EPA surprises with complex queries on Clean Power Plan replacement
To some the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's request for information on replacing the Clean Power Plan was surprisingly detailed, asking for feedback on complex regulatory issues ranging from whether state trading programs should be allowed to what power plant modifications might trigger more stringent standards under the Clean Air Act.
Surging Chinese winter LNG demand fuels optimism for US export hopefuls
As gas buyers in China ramp up purchases of LNG to meet winter heating needs, prices for spot cargoes from the Gulf Coast are surging and fueling optimism among U.S. liquefaction project developers trying to clinch long-term contracts to advance their projects.
Coal miners eyeing Asia market pin hopes on Wash. port as other options dry up
Western producers looking to export coal through the Pacific Coast are seeing their options dwindle as existing ports reach capacity and hopes for new ones dim.
* NRG Energy Inc. reached an agreement in federal bankruptcy court, teeing up GenOn Energy Inc. for the elimination of $1.75 billion in debt from its balance sheet and positioning the company and its affiliates to emerge as stand-alone new entities.
* The nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative released an updated 2017 model rule, which includes an additional 30% regional cap reduction between 2020 and 2030.
* A corporate tax rate could hurt renewable energy projects and deter potential investors away, according to a new Fitch Ratings note on the U.S. tax reform bill that has now cleared the House.
* Deepwater Wind is planning to submit two offshore wind proposals today in response to a call for supplying at least 400 MW of offshore wind capacity to power companies in Massachusetts, The Associated Press reported.
* Michigan's Lansing Board of Water and Light will build a new 250-MW natural gas-fired power plant at its Erickson facility in the Delta Township. The new $500 million power plant will allow the board to retire the coal-fired Eckert Station in 2020.
* U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said he would object any unanimous consent agreement allowing the nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White to serve as director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality to be held over into the second session of the 115th Congress.
* The Chelan County Public Utility District No. 1 is seeking to manage a dramatic increase in high density load inquiries, amid the growing interest in cryptocurrencies. The The utility also noted it has received four inquiries of 100 MW or more and multiple inquiries in the 10-MW to 50-MW range.
* FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiaries West Penn Power Co. and Penn Power are proposing to shift some 1,130 large commercial clients onto an hourly electricity rate from a fixed quarterly rate, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
* The U.S. Department of Energy is providing $12 million in funding for eight projects to advance predictive modeling capabilities for solar generation.
* The Nebraska Public Service Commission denied a request by TransCanada Corp. to change the route of the Keystone XL oil pipeline through the state.
* U.S. District Judge John Adams dismissed a lawsuit filed by over 60 property owners to stop the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from approving the construction of the planned Nexus natural gas pipeline project, The Associated Press reported.
* A coalition of environmental and tribal groups is challenging the Trump administration's efforts to roll back the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's 2016 methane waste prevention rule, arguing that the requirements are a "common-sense" way to reduce pollution from gas flaring on federal and tribal land.
* Winright Resources LLC secured an equity commitment from Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC to pursue its initial acquisition in the Anadarko Basin. The acquisition includes more than 13,000 net acres prospective for multiple pay horizons and about 14 million cubic feet of equivalent net gas production per day.
* Denver-based Extraction Oil & Gas Inc. expects its full-year 2018 drilling and completion capital expenditures to range from $770 million to $840 million. The company expects to drill 170 gross wells to 175 gross wells, complete 185 gross wells to 190 gross wells and turn to sales 170 gross wells to 175 gross wells in 2018.
* Canacol Energy Ltd. agreed to sell its 25% interest in an Ecuador oil consortium to TecpetrolLibertador BV and Sertecpet E&P SL for $36.4 million.
* France's parliament passed a bill that will end all oil and natural gas production on French territories by 2040, Reuters reported.
* As U.S. coal companies prepare to close the book on 2017, executives have had a lot more positive news to share with investors compared to prior years fraught with bankruptcies and crashing markets.
* New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer plans to bring a proposal to the trustees of the New York City pension funds in the coming weeks to examine ways to de-carbonize the portfolios, including the feasibility of ceasing additional investments in fossil fuels, divesting current holdings in fossil fuel companies and increasing investments in clean energy.
* Extensions and renewals have been approved for some of Indiana's largest underground coal mines, a state mining official said Dec. 19.
* China has unveiled a plan to start a nationwide carbon market to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, The New York Times reported. The plan would initially involve the country's power sector, which produced nearly half of the country's carbon emissions from last year.
* Glencore Plc, an Apollo Global Management LLC-led group and Whitehaven Coal Ltd. are among the potential buyers, who will proceed to the second round of Rio Tinto's coal asset sale, Bloomberg News reported, citing "people familiar with the matter."
* The Weather Company is still forecasting slightly below-normal temperatures across most of the northern U.S. and warmer-than-normal temperatures for most of the southern half of the country, especially the Southwest, Texas and the southern Rockies, for the January 2018-March 2018 period.
* After falling by 5.3 cents in the prior session, NYMEX January 2018 natural gas futures rebounded overnight ahead of the Wednesday, Dec. 20, open, amid lingering weather support.
* Pricing for day-ahead power could be choppy Wednesday, Dec. 20, as varied demand expectations for the latter part of the workweek conspire with recent volatility in natural gas futures.
New from RRA
* In a filing tendered to the Arkansas Public Service Commission on Dec. 15, Black Hills Energy Arkansas Inc. requested a $30 million, or 19.4%, gas base rate increase.
The day ahead
* The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure will hold a hearing on freight movement at 10:30 a.m. ET.
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