PG&E reports transmission line problem near starting point, time of Kincade fire
A Pacific Gas and Electric Co. transmission line was still in service in the vicinity of where the Kincade fire appears to have started. That is despite the fact that the utility de-energized distribution lines per its public safety power shutoff policy.
Exxon vows to fight Mass. climate change lawsuit it calls 'meritless'
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey filed a complaint Oct. 24 alleging that Exxon Mobil Corp. "systematically and intentionally" misled investors about the role the company's products have in contributing to climate change. Exxon is one of many energy companies under pressure by investors to publicly disclose emissions and to outline how they are accounting for climate change in their business models. But the company said the lawsuit is baseless and politically motivated.
Loophole has cost US government $18B in offshore royalties, study finds
The Government Accountability Office released a study that found that nearly $20 billion in offshore oil and gas revenues have been lost thanks to faulty methods of determining minimum acceptable bids, as well as royalty payment exemptions allowed under the Deepwater Royalty Act of 1995.
Kinder Morgan reports dip in emissions reductions, introduces diversity data
Kinder Morgan Inc.'s greenhouse gas emissions fell slightly in 2018, but it recorded higher volumes of spilled fossil fuels, the energy infrastructure giant said in its second environmental, social and governance report. Kinder Morgan became the first pipeline company to adopt a climate change-related shareholder resolution after shareholders voted in favor of it in a 2018 annual meeting. Also, women and minorities held 18% and 19% of management positions in 2018 respectively, the report found.
Other energy headlines
* Advances in battery technology are reassuring would-be financial backers that storage will be an attractive investment as it is incorporated into the grid to support solar and wind power.
* There needs to be more collaboration between states and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as grid planners grapple with how to maintain a diverse generation mix and adequate power resources.
* Virginia utility commission staffers recommended that regulators reject a Dominion Energy Inc. subsidiary's request to build and operate a 100-MW solar plant.
* Xcel Energy Inc. executives on an earnings call defended the company's bid to acquire a natural gas plant in Minnesota.
Year-to-date through August, utility-scale generation declined 1.7% to 2.79 billion MWh, with coal supplying 23.9% of the nation's power. Natural gas had a 37.7% share. Renewable generation supplied 17.7% of the nation's power, up slightly from 2018.
Research and data
* RRA Regulatory Focus: Calif. utilities commission OKs ratepayer charge for wildfire insurance fund
* RRA Regulatory Focus: Regulatory staff proposes lower ROE in Georgia Power rate case
* Data Dispatch: Dominion must significantly cut emissions to meet Va. energy goal
Top pick of the day
US EPA rule could stymie future efforts to curb carbon but is legally vulnerable
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