Friday, August 18, 2017

The Importance Of FERC -- Reminder: We Now Have A Quorum -- August 18, 2017

Story here. The court ruling today:
A federal appeals court ruled against the Constitution Pipeline Friday, in a challenge it brought against New York State’s denial of a water quality permit.
The decision is a major blow to the embattled project, which was planned to run 121 miles, carrying natural gas from the Marcellus Shale in northeastern Pennsylvania through New York State.
What next?
In an email, Williams spokesman Keith Isbell signaled the company’s next move may be to bring the matter before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
“In today’s decision, the Second Circuit recognized the jurisdiction of the D.C. Circuit, and the D.C. Circuit has recently acknowledged FERC’s authority to make the ultimate decision under the Natural Gas Act,” Isbell writes. “While we would have preferred an immediate path to construction, we are pleased with the court’s resolution of this jurisdictional issue.”
Easier To Buy Than To Build

Link here.  Calpine sold to private equity firm in deal valued at $17 billion. The story:
Calpine announced on Friday morning that it has agreed to a sale to Energy Capital Partners in a deal valued at $17 billion. Energy Capital will pay $15.25 a share in cash, about a 50 percent premium to Calpine's share price before reports surfaced in May that the power company, one of the nation's largest, was considering putting itself up for sale.
Calpine's stock climbed sharply in after-hours trading. Calpine and Energy Capital must get regulatory approval from the Public Utility Commission of Texas, among other agencies.
If the deal goes through, it will result in a more than $9.1 million payoff for Calpine CEO Thad Hill, who owns nearly 600,000 shares of the company's stock.
Calpine, which employs about 800 in Houston, has struggled in recent years in the face of persistently low electricity prices, a surge of renewable energy and the high costs of operating fossil fuel power plants. The company reported a second-quarter loss of $219 million, significantly larger than its $29 million loss in the second quarter of 2016.
From the Calpine website:


  1. Regarding the Constitution pipeline/FERC topic, I just read today a lengthy legal opinion from a lawyer in this field and it is a fascinating situation, fraught with potential State vs. US jurisdictions and politics of the highest magnitude.
    Brief synopsis ... FERC has ultimate authority but it 'deputizes' other agencies in the elaborate process.
    If the state authority abuses its delegated power, or exerts it improperly, the lawyer (and, apparently, the judges also) seem to state that FERC can simply bypass New York's DEC.
    There are now 3 pipelines the DEC has halted, and the stakes are extremely high.

    1. The story seemed to suggest that DEC was very aware that FERC has final authority. This is a no-brainer; I suspect the FERC will do the right thing. Having said that, if push comes to shove, I wouldn't be surprised to see NY try to take this to the US Supreme Court. That, too, should be a no-brainer.

  2. Adding to the Machiavellian nature of all this, one long time observer has stated the NY governor, Cuomo, realizes the pipelines will eventually be built, but he can claim to his large, anti fossil fuel base of supporters that "the big bad feds allowed the stinkin' pipelines, not heroic Andrew.

    1. That was the gist of the article, as I read it. A bunch of hypocrites.