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Vineyard Wind review delayed; Glick sees need to fix FERC tolling orders


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Vineyard Wind review delayed; Glick sees need to fix FERC tolling orders

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US agency further extends review of Vineyard offshore wind project

The United States government once again is delaying the issuance of a final environmental impact statement for the country's first commercial-scale offshore wind farm.

Commissioner Glick sees need to fix FERC tolling orders after judge's criticism

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission needs to adjust its approach to rehearing requests that challenge approval orders for natural gas infrastructure projects after an appeals court judge described an "administrative limbo" for landowners and other opponents, Commissioner Richard Glick said.

Changes to CEO pay structure could attract investors back to oil, gas sector

General investors could flock back to the underperforming energy sector if oil and gas companies make changes to the way they compensate CEOs in annual bonuses and long-term pay incentives, analysts from Evercore ISI said during an Aug. 8 webinar.

Recent bankruptcies belie healthier credit metrics of other US coal producers

An ongoing structural decline in domestic demand and a new round of bankruptcy reorganizations in the U.S. coal sector overshadows the fact that many of the top publicly traded U.S. coal companies score relatively well against their peers in terms of operational, solvency and liquidity credit metrics.


"Our proposal is intended to help ensure that states adhere to the statutory language and intent of Clean Water Act. When implemented, this proposal will streamline process for constructing new energy infrastructure projects that are good for American families, American workers, and the American economy," said U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler in a statement on a proposed rule that would weaken states' ability to block or delay infrastructure development such as pipelines and other energy projects.


* Members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission offered conflicting views Aug. 8 on an ISO New England winter fuel security program that is set to take effect because the power regulator lacked a quorum to act on the proposal.

* The PG&E Corp. board is evaluating a proposal from Abrams Capital Management LP and Knighthead Capital Management LLC to provide equity capital commitments in support of a reorganization plan for the company.

* Separately, Valley Clean Energy is studying the potential acquisition of PG&E Corp. distribution facilities in Yolo County, Calif.

* The PJM Interconnection's wholesale power market produced competitive results during the first half, with lower fuel costs helping drive down prices compared to the first half of 2018, the grid operator's independent market monitor said Aug. 8.

* Wisconsin regulators will consider the opposition of Michigan and Illinois attorneys general to the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line when making a decision on the project, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

* Wanda Vázquez, the new governor of Puerto Rico, suspended a $450,000 contract to rebuild the island's power grid, according to The Associated Press.

* FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. decided to accelerate the deactivation of the coal-fired Bruce Mansfield unit 3 to Nov. 3, due to lack of economic viability in current market conditions. The company originally planned to deactivate the unit June 1, 2021.

* Environmental groups want Georgia environmental officials to reject Georgia Power Co.'s coal ash plans, the AP reported.

Natural gas

* Growth in exports of natural gas has added new risks for U.S. producers as the domestic fundamentals that once formed the basis of pricing are starting to be displaced by global market factors, according to BP PLC executive Jared Barton.

* Sanchez Energy Corp. has filed for bankruptcy reorganization, following a review of strategic alternatives to align its capital structure with the continued low commodity price environment.

* New York has again denied a water quality certification for the Northern Access 2016 gas pipeline project. But the action may be undercut by the fact that the FERC in August 2018 had already found New York's review of the project waived because the state exceeded a Clean Water Act time frame in which to act.

* Woodfibre LNG Ltd is getting closer to building its liquefied natural gas project near Squamish, British Columbia, with the placement of an order for a cryogenic heat exchanger.

* Russia's Novatek is looking to sell liquefied natural gas from its Arctic LNG 2 project to Indian companies, according to Reuters.


* The International Energy Agency lowered its global crude oil demand growth outlooks for 2019 and 2020 on weak demand from the U.S. and India against an increase in demand from China.

* Saudi Arabian Oil Co. signed a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire a 20% stake in Reliance Industries Ltd.'s oil[-to-chemicals division. The potential stake is based on the $75 billion enterprise value of the division.

* Murphy Oil Corp. is advancing several Gulf of Mexico deepwater developments that will not only boost its growing production in that increasingly active arena in the next several years, but also deliver return rates of over 30%, its top executive said on Aug. 8.

* The Canadian federal government has named Linda Coady to lead an advisory committee to help on the engagement process with indigenous communities over the Trans Mountain expansion project. Coady is the former chief sustainability officer of Enbridge Inc.

* Royal Dutch Shell PLC expects to complete the overhaul of the coker at its Norco, La., refinery by Aug. 15, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with plant operations.


* Cambrian Coal LLC plans to auction nearly all of its assets next month, the Lexington (Ky.) Herald Leader reported, citing filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

* Alliance Resource Partners LP will stop producing coal from its Dotiki mine in Kentucky on Aug. 16 to focus on its lower-cost mines in the Illinois Basin, according to an Aug. 9 company release.

* Despite being slated for retirement or fuel transition over the coming years, TransAlta Corp.'s fleet of coal-fired power plants delivered higher profits in the second quarter than in the same period in 2018 as Alberta power prices rose and costs dropped.


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After numerous false starts, bankruptcies and billions of dollars invested, developers of alternatives to lithium-ion batteries for electricity storage believe that a new window of opportunity is opening. This renewed optimism is fueled by maturing battery and nonbattery technologies, some limited commercial successes, demand for longer-duration storage, and growing concerns around the safety and supply chain risks of the incumbent chemistry.

New from RRA

* Southwestern Public Service Co. has filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas for a $141.3 million electric base rate increase. Among the primary drivers of the request is to achieve rate recognition of the Texas-jurisdictional share of the 478-MW Hale Community Energy Hale Community Energy Wind Farm, which came online in June.

The day ahead

* Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower 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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Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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