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Energy Update, Nov. 20

In the States

CT – Governor Dan Malloy joined officials from Fuel Cell Energy, a company providing baseload distributed generation to utilities via stationary fuel cell power plants, to announce the expansion of the company’s operations in Torrington. Fuel Cell Energy’s Torrington plant will more than double its size by adding at least 165 new jobs and “an overall increase in long-term employment of more than 300 people.” The state is helping to finance the expansion by providing $20 million in low-interest loans and $10 million in tax credits. The company, over the next five years, is also planning to increase its workforce to around 860 workers statewide. Chip Bottone, Fuel Cell Energy's president and CEO, commended Governor Malloy and his administration for their support. "We like it here in Connecticut," said Mr. Bottone, noting that Connecticut is committed to providing his company an educated and skilled workforce. Malloy marks Fuel Cell Energy expansion in TorringtonThe Hartford Courant

NY – Governor Andrew Cuomo officially rejected a proposal to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the waters off the coast of New York and New Jersey. Both Governor Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had 45 days to jointly review the project and to decide whether to support or reject it. The LNG terminal project, which was first proposed by energy company Liberty Natural Gas several years ago, needed approval as required by federal regulations by both Governors and the federal Maritime Administration. ‘‘My administration carefully reviewed this project from all angles, and we have determined that the security and economic risks far outweigh any potential benefits,’’ Governor Cuomo said in a statement, citing security, natural disaster events like Superstorm Sandy, and potential negative effects on local economies. Liberty Natural Gas contended that its project would have helped to lower heating bills in the area, which it notes are the most expensive in the United States. Offshore natural gas pipeline project vetoed by NY Governor CuomoNJ News

PA – A bipartisan group of Pennsylvania state senators recently introduced legislation to create safety standards for pipelines crisscrossing rural areas of the state that are not already regulated by the federal government. The legislation, Senate Bill 1044, requires the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to regulate rural natural gas gathering pipelines similarly to how non-rural pipelines are currently regulated, notably requiring the PUC to fashion rules and requirements for incident reporting, pipeline markings, mapping and leak surveys, and operating controls. According to state officials, Pennsylvania has about 20,000 miles of unregulated natural gas gathering pipelines, almost 30% of which was constructed in response to the Marcellus Shale boom. State Senators Lisa Bakers, the bill’s lead sponsor, said given the absence of federal oversight said the state should act because her constituents “want assurances that [pipelines] are being constructed in the most safe manner.” Calls for greater pipeline safety in rural areasThe Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

WA – Governor Jay Inslee’s administration recently fielded questions from numerous stakeholders regarding the Governor’s plan to create a “cap and reduce program” to limit greenhouse gas pollution and emissions. The state Department of Ecology (DOE), which is helping to craft the cap and reduce program, projects it will release draft rule language and an economic analysis statement in the coming weeks. DOE is planning to finalize the new program’s rules in the summer of 2016 with implementation beginning in early 2017. “We heard loud and clear,” said Stu Clark, air program manager at DOE, “that we need to be sensitive to and understand the unique aspects of energy intense and trade exposed industries.” Industries affected by Governor Inslee’s proposal include oil refineries, large power plants, landfills, and natural gas utilities. Washington State plowing ahead with greenhouse gas limitsKPU News

Federal and Regional

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of the Kinder Morgan company, filed its application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its Northeast Energy Direct pipeline. The $5 billion project, if completed, would transport natural gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale region to markets in New England, notably Massachusetts. The pipeline would include two paths, each spanning more than 130 miles, pipeline spur lines, several compressor stations, and other large facilities. "As natural gas has become the baseload fuel for electricity generation in New England, the interstate pipeline system in New England has not significantly expanded to supply this load," said Kimberly Watson, east region natural gas pipelines president for Kinder Morgan. In anticipation of the company’s filing, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey this week released a study finding that the state, through which the proposed project would intersect, “does not need extra natural gas capacity to maintain grid reliability.” A FERC decision on the pipeline is not expected until late 2016. Kinder Morgan files federal application for Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipelineThe Republican

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