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Energy editors' picks: State regulators await 'air sensor revolution'

S&P Global Market Intelligence editors' picks for the best stories for the week ended July 6.

1. Former coal lobbyist to lead US EPA following Pruitt's resignation

The man taking the reins of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the wake of Scott Pruitt's resignation is a former coal lobbyist who is widely expected to advance the administration's broad goals and continue rolling back environmental regulations.

2. State regulators await 'air sensor revolution'

The nation's air regulators have been observing the technical innovations that have disrupted certain industries, including self-driving cars, ride-hailing apps and instant peer-to-peer money transfers. And they are wondering, metaphorically speaking: Where are our jetpacks?

3. Commissioner's departure endangers FERC 'yes' votes on pipelines

A party-line divide within the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could start to affect the chances of U.S. interstate natural gas infrastructure projects getting a federal permit after a commissioner's resignation temporarily eliminates the panel's Republican majority.

4. Sempra asset sales expected, but analysts await clarity on equity needs

Sempra Energy's decision to offload its U.S. renewables business and natural gas storage assets is relatively in line with analyst expectations, but Wall Street is waiting for clarity from management around equity needs.

5. Mexico's political transition could raise hurdles for foreign energy investors

Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador is unlikely to reverse the energy sector overhaul that opened the country's industry to private investors, analysts and executives said, but foreign oil and gas companies looking to invest in Mexico could still face a bumpy road.

6. Bill to update Endangered Species Act pleases US oil and gas producers

New draft legislation to update the Endangered Species Act could remove barriers to oil and gas development, but environmental groups are fighting the bill due to concerns it will make vulnerable species harder to protect.

7. CEO overseeing rare greenfield thermal coal project in US says timing is good

A new thermal coal mine being built in the U.S. will benefit from very good timing, said Paringa Resources Ltd. interim CEO Todd Hannigan, who is overseeing the mine's development.