The Political Kabuki of Senate Confirmation

The incoming Trump administration will see its selection of an energy and environment management team at the Department of Energy, Department of Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency in place soon. A series of confirmation hearings this week for Trump nominees Rep. Ryan Zinke, Montana Republican, for Interior; Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt for EPA; […]

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Feds Hammer Asian Engineer for Alleged Spying for China

The U.S. government – the Department of Energy, the State Department, the Justice Department, and the White House – has again shown how ham-handed and stereotyped it is when it comes to Asian-American nuclear scientists and fears of espionage related to China. The government appears to be profiling scientists and engineers with Chinese backgrounds. The […]

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As a U.S. Business, Nuclear Power Stinks

Regardless of one’s views of the social values of nuclear power — compelling cases can be made all around — as a business proposition nuclear stinks. The latest evidence comes from the giant Japanese conglomerate Toshiba, which saw a third of its market value vanish in two days of trading (20% in one day, a […]

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New Coal Rules Give Trump Political Opportunities

The Obama administration has fired two parting shots at the coal industry that are more about public relations than environmental protection. They could be early and easy targets for the incoming Trump administration to show its resolve to “rescue” coal. Just about a year ago, in January, the administration announced a moratorium on new coal […]

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Is There an Explanation for Trump’s Picks?

What to make of the Trump picks for top administration jobs so far? Chuck Todd of NBC News (and moderator of Meet the Press) had an analysis on a podcast Wednesday (Dec. 14), which struck me as insightful. Todd said he sees two sets of appointees, one made up of genuine Trump picks, and the […]

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Trump: Bad News for U.S. Nuclear Power?

When a new administration arrives in Washington, business lobbying groups routinely assert that their interests mesh with those of the new political team in town. So it is with the nuclear power industry, where the Nuclear Energy Institute shortly after Donald Trump sealed his victory in the presidential race proclaimed their common interests. Maria Korsnick, […]

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Duke Settles 2012 Progress Energy Merger Suit

It was a remarkably ugly exercise of boardroom behavior, and now will cost Duke Energy $27 million (covered by insurance and paid to Duke itself ). In 2012, Duke Energy and Progress Energy, large investor-owned utilities in the Carolinas, agreed to a merger, largely brokered by Duke’s then-CEO Jim Rogers (not the legendary investor Jim […]

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Barclays Backs Gates Twins in FERC Trading Dispute

A dozen prominent federal administrative law experts have criticized the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s procedures in the now four-years-old dispute over whether FERC overstepped its authority in the case of the small Pennsylvania-based energy trader Powhattan Energy Fund. FERC contends that Powhatan trades in 2010 manipulated the PJM wholesale market. The issue is before a […]

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Palazzos of Power: Eye Candy for Electric Power History Buffs

Thoughts of electric generating plants don’t usually conjure images of impressive architecture. Modern power plants (with a few exceptions such as the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant on California’s gorgeous coast) are mostly uninteresting industrial facilities, hardly worth a second glance. That wasn’t always the case, as a new book from Princeton Architectural Press, “Palazzos of […]

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Matt Ridley’s ‘Lukewarmist’ Manifesto

Call me a climate “lukewarmist.” I’ve long been a fan of Matt Ridley, a member of the British House of Lord and a veteran journalist with The Economist for years. I highlight his latest blog posting, which is his Oct. 19 lecture at Britain’s Royal Society. The title of Ridley’s lecture — “Global greening versus […]

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