site (click here>>>>)." More>>>>
The AP, calling the Gulf an "environmental minefield," says the oldest of these wells were abandoned in the late 1940s, raising questions about whether their seals remain intact. It says 3,500 wells are listed as "temporarily abandoned," without seals, with 1,000 of them remaining that way for more than a decade.
The Macondo well beneath BP's Deepwater Horizon rig was being sealed with cement for temporary abandonment when it blew April 20, according to the AP, which says government data indicate BP alone has abandoned about 600 wells in the Gulf. The story adds:
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
July 5, 2010
"Less than four months after President Barack Obama took office, his new administration received a forceful warning about the dangers of offshore oil drilling.
The alarm was rung by a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., which found that the government was unprepared for a major spill at sea, relying on an "irrational" environmental analysis of the risks of offshore drilling.
The April 2009 ruling stunned both the administration and the oil industry, and threatened to delay or cancel dozens of offshore projects in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.
Despite its pro-environment pledges, the Obama administration urged the court to revisit the decision. Politically, it needed to push ahead with conventional oil production while it expanded support for renewable energy.
Another reason: money. In its arguments to the court, the government said that the loss of royalties on the oil, estimated at almost $10 billion, "may have significant financial consequences for the federal government."
The U.S. Court of Appeals reversed its decision and allowed drilling in the Gulf to proceed—including on BP PLC's now-infamous Macondo well, 50 miles off the Louisiana coast.
The Obama administration's actions in the court case exemplify the dilemma the White House faced in developing its energy policy. In his presidential campaign, President Obama criticized the Bush administration for being too soft on the oil industry and vowed to support greener energy forms.
But, once in office, President Obama ended up backing offshore drilling, bowing to political and fiscal realties, even as his administration's own scientists and Democratic lawmakers warned about its risks.
After the Macondo well blew out, sinking the Deepwater Horizon rig and causing a catastrophic spill, Mr. Obama said his administration should have been more vigilant in handling the oil industry. "More needed to be done, and more needs to be done" to tighten oversight, he told reporters recently." More>>>>
Saturday, July 3, 2010
If you are a PNM customer, look for a very recently mailed document, "To PNM Customers." According to The New Mexico Independent, June 9th, "The utility, which serves nearly 500,000 New Mexicans, has raised electric rates on some customers by 24 percent over three years, and filed a request last week for PRC approval of another 21.2 percent hike that would take effect in April 2011." Yet, according to the PNM mailer, it appears as if some of the proposed rate hikes on certain entities, such as "Large Service for Mining Customers" and "Mines," were "Cancelled."
The document is "required by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC)." The commission will hear the case (No. 10-00086-UT). If you wish to participate in the case, send written comments to:
New Mexico Public Regulation Commission
ATTN: Records Division
1120 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Case No. 10-00086-UT (refer to the case number)
To become a party, send an original letter and five (5) copies of a "Motion for Leave to Intervene in conformity with 22.214.171.124.A NMAC on or before August 6, 2010."
Also, according to the PNM website, there are public meetings:
Schedule of Kickoff Meetings
Related print article:
"Biggs Sells Technology Stocks on Concern `Soft Patch' to Worsen"
By Rita Nazareth and Matt Miller - Jul 3, 2010
"Concern governments around the world are curtailing stimulus measures too soon spurred Barton Biggs to sell about half of his stock investments this week.
Biggs, whose Traxis Partners LLC gained 38 percent in 2009 when he bought equities after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell to a 12-year low, sold most of his U.S. technology holdings, he told Bloomberg Television yesterday.
Signs the U.S. economy is weakening convinced Traxis to reverse course as the S&P 500 posted a weekly slump of 5 percent, bringing its loss since April 23 to 16 percent. Biggs, 77, said yesterday he cut bullish bets by about half since June 29, when they made up 70 percent of his fund.
“I can change my mind very quickly,” Biggs, who manages $1.4 billion, said in a telephone interview following the Bloomberg Television appearance. “I’m not wildly bearish, but I don’t want to have a lot of risk at this point. I just want to have less exposure at a time like this.”
The withdrawal of government stimulus, including the U.S. Senate’s vote against extending unemployment benefits on June 30, may turn a “soft patch” into a recession, he said. The second recession in three years isn’t inevitable should “rational politicians” take action to avert it, he said.
Stocks in the U.S. have fallen nine times in 10 days, including yesterday when data on jobs and factory orders added to concern the economic rebound is slowing. On Bloomberg Television, Biggs said “policy mistakes” could curb the U.S. expansion in gross domestic product that’s forecast by economists to be 3.2 percent in 2010.
Biggs said it would be a mistake to rein in government spending at a time when global economic growth is weakening. The largest economies should aim to cut deficits in half by 2013, the Group of 20 said in June 27 after a meeting in Toronto." Article>>>> Barton Biggs Video>>>>
For your video enjoyment:
Friday, July 2, 2010
"The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has sparked a lobbying rush as companies involved in drilling seek help navigating new policies and influencing ones under development.
