Enbridge Agrees to Pay up to $500 Million for Tunnel Replacing Line 5 Oil Pipeline Under Michigan’s Mackinac Straits

The state of Michigan and Canadian company Enbridge Inc. signed an agreement under which the company would replace the Line 5 petroleum pipeline segment that crosses the Straits of Mackinac with a multi-utility tunnel beneath the Straits, according to an Oct. 3 press release from the Michigan Governor’s office. Enbridge agreed to bear the costs…

U.S. Uranium Production Hits Historic Lows as Nuclear Plants Retire: EIA

Uranium purchases by U.S. commercial nuclear power plants totaled 43 million pounds of triuranium octoxide last year, 15 percent lower than 2016 and the lowest since 1998, according to an Oct. 3 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Triuranium octoxide, called yellow cake, represents the first step in nuclear fuel production. The agency attributed…

U.S. LNG Exports Rose by 58 Percent in First Half of 2018 as Export Facilities Expand: EIA

U.S. net natural gas exports averaged 0.87 billion cubic feet per day during the first six months of this year, more than double the amount during all of 2017, which marked the first time the U.S. became a net exporter in almost 60 years, according to an Oct. 1 report from the U.S. Energy Information…

U.S. Energy Department Awards $28 Million to Enhance Energy Infrastructure Cybersecurity

The U.S. Energy Department announced the funding to support research partnerships that will facilitate next-generation technologies to advance cybersecurity and resilience of the electric grid and oil and natural gas infrastructure, according to an Oct. 1 press release. The projects will take innovative approaches such as redesigning existing architecture that makes the grid vulnerable to…

Trump Administration Eases Oil, Gas Safeguards Developed in Response to Deepwater Horizon Spill

The U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement on Sept. 28 updated the 2016 well control rule, one of the spate of safety regulations implemented in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill that spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over nearly three months. The agency said…

U.S. Enacts Law Establishing $10 Million Threshold For Merger Transactions to Seek FERC Approval

U.S. President Donald Trump signed legislation on Sept. 28 that requires mergers or consolidations of public utilities with a value above $10 million to be first approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. For transactions valued below that threshold but above $1 million, the law requires the utilities seeking merger to notify the commission within…

U.S. Enacts Laws to Foster Advanced Nuclear Technologies, Encourage Private Sector to Boost Energy Innovation

U.S. President Donald Trump signed legislation that will eliminate financial and technological barriers to nuclear innovation, according to a Sept. 28 press release from the U.S. Energy Department. The department said the legislation builds on the success of its Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear or GAIN initiative, which seeks to enable the industrial community…

New York, Illinois Nuclear Subsidies Survive Legal Challenges

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Sept. 27 upheld New York’s zero emission credit program adopted in August 2016 to support the state’s financially struggling nuclear plants. The ruling rejects complaints that the program depresses energy and capacity prices in the wholesale power auction overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.…

California Strengthens Transportation Fuel Standard Amid Trump Administration’s Rollback

The California Air Resources Board extended its low-carbon fuel standard, mandating a 20 percent cut in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 2030, compared with the current requirement of 10 percent by 2020, according to the agency’s Sept. 27 press release. The requirement, “the most stringent in the nation,” aligns with the state’s 2030…

U.S. Energy Department Announces $30 Million For Carbon Capture Systems to Support Fossil Power Generation

The U.S. Energy Department is providing the funding for cost-shared research and development to develop technologies that can lower the cost of capturing carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants, according to a Sept. 27 press release. The projects selected under the department’s “Novel and Enabling Carbon Capture Transformational Technologies” will facilitate the development of solvents…

U.S. Interior Department Approves Utility Corridor For Enefit’s Oil Shale Project in Utah

The Bureau of Land Management on Sept. 26 authorized right-of-way grants for the Enefit American Oil Utility Corridor Project which would provide access, natural gas, electricity, and water to Enefit American Oil’s South Project while allowing transport of processed oil. The South Project comprises commercial oil shale mining operations on 7,000- acre to 9,000-acres of…

Southern Company Agrees to More Cost Risks to Keep Vogtle Nuclear Project Alive

The owners of the Vogtle nuclear plant on Sept. 26 agreed to continue with the project expansion after resolving issues over budget overruns. The deal follows majority owner Southern Company’s announcement in August to raise project costs by $2.3 billion, prompting a vote on the future of the project under provisions of the joint ownership…