Court Strikes Down FERC’s Practice of Tolling Rehearing Requests in Pipeline Permitting Process

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on June 30 ruled that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission cannot indefinitely delay requests for rehearing of cases under the Natural Gas Act by issuing tolling orders, which extend the 30-day time period for the agency to act on the petitions. The 10-1 ruling concluded that...

Michigan Commission Rejects Enbridge’s Request for Relief on Pipeline Relocation Plan

The Michigan Public Service Commission on June 30 rejected Enbridge’s request for a declaratory ruling that it has authority to replace a pipeline segment under the Straits of Mackinac under a 1953 order approving the Line 5 pipeline. The commission found that the Line 5 project differs significantly from the pipeline approved in 1953. Different...

Trump Administration Releases Final Environmental Review to Expand Oil, Gas Development in Arctic Reserve

The U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management on June 26 released the final environmental review for a new integrated activity plan for the 23-million acre National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The preferred  alternative would open as much as 18.7 million acres, or about 82 percent of the reserve, to oil and gas development, undoing Obama-era protections...

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Utility Regulators Focus on Assisting Customers, Rekindling Economy as COVID-19 Evolves

As the pandemic continues to unfold, utility regulators across the U.S. are focusing on the core issues of providing relief for the hardest-hit customers and reviving the economy with the help of utility initiatives. To date, several states have extended disconnection moratoriums and implemented customer relief programs, while others are examining how additional spending by the utilities could provide new jobs while minimizing customer bill impacts in the future.

Xcel Energy Proposes $3 Billion in Utility Investments to Aid Minnesota’s Economic Recovery From COVID-19

Xcel Energy Inc. on June 17 filed a plan with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to invest almost $3 billion in accelerated and incremental projects in an effort to help the state’s economy recover from the slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal follows the commission’s request for information from electric and gas utilities…...

Pennsylvania’s Gas Impact Fee Collection Dropped by 20 Percent Last Year

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on June 17 announced that this year’s distribution of impact fees collected from natural gas producers totaled $200 million, nearly 43 million lower than the prior year. The commission attributed the change to the lower average price of natural gas in 2019, resulting in lower impact fee payment for each…...

New England Wholesale Electricity Prices Dropped by 40 Percent During 2019-20 Winter: EIA

New England’s average wholesale electricity prices dropped by 40 percent to $28 per megawatthour during the 2019-2020 winter from $47 per megawatthour in the previous winter, according to a June 10 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Natural gas-fired generators set the price of electricity more often compared with previous winters because of the…...

U.S. Summer Electricity Demand Projected to Hit Decade Low: EIA

U.S. Summer Electricity Demand Projected to Hit Decade Low: EIA   U.S. summer electricity demand, from June through August, is expected to total 998 billion kilowatthours, a 5 percent drop compared to 2019 and the lowest value since 2009, according to a June 10 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Retail electricity sales in…...

FERC Adopts Rule to Preclude Natural Gas Project Construction Until Completion of Rehearing Process

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on June 9 adopted a rule that forbids natural gas projects from commencing construction until the agency acts on rehearing requests. The move intends to protect stakeholders, including landowners affected by pipeline projects. The rule attempts to address some of the concerns raised in a lawsuit before the U.S. Court…...

Trump Signs Executive Order to Expedite Infrastructure Investments to Recover Economy from COVID-19

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on June 4 directing federal agencies to use emergency powers to expedite infrastructure projects to facilitate recovery from the economic slowdown caused by COVID-19. The order allows agencies to consult with the White House Council on Environmental Quality to identify “alternative arrangements” for complying with the requirements…...

Energy Accounted for $85 Billion of U.S. Imports From Canada in 2019: EIA

Canada is the second-biggest destination for U.S. energy exports, next only to Mexico, and the main source of U.S. energy imports, according to a June 5 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In 2019, energy accounted for $85 billion, or 27 percent, of the trade value for U.S. imports from Canada; crude oil and…...