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Climate change threatens creditworthiness; Peabody to step up share buybacks


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Climate change threatens creditworthiness; Peabody to step up share buybacks

Top News

Climate change poses new threat to US cities' long-term creditworthiness

Amid projections of increased climate-related disasters and worsening chronic issues such as flooding, U.S. cities' adaptation efforts are increasingly being looked at as a factor in creditworthiness.

15 states ask Supreme Court to review decision delaying Atlantic Coast pipe

West Virginia and a coalition of other states urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review and overturn a decision that stopped construction on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, contending that delayed construction would cost the state jobs.

'Dirty' water opens door to fresh investment opportunities in water services

A $20 billion annual market is developing out of the need to dispose of the massive amounts of "dirty," or "produced," water that comes from the production of shale oil and gas, Raymond James analysts said.

Peabody Energy accelerating highly active share buyback program

Peabody Energy Corp. intends to step up its share buyback program in the latter half of 2019, according to comments from company leadership July 31.


"We're rating your bonds, and are you going to be able to pay them back given what's occurring in your city?" Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said during a hearing before the U.S. Senate Democrats' Special Committee on the Climate Risks on what he is hearing from rating agencies about his city's credit worthiness in the face of rising sea levels due to climate change.


* Southern Co. is sticking to its construction timeline and in-service dates for the Alvin W. Vogtle Nuclear Plant expansion in Georgia despite a skeptical report by the staff of the Georgia Public Service Commission.

* Talen Energy Corp. has agreed to pay a $1 million penalty and address pollution flowing to Chesapeake Bay from its Brunner Island coal-fired power plant under a consent decree it reached with the Environmental Integrity Project and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

* Entergy Corp. plans on adding 7,000 MW to 8,000 MW of new renewable and gas-fired generation to its system from 2022 to 2030 to replace aging and less efficient power projects, Entergy Chairman and CEO Leo Denault said during a second-quarter earnings call. Denault said he expects about half of the new investments will be in renewable generation.

* In a court filing, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. rejected a Wall Street Journal report that the utility was aware of the wildfire threat its aging power lines posed and that it delayed doing safety work, according to The Associated Press.

* The New York Power Authority announced plans to invest $1.1 billion to extend the operating life of the Robert Moses Niagara hydroelectric plant.

* The New York Times Magazine retells the first hours of the harrowing fire that engulfed Paradise, Calif., saying it showed what appears to be an eroding stability that Americans built for generations.

Natural gas

* The U.S. Department of Energy authorized LNG exports from Kinder Morgan Inc.'s proposed Gulf LNG terminal in Mississippi in an order issued just weeks after the project received a separate federal approval allowing the developer to build the multibillion-dollar facility.

* Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed into law legislation that outlines goals for adding as much as 30% renewable natural gas into the state's pipeline system. NW Natural Holdings, which is part of Northwest Natural Holding Co., said it worked with legislators to propose the bill.

* NiSource Inc. raised its estimate for costs associated with last year's Massachusetts gas explosions and fires for the third quarter in a row, pushing its total liability further above the cap on its insurance policies.

* BlackRock Inc. lost investors over $90 billion due to the firm's "failure to effectively address risk" tied to fossil fuel investments, according to a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

* The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation approved legislation reauthorizing the country's pipeline safety program. It included provisions that would close regulatory loopholes and increase safety standards for natural gas companies. These provisions were proposed in response to the September 2018 Merrimack Valley natural gas pipeline explosions and fires.

* The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations advanced a bipartisan bill to sanction companies operating vessels that lay pipes for the Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipelines.


* BP PLC is aiming to use existing joint ventures in the solar and biofuels sectors as the blueprints for future forays into low-carbon businesses, the oil major's CEO said.

* A fire broke out after an explosion at an Exxon Mobil Corp. oil refinery in Texas, according to the AP. The incident left 37 people injured.

* Enterprise Products Partners LP's chief said the master limited partnership's list of crude oil and liquids export projects will get even longer as domestic demand slumps and the Houston Ship Channel becomes a key conduit to international markets.

* A Vitol SA-managed investment vehicle has agreed to acquire a 50% stake in Grupo Dislub Equador, or GDE, for an undisclosed sum. GDE is the sixth-largest branded service station network in Brazil.


* Natural Resource Partners LP objected to Cambrian Coal Corp.'s motion for an order from a federal bankruptcy court establishing bidding and sales procedures to sell off substantially all of its assets by early September.

* The assets of bankrupt coal operator Blackjewel LLC are scheduled to be auctioned this Thursday morning, according to the AP.

* The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a proposal that would ease federal rules for the safe storage of coal ash and relax environmental requirements for projects that reuse the material as a recycled product.

* Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law legislation to prevent coal ash from polluting communities across the state.


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At the over-the-counter market, prices for California carbon allowances continued to decline to conclude the month of July as buying interest thinned ahead of the next Western Climate Initiative auction.

New from RRA

* With the recent enactment of energy legislation, New York joins several other leading states, including California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia, that have set ambitious targets for clean energy.

The day ahead

* The U.S. Energy Information Administration natural gas storage report is due out today.

* Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher 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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