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Energy, editors' picks: Bob Murray's coal strategy; Japanese investors move into US power sector

SNL Energy editors' picks forthe best stories for the week ended Sept. 30.

1.

At atime when many are exiting the U.S. merchant power space, Japanese investorsare aggressively moving in, leveraging years of technical reconnaissance andare hungry for returns to grow their portfolios.

2.

Thecase against the Clean Power Plan is about whether, not how, power plants canbe regulated by the U.S. EPA for carbon dioxide emissions to the degreemandated by the agency, petitioners argued Sept. 27 before the U.S. Court ofAppeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

3.

Asoon-to-be-enacted Washington law that places the onus on natural gasdistributors to cut the greenhouse-gas output of their customers, or findalternatives to offset those emissions, is driving a by four utilities in the statethat claim the rule is at odds with their mandate to deliver gas to users ondemand.

4.

Officialsfrom Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative participating states, including Maine, areactively working toward integrating proposed changes to the cap-and-tradeprogram with potentially changing power market dynamics in the region.

5.

Twoyears ago, ahead of a cascade of coal bankruptcies and plummeting U.S. coaldemand, Robert Murraystood before a crowd of coal supporters in Florida and shared his goal of beingthe "last manstanding" in the coal business.