Companies ranging from small businesses that make safety equipment to a coalition of drilling interests are asking lobbyists to bridge connections with the Obama administration and members of Congress. Drilling companies hope to push the Interior Department to issue more drilling leases. Manufacturers want to sway new regulations on parts that include blowout preventers, giant safety valves such as the one that appears to have failed in BP PLC's Deepwater Horizon rig.
They have recruited lobbyists with connections, including former Rep. Robert Livingston, (R-La.), who at one time was in line to become House speaker; Norma Jane Sabiston, former chief of staff to Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.); and Margo Klosterman, former legislative assistant to House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).
"We're reaching out and talking to anyone that will listen," said Jim Noe, senior vice president and general counsel at Hercules Offshore Inc., a Houston-based company that operates rigs used in shallow-water oil and natural gas drilling. "We're talking both to the administration and to Congress."' More>>>>
"An attorney seeking to replace Utah Sen. Robert Bennett (R) has pledged to push legislation to curb the Interior secretary's authority to cancel oil and gas leases and argued that the United States may only exercise sovereignty over federal lands with the consent of the state's Legislature.
Republican Mike Lee, a week after narrowly defeating opponent Tim Bridgewater in the state's GOP primary, said he believes the Constitution grants Utah authority to use eminent domain to seize federal lands within its boundaries, a position that worries environmental groups working to protect national monuments and other sensitive lands in the state.
Lee, a legal scholar and former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito who served briefly as legal counsel under former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R), said he would promote public land management policies in Congress that place a greater emphasis on extracting the vast amounts of mineral resources lying underneath his state." More>>>>
By David Giuliani
"The San Miguel County Commission this week decided to change the composition of its oil gas task force after some contended that it was heavily weighted toward the industry.
County officials said they wanted to change the makeup of the 10-member task force after they received disclosure forms from applicants.
In April, the commission formed the task force to make recommendations for an ordinance that would deal specifically with oil and gas drilling. No requests for drilling are pending, but there are some in neighboring counties." More>>>>
By David Giuliani
"San Miguel County Commission Chairman David Salazar promised that the county’s oil and gas task force’s meetings would be open to the public.
He also criticized the Optic for not making that fact known to the public.
A few weeks ago, Alex Tafoya, the county’s planning and zoning supervisor, told the Optic he wasn’t sure if the public would be allowed in the task force’s meetings.
In the “Thumbs” feature on June 4, an Optic editorial stated, “Want to completely discredit the new task force formed to draft an ordinance regulating oil and gas drilling in San Miguel County? Then close the meetings to the public. If that happens, it will be hard to take anything the task force does seriously.”' More>>>>
Thursday, July 1, 2010
JULY 1, 2010, 3:31 P.M. ET
By Christine Buurma Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
"NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Against the backdrop of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, onshore natural-gas production in Pennsylvania is facing sharper scrutiny as concerns about the environmental impact of oil and gas drilling build.
Pennsylvania has become a focal point amid a nationwide boom in natural-gas production as lawmakers, residents and environmentalists struggle to determine how to reap the economic benefits of drilling without causing irreparable environmental damage. In 2008 alone, Pennsylvania garnered $2.95 billion in economic benefit as drilling flourished, according to a study by Pennsylvania State University, and the governor this week cut a deal with lawmakers to start taxing output. But a series of well accidents has raised fears about water contamination and prompted calls for a statewide moratorium. While the spill in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico may bode well for some onshore energy producers, the accident has ratcheted up worries about the environmental threat from oil and gas production.
"Gas drilling is an industrial activity, and there are going to be some environmental impacts even when it's done well," said John Hanger, the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, or DEP. "What we're not willing to accept is gas migrating off-site, sloppy handling of materials, leaks and spills."' More>>>>
By Drew Griffin and David Fitzpatrick, CNN Special Investigations Unit
July 1, 2010 7:29 a.m. EDT
"Washington (CNN) -- BP has been trying to shut down an internal safety watchdog agency it set up under congressional pressure four years ago, according to sources close to the office and a leading congressman.
The Ombudsman Program was set up after a 2005 explosion at a BP refinery in Texas that killed 15 workers and a massive oil spill in Alaska the following year. Its chief, former federal judge Stanley Sporkin, would not comment for this story -- but a source inside his office told CNN, "I'm surprised we're still here."
The Washington-based office was set up to hear BP workers' safety concerns after investigations into the Texas City refinery explosion raised questions about whether employees feared retaliation for speaking up. Since then, 112 employees have filed complaints, and 35 of them have dealt with "system integrity or safety issues" that the office says are extremely serious.
But sources close to the office say BP doesn't like having independent investigators pursuing those complaints. A union representative told CNN that some workers who complained have faced retaliation. Jeanne Pascal, a former lawyer for the Environmental Protection Agency, agreed.
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