SNL Energy presents the most read stories for the week ended Dec. 23.
1. Platinum Partners, Black Elk Energy execs arrested in alleged $1B fraud
The founder of the New York-based hedge fund Platinum Partners and six associates were arrested and charged Dec. 19 with securities and investment adviser fraud over what federal authorities said was a $1 billion investment scam, in part using the assets of a now-defunct oil driller. Founder Mark Nordlicht and David Levy, his co-chief investment officer at Platinum, were involved in an effort to defraud investors from 2011 to 2016, according to an indictment filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
2. Ariz. regulators approve policy to end net energy metering for solar customers
Arizona regulators decided in a late-night vote to end net metering as a matter of policy for rooftop solar customers, ending a two-year proceeding for determining the value and cost of distributed generation. Over the objections of solar parties, the Arizona Corporation Commission voted 4-1 on Dec. 20 to lower the compensation amount for power that customers send to utilities from their solar panels.
3. Conservatives call on Trump to repeal over 200 rules, policies in 1st 100 days
The House Freedom Caucus rolled out a list of over 200 rules, regulations and policies that it wants President-elect Donald Trump to repeal in his first 100 days in office, several of which are focused on energy and climate change. The list, which caucus chairman U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., released Dec. 14, calls for the incoming administration to eliminate 26 regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Energy.
4. FERC 'tone and emphasis' to change under Trump
The federal regulator in charge of interstate electricity, oil and gas transmission may not be as politically sensitive as other agencies but could still shift its focus under incoming President-elect Donald Trump. FERC is "not designed to make radical" decisions for the U.S. energy sector but will at least change its "tone and emphasis" and perhaps alter policies when Trump enters office, former FERC commissioner Tony Clark said Dec. 14 at S&P Global Market Intelligence's Utility Regulation Conference in Washington, D.C.
5. Bullish natural gas technicals battle bearish weather to create muddled market
January 2017 natural gas futures have struggled to find direction recently, with upside breakouts quickly followed by downside reversals and vice versa. Technical indicators suggest that prices can rally, but there is not consensus.