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FERC sees no grid emergency; pipe developers to press NY build-out hopes


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FERC sees no grid emergency; pipe developers to press NY build-out hopes

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FERC members see no grid emergency from coal, nuclear retirements

During a hearing before the U.S. Senate, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission members did not affirm the U.S. Department of Energy's view that the nation faces a grid emergency from the loss of coal-fired and nuclear generation.

Gas pipeline developers to press build-out hopes in New York, New England

Opportunities exist for a further expansion of the Millennium Pipeline Co. LLC natural gas system and the revival of Access Northeast despite regulatory and environmental hurdles to adding capacity to move Appalachian Basin gas to downstream markets, senior officials with the developers said.

Over half of US coal delivered in 2017 on contracts with under a year remaining

As coal producers continue to report increased volatility in demand, just over half of the coal sold to U.S. utilities in 2017 was delivered on spot deals or through contracts with less than a year remaining.

Moody's: E&P companies repaying debt to see more rapid hike in credit quality

Moody's said the credit quality for exploration and production companies will improve through 2019, but that companies that can reduce leverage through debt repayment rather than earnings growth will see credit metrics improve more quickly.


"If it's under the umbrella of national security, then wouldn't we do an emergency defense appropriations bill to address this 24-month window? I don't know," FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson said after a U.S. Senate hearing on the Department of Energy's efforts to prop up uneconomic coal and nuclear plants.


* The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that "there is nothing" in the Clean Air Act requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to change its rules nationwide each time one of the other federal appeals courts issues a decision at odds with an EPA rule. Only its own rulings or those of the U.S. Supreme Court have national implications, the court found.

* North Dakota utilities are upset over the state Game and Fish Department's habitat proposal to reduce the impact of wind development, saying they were not given the opportunity to comment on it, according to The Associated Press.

* An official at the U.S. Department of the Interior said the federal government's interest in offshore wind farms peaked after he saw their potential economic benefits on a trip to Denmark in January.

* Tesla Inc. is cutting about 9% of its workforce as part of a company-wide restructuring. The company also decided not to renew a residential sales agreement with Home Depot to focus efforts on selling solar power in Tesla stores and online.

* Nevada is asking Nuclear Regulatory Commission member David Wright to recuse himself from any decision on the Yucca Mountain waste repository, because of his previous public comments on the project, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Natural gas

* A company that sets up alternative natural gas supply lines in areas that lack adequate pipelines is working on a new injection spot on Kinder Morgan Inc.'s Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. to ease constraints on that system.

* Apollo Global Management LLC registered a special purpose acquisition company with the U.S. SEC to invest in oil and gas pipeline infrastructure in North America, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

* Southwestern Energy Co. plans to go to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reverse an appeals court ruling on property rights that an industry group said has the potential to upend shale drilling in the second-largest gas-producing state in the U.S.

* A group representing mineral rights owners is claiming that the ballot initiative in Colorado for wider well setbacks could cost $180 billion in lost production and $26 billion in lost royalties in the northeast portion of the state, The Denver Post reported.


* Behemoth oilfield services company Schlumberger Ltd. expects second-quarter EPS to climb between 10% and 15% with international markets driving confidence in the earnings outlook.

* The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said the country's oil production is expected to increase to 5.6 million barrels per day by 2035, despite the decrease in oil sands' capital spending for the fourth consecutive year.

* The U.S. Energy Information Administration increased its forecast for crude oil prices through 2019 as U.S. production remains on pace to break record highs and as domestic imports drop to their lowest levels in almost 60 years.

* Exxon Mobil Corp., Hilcorp Energy Co. and SAExploration Holdings Inc. are suing Alaska Gov. Bill Walker's administration for reinterpreting the state tax law that would cost them millions, the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News reported.

* Exxon Mobil is also looking at expanding energy trading to boost profit, Reuters reported, citing executive recruiters and people familiar with the business.


* Environmental group WildEarth Guardians is pushing for another look at Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc.'s alleged violations of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act related to self-bonding assurances at the Colowyo mine in Colorado and Dry Fork mine in Wyoming.

* The Democratic National Committee will reject campaign donations from oil, gas and coal companies, The Hill reported.

* Struggling to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and meet its ambitious climate goals, Germany has launched a task force to formulate a plan to shutter its massive fleet of coal-fired power plants after repeatedly postponing their shutdown.


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Solar photovoltaics seized a 55% share of all new U.S. electric generating capacity added in the first quarter with the installation of 2,477 MW, 13% more than a year ago, GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association said in a new report. It was the tenth consecutive quarter with more than 2,000 MW of solar capacity additions, they added.

New from RRA

* In testimony filed June 11, the Kansas Corporation Commission staff recommends that Westar Energy Inc. and its subsidiary Kansas Gas and Electric Co. be required to implement a two-step, $111.6 million, or 5.5%, electric base rate reduction premised upon a 9.3% return on equity (51.24% of capital) and a 7.06% return on year-end rate base valued at $5.343 billion for a test year ended June 30, 2017, updated for known and measurable changes through March 31, 2018.

The day ahead

* Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed 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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