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Battle over NY gas pipes intensifies; nearly 75% of US coal plants uneconomic


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Battle over NY gas pipes intensifies; nearly 75% of US coal plants uneconomic

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Gas utilities, environmentalists bring big sticks to NY pipeline brawl

The political battle over natural gas pipelines in New York has intensified. Gas utilities are saying they will have to reduce services over a lack of new pipeline capacity, environmental advocates released a report saying pipelines are not needed, and the state is pursuing a gas-free vision.

Report: Nearly 75% of US coal plants uneconomic compared to local wind, solar

Nearly three-quarters of existing U.S. coal plants are more expensive to run than building new solar and wind generation, according to a report from Energy Innovation, an organization with a mission to accelerate progress in clean energy.

European oil majors shifting focus to power, renewables as climate concerns grow

Responding to investor pressure to slash emissions, Europe's largest integrated oil and natural gas companies are flexing their muscles by expanding investments in cleaner energy, including electricity, LNG and renewables.


"This strikes us as a very dangerous situation, kind of like holding a stick of dynamite and hoping it's not going to blow up," said Turner Mason Vice President John Mayes, referring to looming oversupply in the global inland fuel oil market, where demand has declined approximately 70% over the last 33 years.


* Enel Green Power North America Inc. can cancel three energy storage contracts with embattled Pacific Gas and Electric Co., ruled the federal judge presiding over the joint Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases of California's largest utility and its corporate parent PG&E Corp.

* The Puerto Rico House of Representatives passed a legislation requiring the U.S. territory to use 100% renewable resources by 2050, Caribbean Business reported.

* An agreement that Consumers Energy Co. reached with Michigan regulators on its plan to meet energy and capacity needs through 2040 sets the stage for the utility to eliminate coal as fuel source, add thousands of megawatts of solar to its system and significantly cut carbon emissions, the utility said March 25.

* Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam asked Dominion Energy Inc. CEO Tom Farrell to clarify the company's plan to spend the $870 million it committed for energy efficiency programs, according to The Associated Press.

* Oregon lawmakers have proposed changes to the cap-and-trade bill to address concerns from both environmental groups and businesses, the AP reported.

* Democratic senators plan to block what it calls a forced vote on the Green New Deal this Tuesday by voting "present" instead of for or against the resolution, CNN reported.

* Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions increased by 1.7% to 33 gigatonnes in 2018, with coal use in the power sector accounting for a third of the total increase, the International Energy Agency said.

Natural gas

* Energy Transfer LP signed a project framework agreement with a unit of joint venture partner Royal Dutch Shell PLC that is set to further develop the Lake Charles LNG project in Louisiana and expected to push the project closer to a final investment decision.

* A bill has been introduced in British Columbia to complete fiscal framework for liquefied natural gas investment in the Canadian province. The legislation calls for the implementation of natural gas tax credit for LNG development.

* Summit Midstream Partners LP completed its restructuring deal to simplify its structure, as well as its $90 million sale of the Tioga crude oil, gas and water gathering system in the Bakken Shale.

* A pipeline to run from eastern to western North Carolina could be Duke Energy Corp.'s potential plan B if the Atlantic Coast Pipeline fails to overcome legal setbacks, Bloomberg News reported, citing Duke CEO Lynn Good.


* The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit will hear oral arguments June 4 on a lawsuit through which a group of youth seeks to make federal agencies address and limit the impacts of climate change.

* Kinder Morgan Inc. sold its interest in the proposed Texas COLT offshore crude oil export terminal to its lead developer Enbridge Inc., the Houston Chronicle reported.

* U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, introduced legislation to modify and permanently reauthorize the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. The fund was established under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to ensure the federal government is able to pay for the swift removal of spilled oil and compensate individuals, communities and businesses impacted by a spill disaster.

* The delayed initial public offering of Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is setting back the expansion of its U.S. refining subsidiary Motiva Enterprises LLC, according to Reuters.


* With one western coal producer expected to file for bankruptcy within weeks and others reducing their 2019 output, Wyoming plans to invest $5 million into a project intended to help its struggling coal sector.

* Paringa Resources Ltd. said that the first coal shipment from the Poplar Grove mine, part of the Buck Creek Complex in Kentucky, will be delayed to the week of April 22 after deciding to bring forward the installation of a slope conveyor.


Despite power plant closures, U.S. nuclear generating plants produced more electricity in 2018 than in any year before, according to preliminary annual data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

New from RRA

* Legislation regarding utility response times for restoration of electric service and utility minimum staffing levels was passed by the Connecticut General Assembly's Energy and Technology Committee on March 14. On March 22, the legislation, Senate Bill 469, was referred to the Office of Legislative Research and the Office of Fiscal Analysis.

The day ahead

* 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.

Spot index chart

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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