NGI The Weekly Gas Market Report

Briefs -- Clean Energy Fuels | Avista Utilities | New Jersey Rejoins RGGI | Targa, MPLX JV | Colorado Climate Strategy

Newport Beach, CA-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. in 2017 recorded a 32% increase year/year in sales of Redeem, its renewable natural gas (RNG) product for transportation. Clean Energy said it sold 79 million gallons of Redeem in 2017, compared to 60 million gallons a year earlier. Last year's volume represented more than half of the overall U.S. RNG production as reported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) approved a $7.3 million (7.1%) natural gas utility rate decrease for Spokane, WA-based Avista Utilities, effective Friday (Jan. 26).  Avista residential gas customers in eastern Washington are expected to save about $3/month, a 6.3% decrease. In a general rate case filing that is pending, in which Avista requested an increase for natural gas of $8.3 million (9.3%) for the first year of a three-year rate cycle, WUTC staff recommended approving $1.1 million (1.3%).

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed an executive order for the state to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a mandatory cap-and-trade program among nine other Mid-Atlantic and New England states to reduce power sector emissions. Former Republican Gov. Chris Christie withdrew from the initiative in 2015. Murphy, a Democrat who was recently sworn-in, also released an energy transition report that calls for more renewable energy, fighting climate change, environmental justice efforts and better protection for water resources. The developments come as PennEast, a major pipeline project to deliver more natural gas to the state is set for an environmental review. The RGGI could soon expand again, as Virginia’s new Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has indicated his interest to join, which would make it the first in the South to cap carbon. 

Targa Resources Corp.and MPLX LP plan to expand the Centrahoma Processing LLC joint venture that serves producers working in Oklahoma’s Arkoma Woodford Basin. Targa and MPLX plan to build a 150 MMcf/d cryogenic natural gas processing plant, to be named Hickory Hills, in Hughes County, which could begin operations in late 2018. Targa is contributing its existing 150 MMcf/d Flag City Plant acquired in May 2017 and then decommissioned, which would become Hickory Hills once additional required plant infrastructure is installed. Targa also agreed to contribute the 120 MMcf/d cryogenic Tupelo Plant in Coal County. In exchange, Targa would maintain its 60% interest and be paid an undisclosed amount by MPLX, its 40% partner. 

Colorado has updated its three year-old climate plan to reflect what Gov. John Hickenlooper called "changes in both global and federal climate policy." The strategy calls for the state to continue working with utilities to advance renewable energy development, "while maintaining reliability and without increasing costs to consumers." The plan also calls for developing a carbon greenhouse gas emissions reporting rule by the end of 2018. 

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