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Energy, editor's picks: Coal's necessity to US power grid a priority to some

S&P Global Market Intelligence editors' picks for the best stories for the week ended March 23.

1. Coal's necessity to US electricity grid a priority to some, a myth to others

A push to support baseload power resources, including coal-fired plants, continues, though some experts say the term is outdated for a number of reasons including trends driving utilities away from running coal plants at full power.

2. Jacksonville, Fla., utility's 'golden goose' status under pressure

Top officials at the Jacksonville, Fla., municipal utility said March 20 that privatizing their power company would help it survive a changing market. But they also acknowledged the deal value could be dragged down by JEA's exposure to an over-budget, behind-schedule nuclear project in neighboring Georgia.

3. With energy future in flux, South Carolina studies expanded role for gas

As South Carolina debates its energy future, the state is studying its natural gas infrastructure and whether the fuel could help fill a gap in electricity supply created by the abandonment of the V.C. Summer nuclear power project.

4. BlackRock outlines plan to press companies on climate, worker policy, diversity

Global asset manager BlackRock Inc. has offered additional details on the types of discussions it will be having with companies during 2018 on key priorities like climate risk, executive compensation, board diversity and employee practices.

5. After emissions fraud, VW eyes 'radical change' with €70B electric makeover

Volkswagen AG's diesel emissions scandal, one of the most egregious environmental con jobs of the modern industrial era, has become a catalyst for what VW CEO Matthias Mueller claims is "the most comprehensive electrification initiative in the auto industry."

6. Duke Energy envisions eliminating coal by 2050 in climate change report

Duke Energy Corp. would need to curb its power plant emissions 72% by 2050, including by phasing out all existing coal generation, under an emissions-constrained future in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the utility said in a new report.