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Passive funds to retool engagement plans; energy a cornerstone to trade deal


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Passive funds to retool engagement plans; energy a cornerstone to trade deal

Top News

With divestment off table, passive funds look to retool engagement strategies

Asset managers are finding increasingly effective ways to ensure that their passive fund portfolios uphold climate and other principles related to environmental, social and governance concerns, including crafting new index weighting strategies and engaging with all stakeholders.

Oil, gas purchases a cornerstone to US-China trade deal

Under the "phase one" trade agreement signed by the two countries on Jan. 15, China will buy an additional $52.4 billion of LNG, crude oil, coal and refined products from U.S. producers over two years. Analysts wonder whether the infrastructure and deals are in place to create such a supply spike.

McDermott stock pops higher as lenders agree to not call event of default

McDermott International Inc.'s stock jumped 12% on Jan. 15 as lenders agreed to not demand full repayment of outstanding balances on notes following the expiration of a forbearance agreement.

Ky. mine owner struggling to open Blackjewel mine purchased in bankruptcy

The new owner of a Kentucky mine purchased in the bankruptcy reorganization of Blackjewel LLC is struggling to reopen due to disputes with state regulators, according to a letter posted in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.


"Rather than just divesting from any particular industry, we are actually trying to promote competition for [carbon] efficiency within industries," said Hiromichi Mizuno, chief investment officer of Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund, which has about $1.6 trillion of assets under management and is using a new weighting process in a pair of "carbon-efficient" indexes to influence wider corporate carbon reporting among its target investments.


* The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved proposed tariff revisions for ISO New England that will update how the grid operator calculates financial assurances that new capacity resources must provide before they reach commercial operation.

* PG&E Corp. told a federal judge in a written statement that it fell short of wildfire prevention measures like transmission line inspections and vegetation pruning and that it "recognizes it has more work to do" to comply with wildfire safety standards, Bloomberg News reported.

* California state Sen. Scott Wiener is proposing a bill that would make Pacific Gas and Electric Co. compensate customers for forced power shutdowns, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

* Goldman Sachs Renewable Power Marketing, a company that shares part of its name with the Goldman Sachs Group Inc., told federal regulators that it was transparent in requesting market-based rate authority, despite allegations by Public Citizen to the contrary.

* The U.S. Bureau of Land Management approved First Solar Inc.'s proposed 450-MW Desert Quartzite solar photovoltaic project in eastern Riverside County, Calif. Construction is expected to take up to 30 months, with anticipated operation by 2022.

* Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo in her annual address said she will sign an executive order by Jan. 17 aimed at making her state the first in the U.S. to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030.

* Citi Private Bank Chief Investment Officer David Bailin said the lower cost of solar power generation would permanently affect how oil prices increase in the future, according to CNBC.

* A bundle of new renewable energy projects will help to "dramatically and rapidly advance" Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc.'s transition toward a clean power-heavy energy mix, according to the utility cooperative.

* Salt River Project, a Tempe, Ariz., public power utility that serves more than 1 million customers, issued requests for proposals seeking up to 400 MW of new solar power projects.

Natural gas

* Third Coast Midstream, LLC affiliates took over former Southcross Energy Partners LP intrastate natural gas pipeline companies in Mississippi and Alabama through a bankruptcy proceeding, and notified the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about changes related to the acquisition.

* Enbridge Gas Inc. is holding a binding open season for up to 1 Bcf of peak storage service at the Dawn Hub storage facility starting as early as April 1. Shippers can submit bids for a term of two years or longer.

* Natural gas spot price for U.S. benchmark Henry Hub will average $2.33 per MMBtu in 2020 due to increased production efficiency and wider network of gas pipelines, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a followup to its Short-term Energy Outlook report. The agency expects gas prices to rise by 9% in 2021 because of upward pricing pressure from declining growth in gas production.

* Noble Energy Inc. and Delek Drilling LP have started supplying natural gas from Israel to Egypt as part of a $20 billion deal, The Wall Street Journal reported.


* The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude oil and petroleum stockpiles moved in opposite directions in the week to Jan. 10, with crude oil inventories, excluding the strategic petroleum reserve, falling 2.5 million barrels from the week prior to 428.5 million barrels.

* Brazilian state-owned Petróleo Brasileiro SA has completed the sale of its 50% stake in Petrobras Oil & Gas BV to an Africa Oil Corp. unit for $1.53 billion, resulting in Petrobras fully ceasing operations in Africa.

* Energy investor Adam Waterous, who Waterous Energy Fund, said the North American oil market is not sustainable as the Permian Basin oil production "is at or near peak," according to Bloomberg News.


* American Resources Corp. agreed to sell certain of its Perry County Resources subsidiary's coal assets for approximately $1 million in cash and equipment, with the deal expected to close within 30 days.

* The German government agreed on a €40 billion aid to communities that will be affected by the country's plan to shut down all of its coal-fired power plants by 2038, Reuters reported.


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Five of the warmest years recorded since 1880 have all happened since 2015, while nine of the 10 warmest years have occurred since 2005, NASA and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Jan. 15.

New from RRA

* A shrinking pool of investor-owned U.S. utilities, higher interest rates and elevated U.S. utility stock valuations is likely to moderate the pace of large-scale U.S./Canada energy and water utility consolidation.

* Hearings in pending electric and gas rate cases for New York State Electric & Gas Corp. and Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. before the New York Public Service Commission have been postponed again to accommodate further settlement discussions.

The day ahead

* The U.S. Energy Information Administration natural gas storage report is due out today.

* 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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