AUSenergy News Update 12/23/2014
Dec 23, 2014

In today’s AUSenergy News Update: NYMEX January closes down 17.8 cents, EPA CO2 rules could boost nuclear power, Maryland hearing to question if suppliers’ provided “misleading” information.

NYMEX January closes down 17.8 cents at $3.464/MMBtu

Summary:  The NYMEX January natural gas futures contract fell 17.8 cents to settle Friday at $3.464/MMBtu on moderate weather forecasts and gas stocks that are above year-ago levels.

AUS Comment:  Even if temperatures go lower than anticipated, the current strength in production, resulting in actual oversupply, means heating demand will have to go well beyond expectations to push prices higher. Customers are well positioned to ride through this winter at lower gas costs than last year.

EPA CO2 rules could boost nuclear power

Summary: The EPA’s Clean Power Plan aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% BY 2030, with CO2 reduction targets set per state on an individual basis according to their current CO2 standards.

AUS Comment:  The EPA calculated CO2 reduction goals, crediting nuclear plant production – current and proposed – as part of each state’s equation. In doing so, the EPA provided nuclear energy a much needed boost at a time when aging plants are under threat of closure. However, this push to include nuclear will lessen the pressure to create alternative energy sources, like wind and solar, and sweep the risks of nuclear under the rug in return for the immediate delivery of energy with zero emissions. Given past nuclear melt-downs and disasters, is this not a short-sighted solution to CO2 reduction?

Maryland Sets For Hearing Question of Whether Suppliers’ Provided “Misleading” Pricing Information 

Summary: The Maryland PSC has assigned to the Public Utility Law Judge Division the question of whether three retail suppliers’ marketing and pricing practices were “misleading” or otherwise provided inadequate information to allow a customer to make an informed choice regarding the purchase of electricity and natural gas services

AUS Comment:  A supplier’s marketing practices can lead unsuspecting customers to make the wrong choices for their energy needs. This is why having an energy consultant to guide you through the process, from supplier to final contract negotiations, is so important.

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