Energy news in brief

 ** Entergy Arkansas customers are supposed to receive a $15 million refund by the end of July, but the utility is contesting an order by state regulators to make the payment. 

**  Six new sinkholes appear along the Mariner East pipeline route in eastern Pennsylvania as opponents press state officials to shut the project down.

** A group of 20 states, including Virginia, are asking a court to review an EPA order saying it is not necessary to limit mercury and other hazardous air pollutants emitted from power plants. 

** U.S. coal exports declined 29% in the first five months of 2020, and the downturn is expected to last through the year.

** Illinois Republicans seek to hold hearings on how and whether ComEd ratepayers were negatively affected by the utility’s bribery charges.

** Federal regulators approve the Leidy South pipeline project in eastern Pennsylvania.

** BBVA USA, as Trustee of the San Juan Basin Royalty Trust  reported that it will not declare a monthly cash distribution to the holders of its Units of beneficial interest due to prior excess production costs from the April 2020 production month. Excess production costs occur when production costs and capital expenditures exceed the gross proceeds for a certain period.

** On Monday, July 13, 2020, El Paso Electric Company  customers set a new peak demand for electricity of approximately 2,173 megawatts (MW), 9.5% or 188 MW higher than the peak established in 2019. This is the highest level of energy demand growth on record and it also surpasses EPE’s 2020 peak demand forecast and reaches peak demand levels that were expected in 2026.

** A California editorial board says high energy prices are a key driver of the “Black exodus” from the state.

** The fight over the nomination of William Perry Pendley for director of the Bureau of Land Management got a bit nastier, with Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock filing a lawsuit Monday evening.

** The House passed a three-year extension, S. 4148 (116), of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program on Monday by unanimous consent. The current authorization of the program, which aims to protect more than 3,300 facilities around the country from terrorist attacks, is slated to lapse on Thursday.

** A congressional committee voted  to block the United States Air Force’s proposal to expand the Nevada Test & Training Range further into the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. The proposal was included as part of a military spending bill and would have given the Air Force greater authority for the management of the refuge.

** With no confirmed case of the coronavirus, Yosemite National Park appeared to be a safe haven from the outbreak. But tests of the park’s raw sewage have confirmed the presence of the virus, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday, and dozens of people are believed to have been infected.

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