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PM Edition: Fires spread in California; Oil, gas investor unveils green plans

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PM Edition: Fires spread in California; Oil, gas investor unveils green plans

Top News

Despite power shutoffs, fires spread in California

While California utilities continued cuts in electric service to thousands of customers that began Oct. 23, wildfires started early Oct. 24 in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, and in San Bernardino County, northeast of Los Angeles, and major evacuations were ordered.

Old-school oil and gas investor has plans for greener future

Kevin Birzer, chairman and CEO of oil and gas midstream investor Tortoise Capital Advisors LLC, spoke with S&P Global Market Intelligence about natural gas's carbon reduction potential, the tensions between regulations and a free market, and where Tortoise is investing some of its assets under management to profit from coming changes in the globe's energy mix.

Fending off penalties, Washington Gas disputes blame for deadly Md. explosion

Attempting to avoid penalties over a deadly 2016 apartment complex explosion in Maryland, Washington Gas Light Co. told state regulators that the National Transportation Safety Board lacked sufficient evidence and relied on speculation when it traced the disaster to the AltaGas Ltd. subsidiary's natural gas equipment.

Patterson expects rig count to bottom in Q4'19 then recover slightly in 2020

Following a decline in the third quarter, Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. expects its drilling rig utilization to bottom in the fourth quarter and see a modest increase in late December and early January 2020, CEO William Hendricks said during an Oct. 24 earnings call.

Other energy headlines

* President Donald Trump's pick to replace Secretary of Energy Rick Perry when he steps down later this year, Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, will likely continue support of the nation's coal, gas and nuclear sectors.

* Capacity markets for power in the U.S. are not broken, but they will need to evolve as more zero-marginal cost renewable resources are added to the system and state policy continues to impact competitive markets, grid operator officials and company executives said Oct. 23.

* Natural gas has beat coal for the market share for power generation and will spend the next decade competing against an exploding sector of renewable power providers, according to financial services firm Morningstar.

* Marathon Petroleum Corp. shareholders Paul Foster and Jeff Stevens stood their ground on calls for CEO and Chairman Gary Heminger to step down, citing "overwhelming support" from discussions with about 100 shareholders.

ChartWatch

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Most natural gas utilities are forecast to post year-over-year profit increases in the third quarter, even as the sector grapples with growing concerns over opposition to gas infrastructure and city-level efforts to electrify buildings.

Research and data

Financial Focus: Merger rumors surface between renewables-leader Avangrid and coal-heavy PPL

RRA Regulatory Focus: New Pa. commissioner to dive right in

Financial Focus: Water utility capex budgets driven by replacement of aging infrastructure

Top pick of the day

'Costs and consequences': Colo. producers adapting to new permitting law

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