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Minimal impact seen from CPP repeal; Atlantic Coast pipe faces another challenge

Q2: U.S. Solar and Wind Power by the Numbers

Essential Energy Insights - September 17, 2020

Essential Energy Insights September 2020

Rate case activity slips, COVID-19 proceedings remain at the forefront in August


Minimal impact seen from CPP repeal; Atlantic Coast pipe faces another challenge

Top News

Power industry sees little or no impact from Clean Power Plan repeal

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan is much ado about nothing, according to power industry insiders who have long been planning for a cleaner energy future regardless of regulatory actions in Washington, D.C.

Sierra Club challenges Atlantic Coast contracts between Dominion affiliates

In another attempt to challenge the 1.5-Bcf/d Atlantic Coast pipeline project, the Sierra Club and Appalachian Mountain Advocates asked the Virginia Supreme Court to review natural gas transportation contracts between Dominion Energy Inc. affiliates for conflicts of interest.

An energy community in flux looks to update its coal and miners for continuity

The one constant in the energy economy of Campbell County, Wyo., is change. Despite its own ups and downs, sometimes due to competition from other fossil fuels, coal provides a more stable source of income than other energy industries in this region in the midst of the Powder River Basin. The market for coal is changing fast, however, and forward-looking people are struggling to keep the commodity relevant in the years to come regardless of the shifting political landscape.

Power

* As some of the worst and deadliest wildfires in California history continue to burn out of control throughout the state's wine country, investigators are trying to discover what set Sonoma, Napa and neighboring counties ablaze on the parched, blustery night of Oct. 8. One potential culprit on state fire investigators' short list: power lines and other electrical equipment owned by PG&E Corp. subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

* Jefferies LLC analyst Anthony Crowdell sees an uphill battle to approval for the new Zero Emissions Nuclear bill to support nuclear power plants. "The new ZEN bill (HB 381) would create a non-bypassable charge for the utility's customers and limits the monthly bill impact for residential customers to $2.50 and for non-residential customers at $3,500," Crowdell wrote in a note to investors.

* More than 1,000 MW of proposed wind capacity in upstate New York could be at risk following Gov. Andrew Cuomo's recent announcement that the state will investigate whether turbines disrupt the radar and flights of a U.S. military airbase. But wind advocates and developers are insisting that a federal review process already in place works just fine.

* The Oregon legislative counsel said a proposed legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions in the state could pass with a simple majority because it does not qualify as a "bill for raising revenue," the Portland Business Journal reported. The bill is supported by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown.

* Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC is seeking approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to reject the employment contract of former CEO Danny Roderick, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

* Mississippi Public Service Commission Chair Brandon Presley has been appointed to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners board of directors. Presley's term will expire in October 2018, but he may be reappointed by NARUC's executive committee.

* President Donald Trump has nominated Kathleen Hartnett-White, a former chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, to chair the White House's Council on Environmental Quality, The Washington Post reported. Separately, Trump announced his intention to nominate AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers as Department of Commerce's under secretary for oceans and atmosphere.

Natural gas/midstream

* Constitution Pipeline Co. LLC asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to overrule a decision by a New York state agency to deny a water permit for the 121-mile, 650-MMcf/d natural gas pipeline project after the commission waived similar permitting for Millennium Pipeline Co. LLC's Valley Lateral project.

* Breitburn Energy Partners LP is proposing a bankruptcy exit plan that would split the partnership into two entities, with one owning the Permian Basin assets and the other one owning the reserves in California, the Rocky Mountains, U.S. Midwest and U.S. Southeast, Reuters reported.

* Oil and gas executives have largely abandoned the confidence that they showed in 2016 with a renewed sense of caution centering on oil and gas prices, Deloitte said in a survey report released Oct. 11.

* Husky Energy Inc. has received approval from the Saskatchewan government to restart a pipeline that spilled oil along the Saskatchewan River in July 2016, The Canadian Press reported.

Coal

* Total U.S. coal rail traffic for the week that ended Oct. 7 went down 3% year over year to 87,521 carloads, according to data from the Association of American Railroads.

* The U.S. Department of Commerce is providing nearly $420,000 in financial support for the Navajo and Hopi tribes in preparation for the closure of the Navajo coal-fired plant and the Kayenta Mine in Arizona, The Associated Press reported. The two facilities are scheduled for closure in 2019, unless a new plant owner is found.

Commodities

* Offshore oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico continues to ramp up after Hurricane Nate forced the evacuation of more than 300 platforms through Oct. 7.

* After ending the prior session 10.0 cents higher at $2.989/MMBtu, NYMEX November natural gas futures clung to the upside overnight ahead of the Friday, Oct. 13, open, as fundamentals remained overridingly bullish. At 7:00 a.m. ET, the contract was 3.2 cents higher at $3.021/MMBtu.

* Next-day power markets could see mixed moves to conclude the week as traders look to mixed demand outlooks for the start of the new week and recent gains in natural gas futures pricing.

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New from RRA

* Major stakeholders filed comments with the Wyoming Public Service Commission after the regulators issued their intent to revise current rules regarding commission oversight of integrated resource plans, or IRPs, filed by utilities.

Quoted

"I want to drive this conversation. ... This has been talked about a lot, but there hadn't been any action," said U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, in testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy, where he characterized his controversial call to aid struggling baseload power plants as part of an ongoing "conversation" on grid reliability.

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.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7:30 a.m. ET. Some links may require registration or a subscription.