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FERC assailed on take on ZEC program; US coal in crosshairs on trade tensions


Infographic: U.S. Solar Power by the Numbers Q2 2023


Infographic: U.S. Energy Storage by the Numbers Q2 2023


Insight Weekly: Bank mergers of equals return; energy tops S&P 500; green bond sales to rise


Insight Weekly: US companies boost liquidity; auto insurers hike rates; office sector risk rises

FERC assailed on take on ZEC program; US coal in crosshairs on trade tensions

Top News

US generator group assails FERC's take on Illinois nuclear credit program

The lead plaintiff in a case seeking to strike down Illinois' program to provide zero-emission credits to nuclear power plants in the state said federal regulators wrongly concluded that the program does not intrude on their jurisdiction over wholesale markets.

Utilities could face increased climate scrutiny as lenders adapt risk models

Lenders are looking more closely at the financial and credit risks for utilities from climate change and related industry transformations, and utility leadership teams may need to conduct more climate risk analyses of their own.

Rising trade tensions with Canada could put US coal in the crosshairs

U.S. coal destined for Canada could end up in the crosshairs amid rising tensions between the two allies.

Analyst: Oil market remains on 'knife-edge' ahead of OPEC meeting, rising demand

World oil markets are looking for continued cooperation by OPEC member countries to hold crude oil inventories stable in order to minimize price volatility into 2019 as demand, steadied by higher oil prices in 2018, begins to rise anew, the International Energy Agency said.


"There is a certain amount of shock and there is a certain amount of puzzlement as to why Canada is a national security threat," Clifford Sosnow, an Ottawa-based partner with law firm Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP and a former in-house counsel for Canadian foreign affairs and trade governmental bodies, said in response to the Trump administration's escalating trade war with its northern neighbor.


* The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has signed off on a settlement resolving agency staff's investigation into allegations that Duke Energy Corp. submitted a filing containing "erroneous and intentionally misleading data" related to its 2012 merger with Progress Energy Inc.

* Two U.S. district courts recently ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must enforce "good neighbor" policies under the Clean Air Act in connection with pollution blowing into New York and Connecticut from Illinois, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan and Virginia, The Hill in Washington, D.C., reported.

* Vistra Energy Corp. executives on June 12 highlighted their expectations for abundant cash flow to entice new shareholders, underscored by the launch of a $500 million share buyback effort.

* The U.S. Government Accountability Office has started studying the social cost of carbon, including analyzing the Trump administration's decision to reduce the value of the social cost of carbon in federal government decisions, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said in a press release.

* The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a $2 billion environmental bond bill, which includes a provision that allows the state to borrow up to $300 million for climate resilience, The Associated Press reported.

* A division of the 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld the lease extension for Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., according to the AP.

* Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. is considering the decommissioning of its Fukushima Daini nuclear plant, which sustained relatively minor damage compared to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011, according to Reuters.

Natural gas

* A panel of large U.S. natural gas customers said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and states should pick up the pace of pipeline reviews to provide more transportation capacity on a system that can bump up against its limits, especially in the Northeast.

* House Republicans are proposing to impose penalties for states that do not allow exploration of oil and natural gas off their coasts, The Washington Post reported.

* Reuters reported that Enbridge Inc. has begun construction of the $1.6 billion Valley Crossing natural gas pipeline at the Texas and Mexico border.

* Sunoco Pipeline LP should pay millions of dollars for violating federal and state water pollution regulations while building a pair of NGL pipelines across Pennsylvania without the proper water permits, the environmental activists at Delaware Riverkeeper charged in a federal suit.

* A TransCanada Corp. unit is working on a section of a Leach Xpress pipeline to return the Stagecoach-Leach Xpress meter in southeast Ohio into service, after a pipe blast in West Virginia last week, Reuters reported.

* The Ohio legislature passed a bill that would exempt oil and gas producers from sale taxes on some capital expenditures, according to the Columbus Business First.


* The impact of recent OPEC production cuts on world oil supply were somewhat blunted by the responding ramp-up in U.S. tight oil and natural gas liquids, according to BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale.

* The Alberta Energy Regulator approved Prosper Petroleum Ltd.'s Rigel oilsands project, finding it in the public interest. The C$390 million project, which was opposed by the Fort McKay First Nation and Fort McKay Metis in a public hearing, still needs cabinet approval.

* The North Dakota Department of Health granted Meridian Energy Group Inc. a permit for its planned oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the AP reported.

* Major oil companies are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit to hold them financially liable for damages associated with climate change, Reuters reported.


* The chief economist for BP PLC said he is alarmed by the persistent use of coal in the global power sector despite "extraordinary growth" in renewables and "huge policy efforts" to move toward lower carbon alternatives.

* The U.S. Interior Department's inspector general found little basis for the agency to halt a study on the health risks for those living near mountaintops that are removed for coal extraction, The Washington Post reported.

* Cloud Peak Energy Inc. will close its Gillette, Wyo., office due to "challenging" market conditions, the Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune reported.


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Energy pipeline analysts are sounding the alarm about a takeaway shortage for associated natural gas from oil production in the prolific Permian Basin that could prompt drillers to shut in production and jeopardize plans to ease a looming crude oil transportation bottleneck.

New from RRA

* In a recent rate case decision issued by the Kentucky Public Service Commission, Atmos Energy Corp. was ordered to reduce gas distribution base rates by $1.9 million.

The day ahead

* The EIA natural gas storage report is due out today.

* 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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