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Energy editors' picks: JEA privatization on hold; Energy MLP model 'fading'

S&P Global Market Intelligence editors' picks for the best stories for the week ended May 18.

1. Jacksonville, Fla., utility board tables privatization activities

The Jacksonville, Fla., municipal utility's board of directors unanimously decided May 15 to put on hold any activities tied to possibly privatizing the entity, which could be valued upwards of $11 billion.

2. Energy MLP model 'fading' as tax changes, investor preferences favor C-Corps

The rush of energy company consolidations wiping out master limited partnerships has been a long time coming. A combination of low commodity prices and high leverage at MLPs became a nightmare cocktail when mixed with recent tax changes for partnerships that has accelerated a trend away from the partnership structure that started back in late 2014.

3. FERC disavows tax policy drama behind pipeline MLP shake-ups

With natural gas pipeline companies citing the burden of proposed federal tax changes in pulling their master limited partnerships off the field of play, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said it will make its final decision on the tax policy based on law, with no preference for a certain corporate structure.

4. As exports boom, US coal producers eye creative solutions for local customers

While export markets are providing an outlet for U.S. coal producers, maintaining a core base of domestic utility customers may require some creative contracting in today's market.

5. Exxon, Shell employ strategies to 'jumpstart' growth for higher returns

At a time when competitors are clamping down on spending and buying back stock, many oil and gas majors such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC are taking different approaches to generate cash and return shareholder value.