natural gas

A $7 billion project labor agreement (PLA) was signed September 14 between the United Association and TransCanada Corporation to begin construction on the Keystone Gulf Coast Expansion Pipeline (Keystone XL). In a time when the contruction industry is facing record unemployment, this project is expected to create thousands of jobs for the members of labor organizations.

The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act passed by the U.S. Senate Sept. 16 will extend the 50 percent bonus depreciation deduction for 2010. Additionally, it includes approximately $12 billion in tax relief for small businesses and a $30 billion lending fund that will be administered by the Treasury Department.

Congressional concern about "fracing" took another step forward when the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters to eight companies asking for details on the chemicals they use during horizontal drilling of shale gas deposits. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), chairman of the committee, implied in a memorandum to committee members that the "Big Three" of fracing may have violated a voluntary memorandum of agreement they signed with the EPA in 2005.

Projected growth in North American natural gas supplies and market growth in the U.S. and Canada will require billions of dollars of additional investment in pipeline, storage and other midstream infrastructure through 2030, according to a new study released by the INGAA Foundation Inc.

Robert Carpenter, Editor

I’ve been hearing some encouraging housing news. Economic experts are reporting that the devastating housing meltdown the country has been experiencing for some time has just about reached its economic bottom, or is in the process of bottoming out.

Rita Tubb, Managing Editor

Underground Construction’s latest survey figures indicate gas utility spending to serve new customers and rehabilitate, repair and replace the nation’s mains and services, meters, valves, regulator, cathodic protection, SCADA networks and peak shaving facility will total about $12.1 billion in 2009, compared to $11.9 billion in 2008.

Stephen Barlas, Washington Editor

A last-minute rule from the Bush administration limits the ability of federal wildlife officials and environmentalists to throw a monkey wrench into an application for construction of new gas transmission lines and LNG facilities.

Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor

The Gas Technology Institute (GTI) has developed a Certified Operators Technician Training Program to introduce students to the natural gas industry and combat future labor shortages.

Despite turmoil in the financial markets and oil prices that are the lowest since 2003, the U.S. natural gas industry appears likely to remain one of the stronger performers in the energy sector. Supporting this is the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report, Additions to Capacity on the U.S. Natural Gas Pipeline Network: 2007.

Stephen Barlas, Washington Editor

FERC walked a fine line with its final rule on natural gas flow posting, reducing the number of intrastate pipelines – called major non interstates for the purpose of this rulemaking – who will have to comply while at the same time ditching a former proposal which interstates had opposed. FERC threw a bone to interstates, too.

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