Morning Consult Energy: Rick Perry Reportedly Pushed Ukraine to Add Americans to State-Run Gas Company Board

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  • Energy Secretary Rick Perry pressed Ukrainian officials to add Americans to the board of the state-owned natural gas company Naftogaz, floating names including Pelicourt LLC’s Robert Bensh and private equity executive Michael Bleyzer for the positions, according to people familiar with the matter. President Donald Trump was said to have told House Republicans on a call over the weekend that he called Zelensky at Perry’s request regarding a liquefied natural gas plant, according to three sources on the call. (Politico)
  • The U.S. Trade Representative announced the elimination of a tariff exemption that had allowed imported bifacial solar panels to skirt 25 percent duties, a setback for the U.S. solar industry. The exemption’s conclusion, effective Oct. 28, avoids “significant increases in imports of bifacial solar panels” that would have competed against domestic panels, USTR said. (Bloomberg)
  • The Bureau of Land Management said it would open 725,000 acres of California’s central coast through oil and gas lease sales, closing a five-year ban on fossil fuel production in a region affecting 11 counties. No such sales have been held in California since a 2013 court ruling that docked the BLM for not weighing the risks of hydraulic fracturing before providing oil leases in Monterey and Fresno. (The Hill)

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Smart Cities Connect Fall Conference and Expo
CSIS Event on How Climate Change is Upending our View of Maritime Sustainability, Sovereignty, and Security 8:45 am
CSIS Event on Oil and Gas Industry Engagement on Climate Change 1:00 pm
Getting to Zero Forum
Smart Cities Connect Fall Conference and Expo
Interstate Natural Gas Association of America President Donald Santa Speaks at R Street Institute Event on Pipelines and Property Rights: Are They in Conflict? 11:30 am
FERC Commissioner Richard Glick Keynotes at American Wind Energy Association Wind Energy Finance & Investment Conference 2019
Getting to Zero Forum
Smart Cities Connect Fall Conference and Expo
ReedSmith 5th Annual Energy and Commodities Conference 7:30 am
E2 Event on Foreseeing Our Climate Future: What Will It Take to Limit the Damage 11:30 am
E2 Hosts an Evening with Congressman Scott Peters: The Climate Playbook & Opposition to Expanded Offshore Drilling 6:00 pm
Getting to Zero Forum
FERC Commissioner Richard Glick Keynotes at American Wind Energy Association Wind Energy Finance & Investment Conference 2019
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Sec. Rick Perry Explains ‘Expansive Relationship’ With Ukraine: ‘God as My Witness Not Once Was Biden Mentioned’
Jennifer Wishon, CBN News

When it comes to dealings with Ukraine, Energy Secretary Rick Perry says he probably has the most expansive relationships as any cabinet secretary but says he’s never heard former Vice President Joe Biden or his son Hunter come up in conversation. Secretary Perry discussed his dealings during an exclusive interview with CBN News Friday.

Perry’s legacy? Expansion of agency he’d vowed to kill
Jeremy Dillon et al., E&E News

DOE’s annual budget for fiscal 2020 could approach $40 billion — a nearly 25% increase from when Perry took the helm in fiscal 2017. That’s an astonishing expansion of spending for a department that Republican presidential hopeful Perry had targeted for elimination before he comically forget its name in a 2012 candidates’ debate.

Rick Perry’s Likely Successor Wants to Rescue Coal Plants Too
Ari Natter, Bloomberg

Brouillette has recently has taken a higher profile role at the department, filling in for Perry in appearances abroad and on television interviews as well as cabinet meetings. That’s viewed by some as an effort by the secretary to prepare a successor

Dakota Access Pipeline Activists Face 110 Years in Prison, Two Years After Confessing Sabotage
Aileen Brown, The Intercept

Civil liberties lawyers say the charges are in line with industry-inspired scare tactics meant to deter citizens from participating in direct-action protests or acts of sabotage against oil and gas companies.

‘I politely called BS’ — staff surprise at acting IG pick
Kevin Bogardus and Michael Doyle, E&E News 

It was May 24, the eve of the long Memorial Day weekend. Shortly after noon, the Office of Inspector General’s chief of staff, Stephen Hardgrove, advised a colleague in an email that “there will likely be an announcement today by the White House” on an acting IG.

Oil prices up as U.S.-China trade talks loom, supply issues mount
Noah Browning, Reuters

Oil prices were up on Monday, buoyed by hopes of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and supported by challenges to supply facing major exporters.

Oil and Natural Gas

EP Energy Files Largest U.S. Energy Bankruptcy Since 2016
Alexander Gladstone, The Wall Street Journal

EP Energy Corp. filed for chapter 11 protection, hoping to survive a commodity slump by cutting $3.3 billion in debt under a proposed deal with Apollo Global Management LLC and Elliott Management Corp.

Chevron buys 40% stake in three Mexico deepwater blocks from Shell
Marianna Parraga, Reuters

U.S.-based Chevron Corp said on Friday it signed an agreement with a unit of Royal Dutch Shell to buy a 40% stake in three deepwater blocks in the Mexican Gulf that the Anglo-Dutch firm won in auctions under the nation’s energy reform.

