There have been a string of leaks from natural gas pipelines in recent months in the US. Chevron had two leaks on the same line in Utah this past summer. PG&E suffered a natural gas transmission line explosion in September in California that killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes. El Paso just suffered a leak outside of Houston. And there have been others.
Ray LaHood, US Transportation Secretary, has sent to Congress proposed legislation to provide stronger oversight of the nation’s pipelines and increase the penalties for violations of pipeline safety rules.
As the Cancun talks reach their climax, Anne Kelly, co-director of policy at Ceres, a coalition of groups working with companies on sustainability, gives us her run down of the last week and a half:
The mantra that nothing will happen at Cop16 in Cancun misses the collaboration and creative thinking that occurs outside the Moon Palace.
At one reception, a confab of 200 businesses, NGOs and youth groups didn’t break up until 1.30am.
Included were a mix of big companies like Marriott and Microsoft and big dreamers, with names like Future 500, R-20, TckTckTck and NEXUS: Carbon for Development.
One of the elements of today’s energy bill that is likely to go relatively unnoticed (except for by FT readers of course) is a clause asking gas companies to pay a market price for the gas they use, even if an emergency has sent gas prices soaring.
The idea is that it will encourage gas companies to make sure they never get into that situation, as it would be prohibitively expensive to buy gas at such prices. At the moment, the companies would pay the same price during an emergency as they would have done immediately before.
The policy actually marks a U-turn, at least for the Conservative half of the coalition. Back in March, David Cameron announced that his party would deal with a possible crisis in the security of gas supply by obliging gas companies to maintain supplies even in emergencies.