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Energy, editors' picks: Neb. nuke under pressure; Panama Canal expansion could be watershed for LPG

SNL Energy editors' picks forthe best stories for the week ended July 15.

1.

TheOmaha Public Power District'sdecision to retireits Fort Calhounnuclear plant will leave the NebraskaPublic Power District's Cooper Nuclear Station as the only nuclear plantoperating in the state of Nebraska.

2.

Theopening of the widened Panama Canal has finally arrived and U.S. energyproducers are breathing a sigh of relief as consumers of natural gas liquids inAsia can more easily be reached. The future is not certain, however, as aleveling of global prices and competition from producers in the region willreduce the U.S. price advantage.

3.

It'stime for federal authority to override state regulators when it becomesapparent a state is holding up permits to block FERC-authorized pipelineprojects from moving forward, the CEO of the U.S.' largest pipeline operatorsays.

4.

Asthe second quarter ground to a close, coal company political action committeesand industry advocates continued to fund Republican candidates with fewexceptions, with two moving significant attention to state-level races.

5.

Democratsstand a good chance of taking over the U.S. Senate in 2017, but their abilityto shift course on energy may be constrained by a likely GOP majority in theU.S. House of Representatives and the potential for Republicans to reclaim theSenate in 2018 midterm elections.