Archive: Environmental


D.C. Circuit Vacates Parts of EPA Ozone Regulations

The D.C. Circuit last week struck down parts of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule concerning implementation of its 2008 ozone standards, creating new regulatory limbo for the entities required to comply with the rule. Ruling in a set of cases consolidated under South Coast Air Quality Management District v. EPA (No. 15-1115), the federal […]

Consumers Energy

Michigan Utility Will Phase Out Coal-Fired Generation

Coal-fired power generation has taken another punch, as Consumers Energy—which along with DTE Energy supplies most of Michigan’s power—has announced it will phase out coal burning over the next two decades, with a plan to generate at least 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040. Patti Poppe, Consumers’ president and CEO, made the […]

Laramie River Station coal power plant Source: LMB Photography

Trump Budget Backs Nuclear, Coal; Cuts Funding for Renewables

The Trump administration’s fiscal year 2019 budget request released February 12 asks for more money to support fossil fuel-based power systems, but seeks funding below current levels for other energy initiatives, including renewable energy and energy efficiency. The energy funding is part of a $4.4 trillion budget that features large increases in military spending, along […]

EIA's projected power generation mix for the U.S. through 2050 in the AEO208

Direct-Use Power Generation to Outpace Retail Sales Through 2050

After decades of lethargic power demand—and negative growth in 2017—U.S. electricity use is expected to grow steadily through 2050, driven by a healthy economy and increasing efficiency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects in its Annual Electricity Outlook 2018 (AEO2018). However, during that period, direct-use generation will outpace growth in retail sales as more […]


AEP, American Power Giant, Sets Goal to Slash Carbon Emissions 80% by 2050

American Electric Power (AEP), one of the nation’s largest power generators, will pursue a strategy to reduce its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 60% from 2000 levels by 2030, and 80% from 2000 levels by 2050. AEP expects to achieve carbon reductions through a variety of actions, including investments in renewable generation and advanced technologies […]

Artwork: POWER/Sonal Patel

More Premature Nuclear Unit Retirements Loom

Two more U.S. nuclear power plants are facing early retirement, joining a string of generators whose fate was determined by market conditions, political pressure, or financial stresses assailing the sector. Several others may be poised to join them. The 647-MW Duane Arnold nuclear plant in Palo, Iowa, will likely close in 2025 after a current […]

Owners’ decisions last year to abandon two under-construction reactor units isn’t unprecedented. Over the short course of
nuclear power’s history in the U.S., more than 100 reactors (of about 230 projects scrutinized by the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission [NRC] and its predecessor the Atomic Energy Commission) have been canceled—nearly half of which had
already begun construction. Many had been faced with increasing uncertainties concerning low forecasted load; construction
financing constraints and reversals; state certification hurdles; and challenges to nuclear profitability posed by the
growing share of coal plants at the time. The graphic below offers a sampling of projects that have been abandoned. For
more detail, see a supplement associated with this infographic at Note: All dollar figures are from the
corresponding year. Source: NRC

THE BIG PICTURE: Abandoned Nuclear

This month’s THE BIG PICTURE infographic is accompanied by an interactive map. For more, visit:


What’s Next for the Clean Power Plan?

“The Trump administration is listening to the people of Wyoming,” remarked Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. His comment referenced a

Figure 1_ChinaCarbon

China Advances Plan for Nationwide Carbon Trading System

Top governmental bodies in China in December approved plans for a carbon trading system that will first target power plants and then cover most of the nation’s mammoth industrial body.  President Xi Jinping

Figure 2_IEAWEOFuelSourceoutlook

Energy Transitions Begin to Leave Out Natural Gas Power

The world’s energy transition took an interesting turn at the end of 2017 as global power firm Engie announced it would switch all its gas operations to biogas and renewable hydrogen, the UK slashed its