May
22
2017

Sullivan: Best Energy Policy Is Forged By States

The following commentary comes from Jim Sullivan, a Senior Policy Advisor for the Energy Institute of Alabama. Sullivan served as President of the Alabama Public Service Commission for 25 years and regularly provides regulatory and strategic counseling to utilities and other industries.

The United States is, indeed, the world’s leader in delivery of electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial users. Our electric providers provide the highest level of national electrification at the overall lowest cost and the highest reliability of any country. For over a century our utility companies have grown and evolved into the premier

May
17
2017

Homegrown Biomass: A Great Alternative Energy

The following guest commentary comes from Tim Echols, Vice-Chair of the Georgia Public Service Commission. Echols was re-elected to another six-year term in November, 2016. In July of last year, PACE expressed its support of the wood energy industry as an opportunity for energy export.

This summer Georgia will see the State’s largest renewable energy plant begin full-scale operation in Albany. Perhaps surprisingly to many, it is not solar or wind, but another important Georgia natural resource—homegrown Georgia biomass. Here is why it matters.

Using bio-mass is part of a plan by our Georgia Public Service Commission and Georgia

May
09
2017

Wind Turbines and Military Bases Not At Odds

There is little doubt that Oklahoma is a state with strong and proud ties to the U.S. military, with major installations across the state. In addition to Fort Sill, a primary training center for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, and McAlester Army Munitions Plant, the state is home to Altus, Tinker, and Vance Air Force bases. Oklahoma is also one of the nation’s most productive states for wind power. There is no reason that these two significant resources for Oklahoma can’t exist side by side, enriching the state.

Earlier this legislative session, the Oklahoma Legislature helped to resolve

Apr
24
2017

Georgia Voices Reiterate Value of U.S. Nuclear Leadership

After years of interacting with members of the public and policymakers about American energy policy, there aren’t many questions I haven’t heard. Many casual observers of energy inquire about the future of traditional energy sources, which prompts some discussion on my part about the importance of reliability and balance. Others ask with puzzlement why the U.S. is dragging its feet on renewable power sources, an area of significant misinformation I am glad to correct and clarify.

Almost invariably, however, there is a question about nuclear energy. Even on Saturday, after I made a presentation at my alma mater, the

Apr
20
2017

Grid Reliability and Resilience Come Into Focus

Late last week, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry ordered his department to determine whether fundamental changes to the U.S. power grid, including the reduced use of coal-fired power, could affect the reliability of electricity. PACE has written often in recent years about threats to the availability of power posed by the closure of baseload power plants nationwide.

In an April 14th memo obtained by Bloomberg News, Perry underscores a number of the same concerns, asking department officials to determine whether federal policies toward renewable resources are accelerating the closure of coal and nuclear power plants and whether the “erosion”

Apr
17
2017

Coal's Steady Comeback

While good news for coal country has been hard to come by in recent years, new developments could be changing the outlook for the industry. Buoyed by the election of a new administration and the prospect of regulatory changes, there is a degree of optimism about the direction of American coal.

The optimism about coal’s future has also been lifted by the emergence from bankruptcy of Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. mining company. Peabody Chief Executive Officer Glenn Kellow credits President Trump for taking action to declare the importance of coal to the U.S. energy mix. Kellow says the

Mar
29
2017

PACE in The Hill: Tax Reform An Important Part of Pro-Consumer Energy Policy

The following opinion piece from PACE Executive Director Lance Brown appeared in today’s edition of The Hill. Read the piece online here.

Later today, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy will convene to discuss the effects on federal energy taxes on power prices and the families and businesses who pay them. This is a timely topic for lawmakers, as eight years of changes to the energy sector by the Obama administration have already helped to distort the energy marketplace and place upward pressure on the price of electricity. The EPA, emboldened by the president and spurred on by

Mar
27
2017

PACE Report: Natural Gas Hedging Protects Power Customers

A new report from the Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) explains that the practice of natural gas hedging is a critical instrument for protecting electricity customers over the long term. Natural gas has now surpassed coal as the most used fossil fuel for power generation, meaning that hedging against potential increases in the price of natural gas has become more important.

Nationwide, electric utilities have continued to use natural gas hedging instruments as a way of stabilizing power prices over the long term and avoiding so-called ‘sticker shock’ for customers.

“Historically, hedging has allowed utilities to navigate the

Mar
22
2017

PACE: Oklahoma Should Honor Its Commitment to Wind Projects

In recent weeks, PACE has followed developments in Oklahoma related to the state’s support for wind projects. As Oklahoma lawmakers consider possible legislation concerning wind, PACE has released the following statement. See the official release here.

As legislative leaders in Oklahoma continue to debate the best approach to supporting the state’s wind industry, it is important to recognize the value that wind power is bringing – and can continue to bring. It is also vital that Oklahoma honors the commitments it has made to developers who have invested significant capital to call the state home.

The record shows

Mar
22
2017

Clark: Gulf of Mexico Energy Critical to Alabama Manufacturers, Economy

The following guest blog is provided by George Clark, President of Manufacture Alabama, the only trade association in the state dedicated exclusively to the competitive, legislative, regulatory and operational interests and needs of manufacturers and their partner industries and businesses. A PACE partner, Manufacture Alabama works to create a business and political climate that promotes a positive, competitive environment and enhances the opportunity for growth of all Alabama manufacturers.

As Alabama’s voice for manufacturing and industry, Manufacture Alabama fully recognizes the critical importance of affordable and reliable energy. Manufacture Alabama member companies are among both the largest producers of