Scalia’s Death and Obama’s Clean Power Plan

The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia complicates the already complex judicial review of the Obama administration’s Clean Coal Plan. According to Washington-area attorney David Masselli, who practices before the court, the “extraordinary” stay the court granted by 5-4 to prevent the new Environmental Protection Agency rules from going into effect until the Supreme […]

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Tritium Politics in New York

When Entergy discovered small amounts of tritium in the water in three of 40 monitoring wells at its Indian Point nuclear plant north of New York City last week, it must have sent off pulsating political alarms in the New Orleans headquarters. The company is involved in a long-running battle with anti-nuclear and environmentalist activists, […]

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More Political Maneuvering Coming to FERC

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, historically a political backwater that attracts little attention other than from energy geeks, has moved into the Washington limelight in recent years. FERC has seen partisan battles over appointments to the obscure commission and wrangling – sometime internecine – over the chairmanship. FERC could draw inside-the-beltway attention again this year […]

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Nevada’s Solar Move Makes Economic Sense

The argument over the economics of distributed solar versus utility solar got played out in the real world in Nevada earlier this year. Utilities won decisively. While there is much gnashing of teeth and moaning of doom from the rooftop troops, the outcome is positive for most Nevada electricity consumers — those who don’t have […]

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Will Ohio Choose Re-regulation Over Competition?

There’s a word that best describes what’s going on with Ohio investor-owned utilities these days: “re-regulation.” The Buckeye State’s two largest IOUs, having lived in competitive power markets for some 20 years, have decided they prefer the good old days of guaranteed markets and regulated returns. FirstEnergy, based in Akron, and American Electric Power, headquartered […]

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Obama’s Energy Record: Markets Beat Government

Washington, D.C. — As the Obama administration enters its final year in Washington, it is worth looking at what has changed in the U.S. energy arena since the administration began in 2009. A lot is different, and mostly positive. How much credit or blame belongs to White House initiatives and government policy is arguable. I […]

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What Does Paris Mean?

Washington, D.C. — What to make of the results from this month’s Paris global warming gabfest? Both the Wall Street Journal editorial page and primo climate catastrophist James Hansen agree. Both have denounced the deal in Paris as a fraud. Here’s Hansen, quoted in The Guardian, a left-wing British newspaper: “It’s a fraud, really, a […]

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The Vision (or Hubris) of David Crane Fails a Market Test

David Crane was the face of NRG Energy, a visionary executive, for a dozen years. He was building a company on a large base of fossil-fueled non-utility generation supporting  a transition to a purveyor of non-utility, distributed generation based on renewables, both large-scale wind and solar, and a network of rooftop photovoltaic systems linked together […]

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In Paris, It’s ‘Straight Cash, Homey’

Washington, D.C. – “Follow the money.” That’s the famous advice that Deep Throat offered Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in the film version of their Watergate book All the President’s Men. It’s good advice in sussing out what’s going to be happening in the swirling, often chaotic and confusing days ahead in the Paris climate […]

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FERC Protects Retail Customer Electric Filings

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has upheld the broad power of retail electricity customers to participate in commission proceedings, rejecting an argument by a FERC administrative law judge to shut out end-use customers from the commission’s activities. In an order on Nov. 12, the commission ruled unanimously that “as courts have recognized, […]

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