The case against the Clean Power Plan is about whether, nothow, power plants can be regulated by the U.S. EPA for carbon dioxide emissionsto the degree mandated by the agency, petitioners argued Sept. 27 before theU.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. One of the keyissues discussed during the day-long hearing before an en banc group of judgeswas whether the changes mandated by the U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan are"transformative" and therefore can only be required by Congress.
Appalachian shale gas driller Rice Energy Inc. intends to use a $2.7 billion purchaseof an adjacent operator in Pennsylvania to drill longer laterals, lower wellcosts and lift production to 2 Bcf/d in the next few years, company executivessaid. Rice Energy will use its own Rice Midstream Partners LP affiliate to gather andprocess all those flows, the executives said on a Sept. 27 conference call todiscuss the deal.
Royal EnergyResources Inc. joined two other companies making preliminaryapproaches for the U.K.-based coal mining company Atlantic Carbon Group Plc. Atlantic Carbon has5,488,538,505 ordinary shares and controls anthracite mines in easternPennsylvania, according to a Sept. 20 release from Atlantic announcing thepreliminary approach from the Charleston, S.C.-based Royal Energy.
* Great PlainsEnergy Inc. sold 52.6 million common shares at $26.45 apiece and 15million depositary shares at $50 per share to help fund its of The offerings willgenerate approximately $2.08 billion in net proceeds, and are expected to closeOct. 3, according to a company release.
* New York's clean energy standard will put ratepayers onthe hook for more than $3 billion during its first five years with minimaleffect on CO2 emissions, the Empire Center for Public Policy said in a report.The standard will subsidize New York's financially at-risk nuclear plants andrequire utilities andother load-serving entities to source 50% of their electricity from renewablesby 2030 as part of a strategy to reduce CO2 emissions 40% from 1990 levels.
* EnergyFuture Holdings Corp. will pay almost $12 million in a settlement with the Texascomptroller to settle tax liability claims as part of its Chapter 11reorganization. The bankrupt Texas power company received court approval Sept.23 for the tax settlement and also agreed to let a mining company make a claimof nearly $2 million against subsidiary Luminant Energy Co. LLC.
* TerraForm Global Inc. has givenits consent to SunEdisonInc.'s sale of certain assets in India, including the 425-MW solarportfolio in the South Asian country. The yieldco also has agreed not to pursueclaims against the buyer relating in any way to the assets. TerraForm Globalexpects to receive up to $10 million in proceeds from the deal.
* Separately, TerraForm Power Inc. has reached a settlement agreementwith Appaloosa Investment LP I to resolve its stockholder derivative suit, aswell as derivative claims by stockholders relating to the deal. The settlementis subject to approval by the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, andrequires the yieldco to segregate its information technology systems for keyfunctions from SunEdison, among other terms.
* FortisInc. raised its quarterly common dividend by 6.7%, to 40 Canadiancents per share. In a Form 6-K filing, the company said it is targeting an averageannual dividend growth of 6% through 2021. The guidance takes into account thesuccessful close and integration of the ITC Holdings Corp. acquisition; reasonable outcomes ofregulatory proceedings for its utilities; and a successful execution of thecompany's five-year, C$9 billion capital plan, excluding ITC.
* The Canadian government has given its finalblessing to the planned Pacific NorthWest LNG export project in BritishColumbia. The approval came with more than 190 legally binding conditions,including requiring the PetroliamNasional Bhd.'s-led project to comply with mitigation measures to minimize"adverse effects on fish, fish habitat, marine mammals, wetlands,migratory birds, and human health." The approval also imposes a maximumcap on annual project greenhouse gas emissions.
* FERC approved Kinetica Deepwater Express LLC's request to abandon itsonshore and offshore Louisiana natural gas system to be repurposed for a LNGexport project. The Sept. 22 FERC order granted authorization for the abandonment by salerequested by Kinetica, which previously operated as TC Offshore LLC.
* Fitch Ratings revised the ratings outlooks of and to negativefrom stable given increased leverage and business risk associated with thecompany's proposed $1.3billion purchase of Appalachian gas from and
* ShellMidstream Partners LP struck a $350 million deal to acquire anadditional 20% equity interest in Mars Oil Pipeline Co. and a 49% equityinterest in Odyssey PipelineLLC from Royal DutchShell plc, according to a company release.
* SempraEnergy's Infraestructura Energética Nova SAB de CV, or IEnova, hascompleted theacquisition of PEMEX's 50% equity interest in the Gasoductos de Chihuahuajoint venture for$1.14 billion.
* Cloud PeakEnergy Inc. has extended the early tender date of its to 5 p.m. ET on Oct.4 from 5 p.m. ET on Sept. 27. The company's Cloud Peak Energy Resources LLC and subsidiaries are offering to exchange up to $400 million of their outstanding 8.50%senior notes due 2019 and 6.375% senior notes due 2024 for new secured 12.00%second-lien notes due 2021. The offers are set to expire at 11:59 p.m. ET on Oct.12, unless extended.
* Coal production in six former Soviet countries inthe first half of the year, the highest output in a six-month period since1996, according to a report from the Eurasia Development Bank released Sept.27. Coal prices, however, will remain weak or stagnant until the end of thecurrent decade, despite the revival in prices this year that has helped fuelthe record production.
* China's National Development and Reform Commission hasasked 74 coal miners to boost thermal coal output by 500,000 tonnes per day ina bid to ease up supply shortages to utilities ahead of the winter, Reutersreports. The directive would bring another 15 million tonnes of new supply eachmonth to the market.
* Forecasts for the upcoming winter based on the El NiñoSouthern Oscillation, or ENSO, had anticipated a La Niña to develop afterstrong El Niño conditions presided during the warm winter of 2015-16. Thelatest analysis now implies that neutral conditions may remain in place through January,which may also result in cold conditions in the Lower 48.
* After notching a marginal 0.1-cent lossTuesday to a settle at $2.996/MMBtu, October natural gas futures retained adownside biasovernight ahead of the Wednesday, Sept. 28, open and the contract's roll off theboard at the close of business, as still-robust inventories and the calendarimplications on weather pressured values. The contract was last seen 6.5 centslower at $2.931/MMBtu.
* Price activity for next-day power deliverycould be varied with a downsidebias Wednesday, Sept. 28, as jumbled demand projections for thelatter part of the workweek combine with ongoing weakness at the natural gasfutures complex. Ending just 0.1-cent lower in the previous session, Octobernatural gas futures were extending to the downside ahead of the opening bellearly Wednesday on profit-taking.
New from RRA
* The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada staff and Officeof Attorney General Bureau of Consumer Protection testimony inSierra Pacific PowerCo.'s pending electric (Docket No. 16-06006) and gas (Docket No.16-06007) rate cases.
"It's going to be, in the next decade, a very bigbusiness and one that we're going to be very focused on," Chairman,President and CEO James Robo said in a discussion of energy storage at the WolfeResearch Power and Gas Leaders Conference in New York City.
The day ahead