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EPA to repeal climate rule; Energy East saga casts doubt on new pipes in Canada

Top News

EPA to repeal Clean Power Plan, seek public input on new rule

The full text of a draft copy of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan shows that the agency may eventually replace it after receiving the public's input.

Energy East saga casts doubt on Canada's ability to build new pipelines

TransCanada Corp.'s decision to walk away from the approximately C$1.3 billion carrying value of the Energy East pipeline and its companion system, the Eastern Mainline project, has cast a pall over the nation's energy regulation, industry groups said.

Armstrong reaches agreement with creditors to restructure balance sheet

Armstrong Energy Inc. reached an agreement in principle with its major creditors that will allow for a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring.


* A panel overseeing review of NRG Energy Inc.'s proposed Puente project intends to recommend that the 262-MW gas-fired plant be denied. The plant is intended to help shore up reliability, as roughly 2,000 MW of gas-fired generation is due to retire by 2021.

* TerraForm Power Inc. stockholders approved the company's merger and sponsorship transaction with certain affiliates of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. The company expects to close the transaction on Oct. 16, according to a news release.

* After making landfall in Mississippi on Oct. 7 as a Category 1 hurricane, Nate weakened early on Oct. 8 to a tropical storm and is expected to further weaken as it moves across land, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory issued at 7 a.m. ET on Oct. 8.

* The Montana Public Service Commission voted to increase the maximum term of contracts for small renewable energy projects up to 3 MW in size to 15 years from 10 years. "A 15-year contract provides sufficient protection for the ratepayer, while giving investors the certainty that they need to move forward with energy projects in Montana," said Commissioner Bob Lake in a statement.

* Sempra Energy has filed its plans to acquire Oncor Electric Delivery Co. LLC with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Texas regulators. Sempra said it plans to finance the purchase through the public debt and equity markets by targeting a $9.45 billion capital raise, split 65% in new equity issuance and 35% debt issuance.

* The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a mandatory hearing Dec. 12 on safety and environmental matters relating to Florida Power & Light Co.'s application for combined licenses to build and operate two additional units at the Turkey Point Nuclear power plant in Miami-Dade County, Fla., according to a notice published in the Federal Register.

* Hawaii State Energy Office will be conducting community meetings to solicit input for a study on future models for utility ownership and regulation in the state, according to a news release.

Natural gas/midstream

* The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission allowed Rover Pipeline LLC to increase throughput on its partially completed pipeline project to allow it to move up to 1.2 Bcf/d of gas supplies that producers in the Marcellus and Utica shales are ready to ship.

* North Carolina lawmakers voted to remove a requirement for the state Oil & Gas Commission to fill two seats from "a non-governmental conservation interest," The Associated Press reported.

* Targa Resources Corp.'s new Permian Basin joint ventures could help the booming shale play avoid a pipeline capacity glut by consolidating potential midstream projects, analysts said.

* Infraestructura Energetica Nova SAB de CV, the Mexican subsidiary of Sempra Energy, acquired an additional indirect participation in the Los Ramones II Norte gas pipeline for $520 million, a move that will boost its stake to 50% from 25%.

* Denbury Resources Inc. is seeking federal approval to build a $150 million pipeline in eastern Montana that would transport carbon dioxide for use in oil production along the North Dakota border, the AP reported.

* Chevron Corp. began LNG production at the Wheatstone facility in western Australia, with the first cargo scheduled to be shipped in the next few weeks. The Chevron-operated Wheatstone facility has two LNG liquefaction trains capable of supplying 8.9 million metric tons per year of LNG at full capacity.

* The U.S. Bureau of Land Management said third-quarter oil and gas lease sales totaled $170.7 million. The sales covered 218 parcels, or 134,834.71 acres.


* Armstrong Coal Co. warned employees of layoffs as the company prepares to reduce its coal operations.

* Signal Peak Energy LLC is seeking a stay to a court ruling that halted the planned expansion of its Bull Mountains coal mine in Montana, saying it could prompt layoffs of roughly 30 employees by the end of October.


* Offshore oil and gas producers in the Gulf of Mexico are evacuating platforms and shutting in supply in advance of Tropical Storm Nate, which is still strengthening and could reach hurricane status before making landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast by Sunday, Oct. 8.

* After closing 6.0 cents lower at $2.863/MMBtu ahead of the weekend, NYMEX November natural gas futures extended losses overnight before probing the upside leading up to the Monday, Oct. 9, open, amid pressure from the demand-side impact of the now-downgraded Tropical Depression Nate.

* Pricing for next-day power could be biased to the downside in the week's opening session Monday, Oct. 9, as generally weaker demand outlooks for Tuesday conspire with ongoing weakness in natural gas futures trading. At last glance, October natural gas futures were trading at $2.878/MMBtu at 7:15 a.m. ET, up 1.5 cents on the session.

* The proposed use of an emissions containment reserve in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative market could ultimately lead to price erosion, according to sources.

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New from RRA

* Various stakeholders filed testimony with the District of Columbia Public Service Commission on Sept. 29 with respect to the proposed acquisition of Washington Gas Light Co.'s parent, WGL Holdings Inc., by AltaGas Ltd. (Formal Case No. 1142).


"This raised substantial concerns that the CPP would necessitate changes to a state's energy policy, such as a grid-wide shift from coal-fired to natural gas-fired generation, and from fossil fuel-fired generation to renewable generation," according to the EPA proposal to eliminate the Clean Power Plan, referring to carbon emission requirements that would force generators to shift their generation portfolios.

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.

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