The White House on Wednesday confirmed that it has agreed to keep Cheryl LaFleur as the head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an additional nine months after the Senate confirms her to a second term, rather than install nominee Norman Bay to the post immediately upon his confirmation.
An administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the White House signed off on a deal brokered by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., to have LaFleur, the acting chair at FERC, remain in the post while Bay gets experience on the commission.
That deal paved the way for Bay, FERC's enforcement chief, to win endorsement earlier in the day from the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, on a vote that was nearly along party lines. Landrieu is chair of the panel.
Computershare Trust Co, the trustee for the holders of some of the notes from Energy Future Intermediate Holding Co, or EFIH, has filed suit to block a refinancing deal it says tries to get around early redemption penalties worth more than $700 million, Reuters reports.
NRG subsidiary Reliant Energy is offering its customers what it calls a first for Texas: They can use all of the electricity they want over the course of a year for a flat monthly payment, The Associated Press reports.
Sue Kelly, the new chief of the American Public Power Association, hopes to generate a sense of urgency about such issues as grid security and distributed electric generation as the group's members gather for their annual meeting in Denver this week, E&E reports.
Sen. Mary Landrieu on Tuesday moved closer toward a deal that would advance through her committee President Barack Obama's nominee to become the nation's top energy regulator, though final details were still being negotiated in advance of a vote planned for Wednesday.
Landrieu, D-La., Senate Energy and Natural Resources chair, said the full terms of the appointment of Norman Bay to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission were not yet agreed on.
The Electricity Sector Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or ES-ISAC, set up by presidential directive to deal with cybersecurity threats, is not as advanced as a similar financial unit that’s operating, experts told E&E, but a recent survey found utilities in general performed better than the health care and retail industries.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Power company officials in Alaska's capital say squirrels and birds are turning the lights out for city customers.
The Juneau Empire reports wildlife has knocked out power to Juneau customers seven times this year.
The latest was Wednesday night when a bald eagle dropped trash from a city landfill onto a line. Alaska Electric Light and Power Co. spokeswoman Debbie Driscoll says the ensuing short caused a loud bang and knocked out power to 10,020 customers.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a notice of alleged manipulation in Midcontinent Independent System Operator markets involving Twin Cities Power-Canada and its affiliates, Platts reports.
A fire at a UniSource substation near Nogales, Ariz. in the early morning hours Wednesday was caused by a device law enforcement authorities described as “crude,” and they said no one was hurt and no power outages resulted, but the incident took place as the Battelle Institute released an analysis calling for comprehensive responses to grid threats, E&E reports.
Illinois’ consumer reports of confusing and sometimes misleading offers by alternative energy suppliers that led to huge electricity bills have prompted the Citizens Utility Board watchdog and the city of Chicago to request a formal investigation by state regulators, E&E reports.
Proposals to tighten safety standards for crude carried by rail were published in the Federal Register Friday by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, kicking off a period for public comment that will run for 60 days, The Hill reports.
Environmental groups have submitted a petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, charging an Environmental Protection Agency rule that sets a new deadline for states to submit plans to reduce fine particle pollution violates the Clean Air Act and asking for a review, E&E reports.
With a glut in the Atlantic basin and weaker demand, crude oil Friday dropped to its lowest settlements in months in New York and London despite continued crises in the Middle East and Ukraine. U.S. benchmark crude for September delivery finished the week more than 4 percent lower, falling 29 cents to close at $97.88 a barrel on the Nymex, its lowest settlement since February, while Brent crude tumbled $1.18 to $104.84, Reuters reports.
Although Libyan ports and oilfields have been reopening, sending oil prices tumbling globally, analysts warn that the worst violence to wrack the country since its 2011 civil war shows little sign of abating and the oil industry there remains at risk, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The three West Coast governors, all Democrats -- Jerry Brown of California, Jay Inslee of Washington and John Kitzhaber of Oregon -- have sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, expressing their opposition to including any oil or gas lease sales from their area in her department’s updated plan for the Outer Continental Shelf, The Associated Press reports.
Opening up more areas to offshore drilling -- including parts of the Pacific -- would generate around $160 billion over a period of less than 20 years, according to more than 160 Republican Congressmen who sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell about her department’s updated plan for the Outer Continental Shelf, The Hill reports.
The latest round of sanctions against Russia over its policy in Ukraine, which would require permits for exporting oil technology to Moscow, poses a problem for Exxon Mobil, which has plans to drill for oil in partnership with state-owned Rosneft in the Arctic and elsewhere, National Journal reports.
The cost of battery technology will have to come down by more than half, but Tesla Motors chief Elon Musk – speaking to investors during a week when he announced partnership with Panasonic to build a battery gigafactory -- is confident that will happen and electric vehicles will achieve price parity with those running on gasoline within 10 years, E&E reports.
Kinder Morgan affiliate El Paso Natural Gas Co. has already begun engineering work on $529 million worth of upgrades to its pipeline system in the Southwest which will enable it to deliver promised natural gas to Mexico, agreed in a 21-year deal signed with the country’s electricity commission, FuelFix reports.
The BNSF Railway is some 811,000 short tons behind on coal deliveries to the Sherco power plant northwest of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy has told the Surface Transportation Board, warning that if the plant runs out of coal it will stop producing electricity, Platts reports.