Electricity, Natural Gas, Podcast, Regulations

Columbia Energy Exchange: Regulators in the Trenches

Interest in energy policy often focuses on Washington, where actions by the Trump administration, Congress and agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission receive much of the attention. But it’s easy to forget how much happens in the states, where utility commissioners play a big role in determining how energy is delivered to consumers and at what cost. That’s why I sat down with John “Jack” Betkoski III, the new president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, in this latest episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast. Listen to it here, and let me know what you think!

Continue reading
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)

Continue reading
Article, Climate, Government and Politics, Regulations

‘Just scrap’ Obama energy rules, Trump adviser says

The man that Donald Trump calls the “king of energy” in the U.S. predicts quick action by the next president to roll back Obama administration policies opposed by the oil and natural gas industry. “There are so many of them. You just scrap them,” Harold Hamm, the billionaire CEO of Continental Resources, said Wednesday, hours after Trump’s surprising win over Democrat Hillary Clinton. (Read more)

Continue reading
Article, Climate, Consumer, Corporations, Economy / Finance, Energy, Government and Politics, Regulations

Time for a carbon tax? A former Bush official says yes

Putting a price on carbon emissions remains a divisive topic in the USA, even as polls indicate considerable public support for actions to address climate change. Voters in Washington state may show the way  Nov. 8 when they decide on a referendum that would assess a carbon tax on coal, oil and natural gas, a move aimed at lowering emissions that contribute to climate change without digging deeply into people’s wallets. (Read more)

Continue reading
Article, Corporations, Defense, Government and Politics, Policy, Regulations, Utilities and Providers

Army heeds Obama call, attacks high energy bills

Improving the energy efficiency of buildings is generally considered to be one of the most practical ways that a property owner can cut the cost of lighting, heating and cooling. Now, the U.S. Army is demonstrating in spades the pragmatism of such moves as it surpasses the $1 billion mark in responding to a 2014 challenge by President Obama to all federal agencies to achieve $4 billion in energy savings performance contracts by December. (Read more)

Continue reading
Consumer, Energy, Government and Politics, People, Podcast, Policy, Regulations, Utilities and Providers

Columbia Energy Exchange: Phil Sharp

Phil Sharp understands energy policy as well as anyone in Washington, having spent 20 years as one of the leading lawmakers on the topic and the last 11 as the president of Washington’s oldest think tank devoted exclusively to analysis of energy and the environment. Best of all, in my estimation, he comes from an era when Congress worked on a bipartisan basis to enact policies addressing concerns over the production of energy and how we consume it – and often did so under a lot of pressure. Phil recalls some of the biggest battles over energy policy on Capitol Hill, the dramatic changes in U.S. energy fortunes, and what we can learn from this experience. Among his new pursuits, Phil is joining the Center on Global Energy Policy as a fellow who will teach and perform research on climate…

Continue reading
Article, Consumer, Energy, Regulations, Utilities and Providers

Staid power industry is branching out

Selling electricity was once a relatively simple proposition. A utility fired up a power station with coal, natural gas, oil or some other fuel, and sent electricity down a wire to customers. But the business model for the electric power industry has changed dramatically in the U.S. over the past 25 years, with deregulation opening markets to competing sellers of electricity, and new technologies offering a dizzying array of options for consumers. The latest sign of change in the industry is the announcement by Edison International of a new subsidiary called Edison Energy that sells “energy as a service” to commercial and industrial customers throughout the U.S. (Read more)

Continue reading
Article, Consumer, Economy / Finance, Policy, Regulations, Utilities and Providers

2016: Another volatile year for energy

The year 2016 promises to be an eventful one for energy in the U.S. and nations throughout the world, with more turbulence in oil and natural gas markets, new opportunities for solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy, and increasing challenges for the electric grid. The extraordinary slump in oil and natural gas prices is likely to continue this year, with both good and bad implications, depending on which side of the pump is important to you. For consumers, low prices will mean more savings when they fuel their vehicles and homes. But for oil and gas producers, and the entire industry that supports their operations, low prices will dampen the resurgence of U.S. production and lead to more layoffs, bankruptcies and mergers. How extensive is the toll of the price decline on the U.S. shale revolution? How quickly…

Continue reading
Article, Energy, Policy, Regulations, Utilities and Providers

Why this Ohio utility lauds carbon controls

The year 2016 will be a crucial one for electric utilities as they prepare to meet new Environmental Protection Agency regulations requiring them to cut their carbon emissions more than ever. Among the milestones in EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which the agency issued last year, is a requirement for states to submit plans by September to comply with the policy’s requirement to reduce emissions by 32% by 2030, compared with 2005 levels. Utilities will play a big part in the development of those plans. (Read more)

Continue reading