The Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved the $5.3 billion merger of natural gas and power distributor Avista Corp. and Toronto-based Hydro One Ltd. Regulatory filings are pending in three other Pacific Northwest states -- Idaho, Oregon and Washington -- where Spokane, WA-based Avista has natural gas utility operations. The pending cases in Oregon and Washington include all-parties, all-issues settlement agreements. Earlier this month, Alaska's regulatory commission approved the merger, and earlier this year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Federal Communications Commission separately approved the transaction.

Valley Crossing Pipeline LLC began construction Tuesday on its Border Crossing Project, the Houston-based Enbridge Inc. subsidiary said in a filing at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The project is a 1,000-foot stretch of 42-inch diameter pipeline that would extend from a point in Texas state waters, located about 30 miles east of Brownsville, to the international border with the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Rough weather in the nearby Gulf of Mexico had delayed the start of construction of a portion of the project. Valley Crossing received FERC authorization to begin construction of the Border Crossing Project three months ago.