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Shale gas drives war on coal; anti-nuke groups launch effort to stop 'Cuomo tax'

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Shale gas drives war on coal; anti-nuke groups launch effort to stop 'Cuomo tax'

Top News

WhileRepublican presidential candidate Donald Trump continues to blame the U.S. EPAfor the fall of the coal industry, the real coal killer is cheap natural gasfrom U.S. shales, according to a new study by Case Western University inCleveland. "EPA rules have had little to do with coal's decline," thestudy said. "Shale-gas competition, however, has decimated coal."

A"fancy RV park" for carbon capture pilot projects will help extendthe life of coal while reducing carbon emissions when it comes online nextfall, according to backers of the new research facility in Wyoming. "We dosee technology as the pathway forward to give coal a viable future," saidJason Begger, the executive director of Wyoming Infrastructure Authority, at aU.S. Department of Energy and Coal Utilization Research Council event inWashington, D.C., on Sept. 29.

Anti-nuclear activists launched a statewide campaign to stopNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's potentially $7.6 billion subsidy of three at-riskupstate nuclear power plants over 12 years.

Power

*The Kansas Corporation Commission has approved Fortis Inc.'s proposed acquisition of , giving thecompanies their final needed regulatory authorizations. Separately, Fortis saidits shares will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange, under the symbolFTS, on or about Oct. 14. Trading will coincide with the closing of theacquisition.

*General Electric Co.plans to insource design and manufacturing of the blades for its wind turbineswith a $1.65 billion acquisition of LM Wind Power.

*The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality's permit board voted toreissue Mississippi PowerCo. a permit allowing its Kemper power plant to discharge water into a creekduring high rainfall, according to TheAssociated Press.

*The AP reportsthat Ranger Solar maydevelop a 100-MW solar facility at the former Loring Air Force Base in Maine.

*Despite the MidcontinentIndependent System Operator Inc.'s contention that its proposedtariff revisions will keep it from making reactive power payments to entitieswhose generation or nongeneration resources were deactivated or transferred tonew owners, FERC found that the reform "" that goal.

* Anindependent review by Ernst & Young and BTY Group concluded that theSite C CleanEnergy project is clearly defined and well planned. "Executionof the major work packages are clearly scoped and supported by both a robustset of project management practices and tools, as well as by a team with deepexperience on delivering major projects for BC Hydro and Power Authority," the reportsaid.

*Alterra Power Corp.completed apartnership agreement with Inovateus Solar LLC to own a 75% stake or more inthe 7-MW Kokomo solar project in Indiana. The two companies also secured an$8.9 million construction loan facility for the project, and are working ondeveloping a second, 13-MW solar project in Michigan.

*The North Carolina Utilities Commission on Oct. 11 granted certificates ofpublic convenience and necessity to Suncaster LLC's 5-MW AC solarproject in Wayne County; Tomlin Mill Solar LLC's 5-MW AC solarproject in Iredell County; Slender Branch Solar LLC's 80-MW AC solarproject in Bladen County; Osceola Solar LLC's 4.99-MW AC solarproject in Alamance County; Armada Solar LLC's 5-MW AC solarproject in Columbus County; and Summit Solar LLC's 3-MW AC solarproject in Wayne County. All facilities are expected to sell output toDuke Energy Corp.utilities.

Natural gas/midstream

*Environmental activists on Oct. 11 tried to shut down five pipelines that bring oil sandscrude into the U.S. from Canada, in some cases successfully blocking liquidsflow. The activists, organized under the name Climate Direct Action, said theyused manual shut-off valves on Enbridge Inc.'s lines 4 and 67 in Leonard, Minn.;TransCanada Corp.'s Keystonepipeline in Walhalla, N.D.; Spectra Energy Corp.'s Express pipeline in Coal BanksLanding, Mont.; and Kinder MorganInc.'s Trans Mountain pipeline in Anacortes, Wash.

*SemGroup Corp.subsidiary SemCAMSsigned a 15-year, take-or-pay contract with NuVista Energy Ltd. for the processing of up to 120MMcf/d of sour gas at the new Wapiti gas plant in Alberta. SemCAM's Wapiti gas plantis expected to go online by the second quarter of 2019, according to anews release.

*FERC will drop fromits early review process a Cambridge Energy LLC affiliate's proposed MississippiRiver floating LNG export project in Plaquemines Parish, La., ending a reviewthat has lasted more than three years.

*Many of America's oil and gas producers are expecting greater productionreturns from longer lateral lengths when they drill in unconventional plays.They could be in for a rudeawakening, however, as returns from the Barnett Shale indicate thatlonger laterals have not translated into greater production totals.

*Breitburn Energy PartnersLP projects adjusted EBITDA of $183 million for 2017 and $278million for 2018, according to a Form 8-K filing. The partnership also released other financialand operation projections for fiscal 2017 and 2018 in connection with itsongoing Chapter 11 cases.

*Phillips 66 PartnersLP priced an underwritten public offering of $500 millionof 3.55% unsecured senior notes due 2026 and $625 million of 4.90% unsecuredsenior notes due 2046.

* Onthe paid speaking circuit, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clintonhad been touting her role in promoting hydraulic fracturing, or fracking,across the world, according to online publication TheIntercept, citing hacked emails belonging to her campaign chairman JohnPodesta that WikiLeaks posted earlier.

*Amid protests, Energy TransferPartners LP told TheWall Street Journal that it soon expects to receive the final clearancefrom the Army Corp of Engineers to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline.According to the report, the permit will allow the pipeline to cross theMissouri River.

Coal

*Arch Coal Inc.accused of making"false statements," and omitting central facts in an objection to itsreorganization confirmation, calling it "wholly without merit."

*The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration announcedOct. 11 that the 2016 fiscal year was the safest in mining history, with a record-low 24 deathsreported at 13,000 mines.

*China reportedly pushed back on a U.S. bid to block North Korea from exportingcoal for "livelihood purposes," according to Reuters.China and the U.S. are negotiating on a new draft U.N. Security Councilresolution to sanction North Korea.

Commodities

* Amida shifting North American energy landscape, utilities say existing regulatoryprocesses and the timing of tax incentives often to developing renewableprojects.

*Price action for next-day power could be varied with a downside bias Wednesday, Oct. 12,as mixed demand outlooks for the latter part of the workweek collide with anongoing weakness at the natural gas futures complex.

*After ending a six-day winning streak with a 3.8-cent decline in the priorsession to a settle at $3.237/MMBtu, November natural gas futures overnightahead of the Wednesday, Oct. 12, open, as bearish fundamentals that argued forweather-related demand weakness and an uptick in the rate of weekly injectionscontinued to weigh on values.

New from RRA

*Modernizing and expanding subsidiary Southern California Edison Co.'s electric distributionand transmission system is the linchpin of Edison International's growth strategy, according to anOct. 11 Regulatory Research Associates report.

Quoted

"If the commission acts on this complaint, it willimmediately have a chilling effect on State experiments not only in Maryland,but in other jurisdictions as well. And this chilling effect will extinguishFERC and State access to empirical data from ongoing State experiments — dataunavailable elsewhere," the National Association of Regulatory UtilityCommissioners said of two cooperatives' complaint regarding a Maryland community solaraggregation program.

The day ahead

*PPL Corp. will hold aconferencecall at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss protecting its U.K. business segment'searnings from potential declines in British pound sterling exchange rates.

*Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. equitymarkets. To view more SNL equity market indexes, click here.To view more SNL Energy commodities prices, click here.

Regulatory ResearchAssociates and SNL Energy are offerings of S&P Global Market Intelligence,which is owned by S&P Global Inc.