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FERC's Order 1000 faces criticism; ETE chief says bids for NuStar not 'hostile'

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Industry members, lawmakers assail US FERC transmission order

Power industry representatives and lawmakers criticized the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Order 1000 for power transmission coordination and development at a May 10 hearing on Capitol Hill, with one former FERC member saying the rule's mandates should go on a "severe diet."

Unsolicited bids for NuStar not 'hostile,' Energy Transfer's Warren says

Energy Transfer Equity LP chief Kelcy Warren said the pipeline giant's unsolicited bids to acquire NuStar Energy LP's general partner, which were rejected, were made in good faith and should not be interpreted as hostile attempts to revamp the company's management.

Coal sector warns of overreliance on natural gas as plant retirements loom

The economics-driven shift from coal-fired to natural gas power generation should raise policy questions about the stability of the U.S. power grid, Consol Energy Inc. CEO Jimmy Brock said at an industry event.


* The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its regulatory agenda for the rest of 2018, and it includes many items that will have major impacts on the power industry.

* New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has requested U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to extend the public comment period on planned new lease sales for offshore wind energy projects in the New York Bight by 180 days to assess potential impact on state's main fishing grounds, NJ Spotlight.

* Duke Energy Corp.'s CFO is confident the equity issuance plan the utility giant has laid out can meet its needs over the next five years. "We've executed on the block equity trade and we'll continue with the DRIP and the ATM, and we think that's the right amount of equity for us," Duke Energy Executive Vice President and CFO Steven Young said in a May 10 interview with S&P Global Market Intelligence.

* The Southern Environmental Law Center and 22 partners wrote a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, seeking an extension to the comment period for the proposed rule, titled "Transparency in Regulatory Decisionmaking," by at least 60 days beyond the currently scheduled public comment deadline.

* McDermott International Inc. has completed its combination with Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. NV , creating an integrated provider of technology, engineering and construction solutions for the energy industry.

Natural gas/Oil

* When Enbridge Inc. CEO Al Monaco pitched the company's debt-reduction plan and resolve to reinvent itself as an operator of regulated pipelines at its annual general meeting in Calgary, Alberta, May 9, it underlined the changes seen in the past two years.

* EPIC Midstream Holdings LP entered strategic partnerships with Apache Corp. and Noble Energy Inc. for its planned crude oil pipeline that will extend from Orla, Texas, to the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas. The pipeline will have an initial total capacity of 590,000 barrels of oil per day and is expected to enter service in the second half of 2019.

* Dominion Energy Inc.'s Cove Point in April joined Cheniere Energy Inc. as the second major U.S. LNG exporter in the Lower 48. Total U.S. LNG export capacity has now reached 23.25 million tonnes per annum, or roughly 3.6 Bcf/d.

* The U.S. Defense Department has expressed concerns over the Interior Department's proposed expansion of drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, saying it "would interfere with U.S. military testing," Reuters reported, citing a report. The Pentagon seeks to work with the Interior Department to develop rules to govern the work.

* Alberta Premier Rachel Notley expressed optimism about the successful outcome of ongoing talks with Kinder Morgan Inc. surrounding construction of the C$7.4 billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, The Canadian Press reported.

* The U.S., Mexico and Canada will vote to decide whether to launch an investigation into tailings ponds in Alberta's oilsands if the Canadian government is failing to enforce laws governing the ponds, The Canadian Press reported.

* Talos Energy LLC has completed the acquisition of Stone Energy Corp. to form Talos Energy Inc. The new entity will have an initial equity market capitalization of about $1.9 billion and an enterprise value of about $2.5 billion.


* While larger competitors focused on returning cash to shareholders instead of growing volumes, Corsa Coal Corp. opened a new mine in the first quarter, invested significantly in an existing one and increased production by 23%.

* Total U.S. coal rail traffic for the week ended May 5 rose 5.5% year over year to 77,468 carloads, according to data from the Association of American Railroads.

* Traders in North Korea are selling coal at lower prices to Chinese buyers who, in turn, are storing it at ports in the country with hopes that sanctions barring purchases of North Korean coal will be lifted, Reuters reported, citing three Chinese traders. China has not done coal business with North Korea since the United Nations barred Pyongyang from exporting coal in September 2017.


* Natural gas markets will also be watched. Ending 7.7 cents higher in the prior session amid supportive weather outlooks, NYMEX June natural gas futures were slightly lower early Friday on light profit taking ahead of the weekend.

* After ending the prior session up 7.7 cents at $2.814/MMBtu, NYMEX June natural gas futures pulled back overnight ahead of the Friday, May 11, open, as a recent and anticipated warming trend imply a continuation of larger storage builds in the weeks ahead.

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New from RRA

* The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on May 10 voted to adopt, with minor clarifications and corrections, a settlement, thus apparently authorizing CenterPoint Energy Resources Corp. a $3.9 million, or 0.5%, permanent gas rate increase.

* A settlement in principle was announced May 8 by the parties to the Oregon Public Utility Commission's review of Hydro One Ltd.'s pending acquisition of Avista Corp. A formal written settlement is expected later in the month.


"The unauthorized subcontract was a violation of our primary contract with Hawthorn, the payments made by Crowds on Demand run directly counter to Entergy's corporate values and current business practices, and they would have been flatly prohibited by Entergy if we had any prior notice about the planned payments." From a report on an internal investigation by Entergy New Orleans LLC that found that a subcontractor had paid actors to pose as supporters at regulatory meetings considering the company's application to build a $210 million gas-fired power plant.

The day ahead

* The following companies will hold their earnings conference calls: EDP - Energias de Portugal SA at 6:30 a.m. ET; Emera Inc. at 9 a.m. ET; and Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. at 10 a.m. ET.

* 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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