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CPP repeal unlikely to lower gas demand; pro-coal moves help undo Obama legacy

Top News

Clean Power Plan repeal seen as unlikely to diminish demand for low-cost gas

The gas industry appears unfazed by the Trump administration's efforts to repeal the previous White House's Clean Power Plan, emphasizing that the fuel's increased role in the power sector stems from market forces and not the Obama-era emissions rule.

Eversource bashes report saying utilities caused jump in Northeast power prices

Researchers backed by the Environmental Defense Fund said utilities were responsible for making New England gas pipeline constraints worse by blocking access to capacity, a charge strongly disputed by the utilities, which called the report "a complete fabrication."

'Aggressive' move to boost coal adds to effort to dismantle Obama energy legacy

President Donald Trump's rapid and broad support of the coal industry is pivoting from not just undoing the legacy of the Obama administration, but also proactively seeking to boost the sector.


* A small change in the wording of the U.S. Department of Energy's plan to provide more cost support for struggling nuclear and coal-fired power plants could have important implications, or not.

* First Solar Inc. is calling on the U.S. International Trade Commission to put in place a remedy to protect cell and module manufacturers in the U.S., Greentech Media reported. First Solar is a board member of the Solar Energy Industries Association, which is fighting against the petition.

* Anti-nuclear activists weighed in on the Trump administration's controversial proposal to ensure full cost recovery of certain coal and nuclear power plants by delivering more than 10,000 comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission protesting that proposal.

* On the request of Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, the Government Accountability Office will probe whether the Trump administration is protecting scientific integrity, following reports that political appointees are screening U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants and that other agencies are removing references to climate change and other scientific information, The Washington Post reported.

* The Oregon Public Utility Commission staff have recommended against PacifiCorp's $3.5 billion investment plan to add 1,100 MW of new wind energy projects and 140 miles of transmission lines and improve existing wind farms by 2020, saying the company's "existing resources are able to meet its resource needs," The Oregonian reported.

* The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission voted to hold more workshops on a proposed clean energy standard that would require utilities to reduce carbon dioxide from power plants serving the state by 4% a year through 2040, The Associated Press reported.

* CPS Energy will move forward with its plans to decommission the J.T. Deely coal-fired power plant in Texas by the end of 2018, despite the EPA's recent move to repeal the Clean Power Plan, the San Antonio Business Journal reported.

* The New York Power Authority trustees approved a $9.1 million funding for the initial engineering, permitting and licensing phase of the planned rebuild of its North-South power transmission line. According to the NYPA, the Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability Project will allow more upstate renewable energy to connect to the power system throughout the state.

* The Western Area Power Administration is seeking public comment on its recommendation that the Loveland Area Projects and Colorado River Storage Project pursue final negotiations regarding membership in the Southwest Power Pool, according to a notice published in the Federal Register.

* Edisun Microgrids Inc. formed a strategic partnership with West Hills Construction Inc. to develop up to 20 MW of commercial and industrial rooftop solar projects, according to a news release.

Natural gas/midstream

* The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted a request from Energy Transfer Partners LP's Rover Pipeline LLC to resume horizontal drilling at four locations after the developer submitted a new plan to eliminate spills of drilling fluid in the construction of its up-to-3.25-Bcf/d natural gas pipeline project.

* Enbridge Inc. asserted in its rebuttal filings with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission that its proposal to replace its Line 3 oil pipeline is necessary to "ensure environmental protection of our important natural resources, as well as ensure the safe transportation of crude oil to refineries in Minnesota and neighboring states," The Associated Press reported. The filings came in response to the state Department of Commerce's recommendation against the the $7.5 billion project.

* The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission allowed Enbridge Inc. and DTE Energy Co., the developers of the 1.5-Bcf/d Nexus natural gas pipeline, to start building the major Marcellus Shale conduit across the Midwest.

* Southern California Gas Co. and U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory installed a novel biomethanation reactor system in Colorado that will be used to assess the commercial viability of the power-to-gas technology to energy storage and provide insights into potential megawatt-scale system designs, according to a news release.

* Baker Hughes Inc., a General Electric Co. company, was reportedly involved in takeover talks with London-based energy services company Subsea 7 SA, but those talks fell through due to price, The Wall Street Journal reported.

* The Railroad Commission of Texas has appointed Wei Wang to serve as interim executive director, effective Oct. 16. Wang currently serves as the agency's CFO.


* A Murray Energy Corp. executive told federal commissioners that CSX Corp.'s rail service problems are improving, but the coal producer is still losing millions of dollars from missed train shipments.

* Key locks on a major coal shipping route on the Ohio River are closed again due to a hydraulic failure.

* The U.S. Department of Commerce is awarding $30 million in funding to support 35 projects in 15 states under the "2017 Assistance to Coal Communities" initiative. The funding includes approximately $8.3 million for eight projects in West Virginia, according to a news release.


* Offshore oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico continues to improve after Hurricane Nate forced the evacuation of more than 300 platforms.

* Following a scant 0.2-cent slump in the prior session to finish at $2.889/MMBtu, NYMEX November natural gas futures advanced overnight ahead of the Thursday, Oct. 12, open, as traders jockeyed for positions leading up to the midmorning release of the weekly storage report.

* Price activity for power dailies could be choppy Thursday, Oct. 12, as mixed demand prospects for the close of the workweek combine with recent volatility in natural gas futures.

* Within a massive market downtrend, rallies in natural gas futures will only provide fresh selling opportunities with $3/MMBtu exceedingly resistive, according to analysts.

* The weekly natural gas inventory report to be released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration at 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, Oct. 12, is expected to show an improved rate of storage building with an injection above the previous week but mixed against historical averages.

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* On Oct. 6, Southern California Gas Co. filed a request with the California Public Utilities Commission for a $480 million gas base rate increase premised upon a $6.765 billion average rate base and a calendar-2019 test year (Application 17-10-008).


"None of the actions before the DOE directive to FERC had any significant effect. That action would have enormous effects. It would, among other things, massively increase U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide. The courts are highly unlikely to allow that to happen," Richard Pierce, professor of law at George Washington University, said on U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry's request for a FERC rulemaking to ensure cost recovery for certain coal and nuclear plants.

The day ahead

* The EIA natural gas report is due out today.

* Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower 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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