Government and Politics

Climate, Energy, Government and Politics, Podcast, Policy

Columbia Energy Exchange: Minister Catherine McKenna

Host Bill Loveless sits down with Hon. Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, to get an inside look at environmental policy in the nation. Catherine and Bill discuss: Canada’s approach to climate change and linkages between the environment and economic policy; different approaches to environmental and climate policy between the U.S. and Canada under President Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; and the realities of a national carbon pricing plan in Canada. (Listen)

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Climate, Energy, Government and Politics, Podcast, Policy, Regulations

Columbia Energy Exchange: Robert Powelson

Host Bill Loveless speaks with Robert Powelson, the new President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). Robert is a member of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, he has chaired the NARUC Committee on Water and he formerly served as the President of the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry. Bill and Robert discussed: what state utility regulators expect to see from the Trump Administration and how it will differ from regulation under President Obama; the future of the Clean Power Plan and state approaches to decarbonization; nuclear waste and the future of Yucca Mountain; the need for a renaissance in energy infrastructure; and energy innovation. (Listen)

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Article, Energy, Government and Politics

Trump may not be able to reverse coal industry’s slump. Here’s why

Coal may make a political comeback in Washington, where President Trump is eager to make good on his promise to revive the sagging industry. But politics aside, it’s the greener forms of energy that are changing substantially the way the USA produces, uses and even saves energy, particularly when it comes to electricity. The trends are detailed in a new report from the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) that provides 163 pages of data on the impact of renewable energy, natural gas and energy efficiency on the U.S. economy. (read more)

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Article, Economy / Finance, Energy, Government and Politics

Carbon tax chances slim under Trump, though Tillerson supports idea

With the Trump Administration poised to reverse U.S. policies on climate change, the head of a major oil and natural gas company is calling again for governments around the world to put a price on carbon emissions once and for all. BP CEO Bob Dudley reiterated his company’s longstanding position in releasing its annual report on global energy trends. “In BP, we continue to believe that carbon pricing has an important part to play as it provides incentives for everyone — producers and consumers alike — to play their part,” Dudley said at a news conference in London last week. (read more).

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Government and Politics, Podcast

Columbia Energy Exchange: Kevin Cramer

During his campaign for President of the United States, one of the many advisors Donald Trump turned to on energy issues was Kevin Cramer, a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from North Dakota, the second leading state in oil production as a result of the boom in shale drilling.On this episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange host Bill Loveless talks with Congressman Cramer about his vision for American energy and environmental policy. They discuss: What being a climate skeptic means to the Congressman and where he stands on the issue; Insights on being tapped to advise Donald Trump on energy issues; What energy and environment issues the federal government should be regulating; Whether or not climate change is an urgent issue; Donald’s Trumps commitment to the Paris Accord; The Congressman’s advice to EPA-nominee Pruitt on the environment. (Listen)

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Article, Defense, Energy, Government and Politics

Compact, pre-fab reactors may revive nuclear option

The prospect of a U.S. renaissance in nuclear energy has lost its luster in recent years. Yes, four reactors are under construction at two sites in Georgia and South Carolina, the first ones to be built in 30 years. And last year, the Tennessee Valley Authority completed a plant that had lain unfinished for more than three decades. Beyond that, no electricity providers in the USA plan to build another reactor any time soon. Instead, some have closed reactors. Six units have been shut down since 2013 in the face of competition from natural gas, solar power and wind energy. Nevertheless, an Oregon-based company is taking a big step toward eventually rekindling the nuclear option in the USA. (Read More)

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Article, Corporations, Economy / Finance, Government and Politics

Oil and gas exec Gerard is pumped about prospects under Trump

For Jack Gerard, the outlook for U.S. energy security has never been brighter, with domestic supplies of oil and natural gas increasing, dependence on foreign supplies declining and a new Republican president and Congress keen on promoting fossil fuels. “In this new year and at the start of this new Congress, we have an opportunity to change the national conversation when it comes to energy policy,” the president of the American Petroleum Institute said the other day in his annual “State of American Energy” speech in Washington. (Read More)

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Climate, Energy, Government and Politics, Podcast

Columbia Energy Exchange: Gina McCarthy

Bill Loveless sits down with the current Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy, who has overseen major environmental initiatives in the Obama Administration. Gina, who was previously Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection has also worked at both the state and local levels on critical environmental issues. They discuss: the legacy of the Obama Administration on climate change and other environmental issues; the endurance of the Clean Power Plan under the Trump Administration; the future of the Paris Agreement; reaching bipartisan consensus in a world where social media drives and exaggerates opposition; and reconciling demands to “keep it in the ground” with benefits of domestic energy production. (Listen)

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Article, Climate, Energy, Government and Politics

Trump may be good for oil, trouble for renewables

U.S. energy producers of all kinds see reasons for optimism as they start 2017, though the incoming Trump administration may spell trouble for some of a greener hue. Among oil drillers, a recent uptick in prices suggests an end to a slump that has persisted since mid-2014, while natural gas, solar and wind energy companies aim to build on their gains in U.S. electric power markets in 2016. Even the struggling nuclear sector can point to victories in New York and Illinois, where unprofitable reactors were saved by state actions last year. That said, here’s a list of some of the most notable energy developments for the U.S. in 2016 — ones that may set the stage for how Americans produce and use energy in 2017. (Read More)

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Article, Defense, Government and Politics, Technology, Utilities and Providers

Could hackers knock out our power? It happened in Ukraine

Worries over cyberattacks on the USA are increasing in the aftermath of a presidential election in which the CIA alleged that Russia used such means to influence our electoral process. For the moment, the vulnerability of polling and political operations to hacking gets most of the attention. But this week will mark the one-year anniversary of the first publicly acknowledged cyber incident to take down portions of a power grid, one of the most critical components of a nation’s infrastructure. (Read More)

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