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2nd presidential debate hits on energy; New Pa. shale drilling rules take effect

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2nd presidential debate hits on energy independence, coal and steel struggles

The two major party presidential candidates concluded a contentioussecond debate Oct. 9 with a discussion of domestic energy policy, with Republicannominee Donald Trump argued the U.S. energy industry is "under siege"and Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton emphasizing the need for the country to remainenergy independent. The candidates' comments came in response to the second-to-lastquestion of the town hall style debate, which was initially driven by tense exchangesbetween Trump and Clinton over recent campaign trail controversies and foreign policy.

Afterconsuming six years, a series of public meetings and the job of one secretary ofenvironmental protection, Pennsylvania's new unconventional drilling regulationstook effect Oct. 8. The new regulations prohibit the storage of waste in pits atshale wells, calling for waste to be stored in tanks with secondary impoundments.

shares are off toa slow start since the company's emergencefrom bankruptcy despite glimmersof hope in metallurgical and thermal coal markets. Arch returned to the NYSE aftera bankruptcy reorganization absence, opening at $70 per share on Oct. 5 under thesymbol ARCH, but closing the week at $61.70 per share.


* Toenhance its retail energy platform, CalpineCorp. has entered a dealto acquire Noble Americas Energy SolutionsLLC from Noble AmericasGas & Power Corp. for $800 million, plus an estimated $100 millionof net working capital at closing.

* HurricaneMatthew brought damages that were beyondDuke Energy Carolinas LLC'sexpectations, with some electrical systems in need of being rebuilt. The companyaims to restore power before 11:45 p.m. ET on Oct. 16 for the 660,000 outages itreported on Oct. 9.

* Expertsdonot expect a large number of states to rushto obtain emissions credits from California's well-oiled cap-and-trade program tocomply with the U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan because any linking programs need tobe at least as stringent as California's program. An attorney involved in the carbonrule litigation said the requirement could therefore keep states from meeting theiremissions reduction goals, but others dispute that claim.

* TheMontana Supreme Court upheldthe Public Service Commission's denial of $1.42 million in power supply replacementcosts NorthWestern Corp.incurred during a 2011 outage of its DaveGates Generating Station.

* Post-technicalconference comments submitted by the major trade groups addressing issues relatedto competitive transmission development were wide-ranging and varied. For instance, the Edison ElectricInstitute warned FERC not to take away any of the flexibility granted by Order 1000,the agency's landmark transmission planning and cost allocation final rule.

* Ina tweet, CEO Elon Musk shotdown expectations that the company will raise equity or corporate debt in the fourthquarter to acquire SolarCity Corp.When asked about potential fundraising plans in the first quarter of 2017, Muskreplied onTwitter, "Probably not then either."

* TheSEC's corporation finance team sent a letter to 8point3 Energy Partners LP to inform the company it breachedrevised guidelines on the use of non-standard financial metrics, MarketWatchreports. The First Solar Inc.and SunPower Corp. jointventure allegedly used unusual metrics to attract investors for a secondary offering.

* closedC$220 million in project financing to redevelop and expand four hydroelectric generatingstations on the lower part of the Mattagami River, according to a .

* A lobbyistwho created the political action committee No Handouts to Billionaires filed a lawsuitwith the Carson City court to invalidate the Energy Choice Initiative, a Novemberballot measure which seeks to end NVEnergy Inc.'s monopoly and open up Nevada's energy markets to competitors,the LasVegas Sun reports. The lawsuit aims to prevent the measure from appearing againon the ballot in 2018.

* A subsidiaryof Norwegian company Statoil ASAhas signaled its interest in building wind farms off the shores of Oahu in Hawaii,according to the HonoluluStar Advertiser.

* Moody'sloweredGenOn Energy Inc.'s corporatefamily rating to Caa3 from Caa2 and probability of default rating to Caa3-PD fromCaa2-PD. The downgrade reflects an increasing chance of default for the unit by June 2017at the soonest.

* Thecity of Denton, Texas, has contracted Burns & McDonnell to build its 225-MW,natural gas-fired Denton Energy Center, according to PowerEngineering. Construction of the facility is expected to begin in 2017, withcommissioning by July 2018.

Natural gas/midstream

* Culturalresource specialists and energy infrastructure experts see the controversy overDakota Access Pipelineas proof of the need tore-examine how tribal outreach and historic resource preservation efforts are handledduring pipeline permitting. In a related report from the St.Louis Post-Dispatch, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of ColumbiaCircuit ruled Oct. 9 that construction can be resumed on a small stretch of theDakota Access Pipeline, amid an appeal by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

* NewEngland's state-by-state effort to secure its natural gas supplies by having electricutilities purchase capacity on new pipelines has been dealt another blow with a dismissal by New Hampshire regulatorsof Eversource Energy'spetition to purchase natural gas capacity from Spectra Energy Corp's Access Northeast pipeline project.

* remains committed toits U.S. shale assets even if it admits to the FinancialTimes that the timing of its purchase five years ago is ill-judged. On thelong-term, the oil producer and mining company sees the assets eclipsing conventionaloilfields and plugging a supply gap, according to the report.

* FortyBritish Columbia aboriginal groups are backing pipeline megaprojects, counteringa claim by a coalition of North American native leaders of "unprecedented unity"against such project proposals, the VancouverSun reports,citing a Postmedia analysis.


* A by NPR and othernews entities found that West Virginia gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice $15 million in taxes and fines.

* BMIResearch shows that Indiais set to outstrip theU.S. as the world's second-largest coal producer after China, citing the country'sglobal production share increasing to 12.7% by 2020 from 9.8% in 2016, BloombergNews reported Oct. 7.


* Extendinglast month's trend, Septemberhydroelectric power production in the Pacific Northwest was below both the prior-month and year-ago levels, althoughhigher output was reported from dams in the lower Columbia River Basin.

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* ThePublic Utility Commission of Texas approveda procedural order directing SharylandUtilities LP to re-submit its rate filing no later than Jan. 1, 2017.


"Eversource'sproposal is an interesting one, with the potential to reduce that volatility; butit is an approach that, in practice, would violate New Hampshire law following therestructuring of the electric industry. If the General Court believes EDCs shouldbe allowed to make long-term commitments to purchase gas capacity and include thecosts in distribution rates, the statutes can be amended to permit such activities,"the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission said in denying a request by Eversource Energy to purchasecapacity on the Access Northeast natural gas pipeline.

The day ahead

* Earlymorning 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.