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Fight over Carrizo merger turns uglier; PG&E reports transmission tower failure


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Fight over Carrizo merger turns uglier; PG&E reports transmission tower failure

Top News

CMS Energy outlines 10-year, $25B capital spending plan

CMS Energy Corp. officials on Oct. 24 unveiled a 10-year, $25 billion capital investment plan, with funds primarily allocated to electric and gas utility operations.

Fight over Carrizo merger turns uglier as Callon slams Paulson's 'false' claims

The back and forth between Callon Petroleum Co. and one of its largest shareholders over the planned $3.2 billion acquisition of Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. continues, with Callon slamming Paulson & Co. Inc. for what it called "objectively false" comments on the deal.

Gas, renewables will fight for market share, leaving coal behind, report says

Natural gas has beaten coal for the market share for power generation and will spend the next decade competing against an exploding sector of renewable power providers, according to financial services firm Morningstar.

Trump's new pick to lead DOE likely to sustain support of fossil fuels, nuclear

President Donald Trump's pick to replace Secretary of Energy Rick Perry when he steps down later this year, Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, will likely continue support of the nation's coal, gas and nuclear sectors.


"The unacceptable scope and duration of the recent PG&E public safety power shutoffs, combined with inconsistent application by all three of California's IOUs of previously agreed protocols for public safety power shutoff action, have undermined efforts to coordinate with first responders to protect public safety during these events," said California Gov. Gavin Newsom, in a letter castigating officials of Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Edison International, and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. for their responses to the spate of wildfires in the state.


* Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said it found a broken jumper on a transmission tower where the Kincade Fire incident happened.

Separately, the PG&E Corp. subsidiary said it restored power to roughly 93% customers impacted by the Oct. 23 public safety power shutoff event. The utility also warned of additional precautionary power shutdowns over the weekend.

* Morgan Stanley analysts estimate that roughly $50 trillion in investments are needed by 2050 in the areas of renewable energy, carbon capture technologies, electric vehicles and biofuels in order to reach Paris climate accord goals, Bloomberg News reported.

* The Sierra Club sued the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly failing to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests and "promptly disclose" documents concerning climate-related shareholder resolutions.

* Xcel Energy Inc. executives in an earnings call defended the company's bid to acquire the 760-MW Mankato Power Plant as an unregulated asset after Minnesota utility commissioners rejected a request to fold the purchase cost of the natural gas facility into its regulated rate base.

* The offshore wind power sector could increase 15-fold and draw approximately $1 trillion in investments by 2040, Paris-based International Energy Agency said.

* Capacity markets for power in the U.S. are not broken, but they will need to evolve as more zero-marginal cost renewable resources are added to the system and state policy continues to impact competitive markets, grid operator officials and company executives said Oct. 23.

Natural gas

* Washington Gas Light Co. told Maryland regulators that it should not face penalties over a deadly 2016 apartment complex explosion, reviving its argument that federal investigators were wrong to link the disaster to the company's natural gas equipment.

* A final report by the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that Columbia Gas of Massachusetts' lackluster safety procedures and deficiencies on its gas pipelines led to the 2018 fires and explosions, according to WBUR.

* Surging natural gas production in the U.S. has replenished gas storage levels ahead of a winter season that is forecast to be warmer than normal, putting downward pressure on heating costs even with rising LNG exports and historic domestic demand, according to the American Gas Association's 2019-2020 winter heating outlook.

* The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Environmental Health intend to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over alleged delays in reducing smog pollution from oil and gas drilling in 15 states.

* The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to offer 24 parcels of land, totaling nearly 13,422 acres in Utah, at its Dec. 10 quarterly oil and gas lease sale.


* South Dakota agreed to stop enforcing laws to restrain protests against pipeline construction to settle a lawsuit brought against the sate by the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota.

* A Massachusetts judge gave the state's attorney general permission to file a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corp. charging that the major hid from investors and consumers the role that fossil fuels play in contributing to climate change, Reuters reported Oct. 24.

* Marathon Petroleum Corp. shareholders Paul Foster and Jeff Stevens stood their ground on calls for CEO and Chairman Gary Heminger to step down, citing "overwhelming support" from discussions with around 100 shareholders.

* New data released by the U.S. Interior Department shows a 31% year-over-year increase in revenues from oil and gas drilling to approximately $12 billion, up 31% year over year, The Hill reported.

* U.S. crude futures grew 2.7% to $55.97 per barrel after the government reported a decline of 1.7 million barrels in stockpiles, The Wall Street Journal reported.


* Central to mining executives' message at a recent conference was the notion that technology and innovation, if handled properly, could serve as a catalyst for improvements in the industry, including safety.

* Navajo Transitional Energy Co. LLC finalized the acquisition and took possession on Oct. 23 of three Powder River Basin coal mines as part of a deal struck with Cloud Peak Energy Inc. but has already run into a work-stopping issue at one of the mines.


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Most natural gas utilities are forecast to post year-over-year profit increases in the third quarter, even as the sector grapples with growing concerns over opposition to gas infrastructure and city-level efforts to electrify buildings.

New from RRA

* Rumors have recently surfaced that Avangrid Inc. and PPL Corp. are in business combination discussions, and Financial Focus believes a major strategic rationale behind a combination is the expected profit opportunities that would result from the further restructuring of PPL's coal-dominated generation fleet to renewables and natural gas, with Avangrid being a major renewables operator in the U.S.

* The Illinois Commerce Commission administrative law judges conducting Exelon Corp. subsidiary Commonwealth Edison Co.'s electric distribution formula rate plan proceeding, Docket No. 19-0387, recently said the company should be required to implement a slight revenue requirement reduction.

The day ahead

* The Baker-Hughes rig count report is due out today.

* Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. equity markets. To view more SNL equity market indexes, click here. To view more SNL Energy commodities prices, click here.

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Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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