Trump Moves to Remove Restrictions on Higher Ethanol Fuels, Boost for Corn Ethanol Industry

President Donald Trump directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to begin the process of lifting restrictions on the sales of E15 gasoline, a fuel blend containing gasoline and 15 percent ethanol, during summer months, according to an Oct. 11 news release from the White House. Currently, the sale of E15 is restricted during summer months…

Ørsted to Expand U.S. Offshore Wind Portfolio With $510 Million Acquisition of Deepwater Wind

Denmark-based Ørsted A/S will buy Deepwater Wind LLC, which owns the first U.S. offshore wind farm, the 30-megawatt Block Island farm off the Rhode Island coast, according to the company’s Oct. 10 press release. Ørsted entered into an agreement with U.S.-based D.E. Shaw Group to buy a 100 percent stake in Deepwater Wind, resulting in…

Trump Nominates McNamee to FERC as Agency Examines Crucial Issues of Pipeline Policy, Resiliency

President Donald Trump nominated Bernard L. McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the term ending June 30, 2020, to fill the vacancy resulting from Commissioner Robert Powelson’s resignation in August, according to an Oct. 9 release from the agency. McNamee currently serves as the Executive Director of the U.S. Energy Department’s Office of…

GE Capital to Sell $1 Billion of Energy Investments to Apollo Global Management

GE Capital entered into an agreement to sell a $1 billion portfolio comprised primarily of equity investments in energy assets to funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management LLC, according to the company’s Oct. 8 press release. The sale includes 20 investments in renewable energy, contracted gas-powered generation, and midstream energy infrastructure assets in…

Invenergy Renewables Wins FERC Approval to Sell 160-Megawatt Wind Farm in Michigan

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Oct. 5 authorized Pine River Wind Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Invenergy Renewables LLC, to sell its 161-megawatt wind generation project to DTE Electric Company. The wind facility, which is under construction, will be interconnected to the transmission system controlled by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc.’s market. DTE…

Dominion, SCANA File Settlement With North Carolina Regulators to Advance $14.6 Billion Merger

Dominion Energy Inc. and SCANA Corporation on Oct. 4 submitted an agreement to the North Carolina Utilities Commission detailing customer protection measures to advance their merger deal. Under the settlement, SCANA-owned Public Service Company of North Carolina Inc., a gas distribution company, would refund $3.75 million of its 2017 revenues, raise its charitable contributions in…

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…