Energy Company Controlled by Indicted Insurance Tycoon Files for Chapter 11
Mark Maremont and Soma Biswas, The Wall Street Journal

An energy company controlled by indicted financier Greg Lindberg filed for bankruptcy, a possible sign of financial distress in his empire of private companies that collectively borrowed at least $2 billion from life insurers he owned.

DOE approves Eagle LNG for exports to non-FTA countries
Jim Magill,  S&P Global Platts

Under DOE Order No. 4445, Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville will be allowed to export U.S.-sourced LNG equivalent to about 50 Bcf per year (140 MMcf/d) of natural gas to nearby nations in the Caribbean region.

CNPC Quits Flagship Iran Gas Project as U.S. Sanctions Bite
Arsalan Shahla and Verity Ratcliffe, Bloomberg

China National Petroleum Corp. is no longer a partner in Iran’s biggest natural gas project, and the Persian Gulf nation will develop Phase 11 of the giant South Pars field on its own, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said.

BP’s Bernard Looney takes oil major into energy transition
Anjli Raval, Financial Times

New chief must spell out group’s strategy amid climate-change pressure.

Oil Companies Ponder Climate Change, but Profits Still Rule
Stanley Reed, The New York Times

Most large oil companies no longer deny the connection between burning fossil fuels and climate change. In fact, they are scrambling to position themselves to be seen as part of the solution to what is increasingly seen by worried citizens as a major threat.

Oil Shipping Costs Surge, Threatening U.S. Exports
Ryan Dezember, The Wall Street Journal

The cost of chartering a very large crude carrier, or VLCC, to ferry oil from the U.S. Gulf Coast to Asia has surged to $10 million, or $5 a barrel—about twice the price before the attacks in Saudi Arabia, according to analysts.

Utilities and Infrastructure

PG&E says it has $34.45 billion in debt financing for reorganization
Jim Christie, Reuters

PG&E Corp said in court papers on Friday it has debt financing commitments of $34.35 billion for a planned Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, countering a group of noteholders that has proposed its own reorganization plan for the California power producer.


3,204 MW of solar, gas canceled in ERCOT, but 284 MW OK’d for operation
Mark Watson, S&P Global Platts

Generation developers canceled 15 projects totaling 3,204 MW of capacity in September, a new Electric Reliability Council of Texas Generation Interconnection Status report shows, but a 100-MW natural gas plant and a 184-MW wind farm were approved for commercial operation. 

From the Rooftops, Big Box Stores Are Embracing Solar
Bruce Horovitz, The New York Times

Target is so serious about being viewed as a friend of the planet that by November, the company said, it will have erected rooftop solar panels on 500 of its stores in the United States. 

Harley struggles to fire up new generation of riders with electric bike debut
Rajesh Kumar Singh, Reuters

But as Harley ships its first “LiveWire” bikes – priced at $29,799 – to dealers, there is little evidence the 116-year-old brand is catching on with new young customers.


Coal Baron Robert Murray’s Companies Edge Closer to the Brink
Soma Biswas and Alexander Gladstone, The Wall Street Journal

Murray Energy, which expanded even as other producers collapsed into chapter 11, last week entered a forbearance agreement with it lenders after skipping an interest payment on $1.7 billion in debt.


Utility Giant Sets Up Critical Test For Top 2020 Democrats On Nuclear Power
Alexander C. Kaufman, HuffPost

Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, said it plans to submit its renewal applications for reactors at six power plants in the Carolinas starting in 2021, which could put those decisions in the hands of a new White House if a Democrat unseats President Donald Trump next year.


New York City Wants to Put a Climate Change ‘Laboratory’ on Governors Island
Christopher Flavelle, The New York Times

The plan, which is still in its early stages, calls for making Governors Island “a major center for climate adaptation research, commercialization, conversation and policymaking,” according to a request for proposals that the city sent to contractors and that was reviewed by The New York Times.

Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives

The Power Grid Is Evolving. Cybersecurity Must Too
Neil Chatterjee, Fortune

Securing our nation’s critical infrastructure is a complex and multi-faceted problem. But simply piling on more mandatory standards on industry isn’t the solution. 

Access and preservation key to the New River Gorge
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), The Register-Herald

West Virginians share a deep appreciation for our wild and wonderful backyard, and the New River Gorge and surrounding areas are some of our most treasured playgrounds. 

World leaders are failing our future generations on climate change
Editorial Board, The Washington Post

In 2015, international negotiators struck the Paris climate agreement. Nearly four years later, it remains the world’s most promising tool to get all the planet’s major carbon dioxide emitters working together to cut the heat-trapping gases they release into the atmosphere. 

Is the U.S. Oil Industry Dominant? On the Verge of Oblivion? Neither
Robert L. Kleinberg, The New York Times

That strength comes, in part, from a very large, newly developed resource known as tight oil. Tight oil is a light crude oil extracted by horizontal drilling and massive hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Research Reports

Management of Controlled Substances at Los Alamos National Laboratory
Energy Department Office of Inspector General

We found that Los Alamos had not managed controlled substances in accordance with applicable Federal laws and regulations.  Our inspection also found that Los Alamos possessed mislabeled procurement records, inaccurate inventories, and retained controlled substance inventories well beyond the conclusion of experiments. 

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