Sep
19
2017

Anticipating Energy Issues in Tax Reform

As Carly Simon sang decades ago, “anticipation, anticipation, it’s makin’ me late, it’s keepin’ me waitin’.” “Anticipation” could be the theme song of the week here in Washington, D.C., where several thousand people are getting ready (again) for release of the Republican tax reform plan.

Rumors are circulating that “everything is on the table,” meaning every interest group is gearing up to protect current provisions that lower their constituents’ tax bills and therefore cost the Treasury money.

Even amid all the anticipation, long-time tax-watchers know disappointment could be next week’s story line. Still, something seems

Sep
14
2017

Smart Cities: What's in a Name?

After Harvey and Irma, some cities and towns may need to rebuild parts of their infrastructure. To do that, they can partially rely on disaster relief public assistance from the federal government, but also will need their own funds and sweat equity. Local government personnel, elected officials, and concerned citizens may discuss the “Smart City” concept as they formulate plans to move forward with recovery.

The word “Smart” clearly speaks to consumers, since it’s attached to a wide range of products and services. (It already has a longer shelf life than that relic of 1990s marketing, the “e- prefix”). No

Sep
11
2017

What’s in Store for Storage?

The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those directly affected by Hurricane Irma to visit helpsalvationarmy.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or text “Storm” to 51555.

During the recent spate of hurricanes, I’ve talked with friends and relations across the Southeast to see how they’ve prepared, weathered the storm, or in some cases, worked with line crews to assist restoration efforts. In several conversations, we discussed (again) whether a home generator is worth the investment. So, when the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) released its new energy storage market snapshot last week, I was doubly motivated to read it

Sep
06
2017

PURPA: What Lies Ahead for Consumers?

Yesterday’s House Energy Subcommittee hearing on the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 (PURPA) provided enough sparks to warrant further coverage in our second blog this week. Will those sparks start a fire of activity at FERC, in Congress, or in state legislatures preparing for 2018 sessions?

Decades ago, renewable energy was an infant industry. The nation was stunned by the Arab oil embargo and envisioned running out of commonly-used generation and transportation fuels. In the late 1970s, Congress reacted with several sweeping statutes, including PURPA, that still impact today’s energy industry and consumers.

PURPA attempted to ensure

Sep
04
2017

D.C. Update: Energy Playbook and Rosters

The Texas and Louisiana coasts continue to suffer post-Harvey. Donations to the Salvation Army to support relief efforts can be made:

· Online at helpsalvationarmy.org.

· By calling 1-800- SAL-ARMY.

· By texting STORM to 51555.

Congress returns today, facing a bevy of high-profile issues, now potentially even more complicated by the need to assemble a massive federal aid package (Texas Governor Greg Abbott has floated $180 billion) in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Still, we can report some energy developments, and look at more coming down the field. As many of us welcome the

Aug
31
2017

Vogtle Moving Forward Is Positive Step

Earlier today, Southern Company announced it will continue to build nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia, reinforcing its support of nuclear power. PACE has consistently supported new reactors at Plant Vogtle, as part of a larger effort to advance the U.S. nuclear fleet.

Southern Company;s decision is an important one, as it comes at a time when other states are abandoning their own new nuclear efforts. Nuclear power is an important resource in generating reliable and affordable electricity, particularly as utilities nationwide work toward a lower-carbon future. That makes Vogtle an important project that benefits not only Georgia

Aug
30
2017

After the Storm: Lessons Learned from Harvey

The Texas and Louisiana coasts continue to suffer the devastating effect of Hurricane Harvey. Donations to the Salvation Army to support the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts can be made:

Online at helpsalvationarmy.org. By calling 1-800- SAL-ARMY. By texting STORM to 51555.

With Hurricane Harvey still dropping untold amounts of rain on Gulf Coast states, it’s timely to start looking at how energy infrastructure weathered the storm. According to the Energy Information Administration, which is tracking facility outages and energy production slowdowns on its website, “over 45 percent of total U.S. petroleum refining capacity is located along the Gulf coast, as

Aug
28
2017

Back to School with DOE's New Electricity Markets Report

The Texas coastal community, including Houston, continues to suffer the devastating effect of Hurricane Harvey. To help the relief effort, consider donating $10 to the Red Cross by texting 90999 or giving to the Salvation Army of Houston.

All over Northern Virginia, it’s time to head back to school. Adults, too, have that sense of renewal and a bit of excitement. It’s also nearly time for Congress to return and handle some weighty issues such as the debt ceiling, annual appropriations, and healthcare. With those tests ahead, it seems likely that energy policy will be just an

Aug
23
2017

Energy Headlines Abroad - U.K. and Mexico

Energy Issues Facing Neighbors and Friends

Upon returning from a great road trip around the Southeast, it seemed appropriate to look abroad at global energy news. As we all pack up the beach gear and prepare to resume work or school, I hope you can find some use in what we’ve collected below. While neither the U.K. nor Mexican markets make an apples-to-apples comparison with the U.S. energy landscape, some facts leap out from the headlines generated by each country’s experience with deregulation or new technology.

S&P Global, under the Platts imprint, has released a

Aug
21
2017

Ordering Common Sense with “One Federal Decision” 

Last week, the Trump Administration released an executive order that deserves attention and discussion. It follows a January 24 order that gave agencies authority to fast-track high priority infrastructure projects. It also revoked a January 2015 Obama Administration executive order that included standards for review of sea-level rise when assessing infrastructure projects. Unfortunately, this provision dominated press coverage of the order, obscuring some needed reforms that should help many energy projects, whether traditional or renewable, navigate environmental permitting and get online much faster with reduced costs.

The philosophy behind the August 15th order “Establishing Discipline and Accountability