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Nev. bill on net metering advances; EPA clarifies Pruitt's statement on jobs

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Nev. bill on net metering advances; EPA clarifies Pruitt's statement on jobs

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Nev. legislature passes bill to restore rooftop solar net metering

The Nevada Senate unanimously passed a bill that largely restores net metering, the practice of paying rooftop solar owners for electricity they supply to the grid. Under the new bill, rate credits would start at 95% of customers' retail kilowatt hour billing rates and drop over time for future solar customers to no lower than 75%.

New England energy woes require 'triad' of pipes, LNG, alternative fuels

To solve some of New England's energy woes, pipelines, LNG importers and power generators need to stop fighting one another, according to one energy industry veteran. "So far the three sectors seem to be fighting with each other all the time, saying 'we can do it if the other guys just go away,'" said Rick Smead, managing director at the analytics and consulting firm RBN Energy LLC.

EPA: Pruitt meant 'mining' jobs, not 'coal' jobs up 50,000 under Trump

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt recently claimed in a televised interview that U.S. coal industry employment has grown by 50,000 jobs under the Trump administration, but meant to say "mining" instead of "coal" jobs.

Power

* Despite earlier apparent attempts to dodge the question, Neil Chatterjee, one of President Donald Trump's two nominees to fill empty seats on the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, has acknowledged that climate change is real and at least partly a result of human activities.

* The Union of Concerned Scientists filed an amicus brief challenging President Donald Trump's "two-for-one" executive order mandating that federal agencies eliminate two regulations for every new one, according to UCS release. "The executive order is already having its intended effect, which is to block new regulations," UCS President Ken Kimmell said. A court hearing will be held this summer and a decision could be issued in the fall.

* Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrote a letter to top United Nations officials, saying more than 1,000 governors, mayors, businesses and others are still committed to the Paris climate change agreement after the recent move by Trump to pull the U.S. out of the deal, The Hill in Washington, D.C., reports.

* A Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that a majority of Americans oppose President Donald Trump's decision to leave the Paris climate accord with 59% of respondents opposing the move and 28% supporting it, The Washington Post reports.

* China has built "the world's largest" floating solar project on a lake, which previously was home to multiple coal mines, as part of the Asian giant's ambitions to become a dominant player in the renewable energy sector, The New York Times reports.

* Some Wall Street analysts were admittedly left scratching their heads over Eversource Energy's proposed $1.68 billion purchase of New England's largest private water company, but agree the move makes strategic sense.

Natural gas/midstream

* The Master Limited Partnership Association's recent annual conference highlighted a mismatch between management teams' optimism about the midstream energy sector and investors' more subdued outlook, industry observers concluded.

* The National Marine Fisheries Service is seeking permits under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, a move that would allow five companies to conduct the seismic surveys with air guns in the Atlantic Ocean, according to a Federal Register notice.

* U.S. LNG exports could stand to benefit from a group of Middle Eastern countries' decision to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, potentially making supplies from the world's largest LNG exporter more expensive and leading buyers to diversify their portfolios away from a country that may be perceived as increasingly risky.

* The number of publicly traded junior oil and gas companies has dropped sharply to 25 in March from 94 in 2007, a downward trend that reflects lower energy prices, disinterested investors and costly projects that now favour large players, The Canadian Press reports.

* Evolution Midstream LLC has acquired the Rowdy gas gathering system from Lucid Energy Group LLC for an undisclosed sum, according to a news release. The system comprises approximately 1,000 miles of gathering lines and a 43,700 horsepower of compression, and is located in the Wyoming's Powder River Basin serving oil and gas producers in Campbell, Converse and Johnson counties.

Coal

* Westmoreland Coal Co. is seeking permits for a two coal mines in Ohio, according to official documents. The coal producer's Oxford Mining Co. LLC subsidiary is proposing to develop a new coal mine called Johnson Run, according to a water quality certification application with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

* A new technique to liquefy coal could open up diverse markets for the commodity. "The coal industry has to reinvent itself. Those coal jobs are not just going to come out of thin air because some regulations are going to be rolled back," George Skoptsov, the president and CEO of H Quest Vanguard Inc., told S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Commodities

* With July taking the lead slot, term markets across the U.S. edged higher during the week ended June 2 despite a fall in fueling costs due to losses in gas futures and deflated demand brought about by moderating weather forecasts.

* Price action for next-day power could unwind Tuesday, June 6, as traders look to generally weaker demand forecasts for midweek alongside stalled front-month natural gas futures trading. Slipping just 1.7 cents in the prior session, NYMEX front-month natural gas futures were trending slightly higher in overnight trading early Tuesday.

* After ending the prior session down 1.7 cents at a settle at $2.982/MMBtu to log its fifth consecutive day on the downside, NYMEX July natural gas drifted higher overnight ahead of the Tuesday, June 6, open, as supportive weather outlooks ran against pressure from still-robust inventories. At 6:21 a.m. ET (1021 GMT), the contract was 2.4 cents higher at $3.006/MMBtu, while trading a range from $2.972/MMBtu to $3.012/MMBtu.

* New sources of natural gas demand, mostly from outside the United States, will help support prices above $3/MMBtu in the coming years, according to a panel of experts speaking at the LDC Gas Forum Northeast. "In general, we're really going to be tied to the export side of the equation," Meera Bagati, manager of market analytics with NextEra Energy Resources, said June 5.

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New from RRA

* On June 1, Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, appointed Damon Baldone, also a Democrat, to the Louisiana Public Service Commission. Baldone fills the vacancy created by the departure of Scott Angelle, a Republican, who was serving a term as PSC commissioner that extends to December 2018 prior to his resignation.

* On June 1, Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, announced the appointment of Anthony Roisman, an attorney, to serve as chairman of the Vermont Public Service Board, or PSB, effective June 12, for a term extending to February 2023. Roisman is to replace current Chairman James Volz, whose term expired in February 2017.

* A bill signed into law on May 30 renames the Vermont Public Service Board, or PSB, as the Vermont Public Utility Commission, effective July 1. In addition, the measure, S.B. 52, calls for changes to PSB hearings, requires remote access to hearings through video conferencing, makes changes to some of the responsibilities of the Vermont Department of Public Service, or DPS, and requires a study regarding long-term storage of renewable energy.

Quoted

"Yes," said FERC nominee Neil Chatterjee, in a written response to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who asked whether he agrees "with the vast majority of scientists that the combustion of fossil fuels contributes to climate change."

The day ahead

* Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower 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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