Nov
28
2016

Study: Alabama Energy Sector Has Massive Impact on State Economy

The following guest blog comes from Seth Hammett, Chairman of the Energy Institute of Alabama and PowerSouth Energy Cooperative’s Vice President of Business Development. Hammett is a former Speaker of the House of Representatives in Alabama.

Alabama’s energy sector provides the spark that makes the state’s economic engine go. Akin to the consumer who never thinks of what goes into making the lights come on at the flick of a switch, those of us in the energy business were never certain of the exact economic impact provided by the industry.

That has changed.

An economic impact study commissioned by

Nov
22
2016

Discussions About Future of Solar Far From Over

In an opinion piece published earlier this week in Utility Dive, David Pomerantz, executive director of the Energy and Policy Institute, draws a number of conclusions about what the failure of Florida’s Amendment One means to the future of solar power. Tying the Amendment One vote to Mr. Trump’s election, Pomerantz reasons that the Amendment One vote shows that the public is fully dedicated to the robust future of residential solar power. Those are shaky conclusions, though, and Pomerantz would do well to abandon the solar industry’s talking points and face some basic realities.

If passed, Florida’s Amendment One

Nov
22
2016

Repost: One More Reason To Be Thankful

This past Thanksgiving, PACE published a blog piece that called attention to the daily work of the men and women who keep America’s electricity grid running. We republish it today as a reminder that our lights burn and our ovens work because a team of people behind the scenes does an often unrecognized job. Read the blog piece online here.

There is a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. There are things like warm beds, food on the table, and steady work that pays the bills. There are people, too. The selfless heroes in our armed forces

Nov
14
2016

Global News Reflects Changing Energy Environment

As analysts in the United States continue to speculate about what the recent results of the presidential election will mean for the future of domestic energy policy, news from around the world reflects the growing uncertainty over how best to balance the demand for energy with climate change concerns.

In Paris, for example, the French government has decided to abandon a carbon tax after labor unions complained the tax would hurt the city’s economy. The Paris carbon tax intended to shut down the use of remaining coal-fired power plants by 2023 at the latest. Although some in the French

Oct
25
2016

Harry Alford: An Epiphany – Sweet Home Alabama

The Coal Industry has been under attack since the beginning of the Obama Administration. The President has stated that “I want to kill coal”. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said, “I want to put all of the coal workers out of business”. They have caused an immense amount of damage. An enormous amount of coal mines has closed and a noticeable percentage of coal companies are in bankruptcy. The economic damage is real and its affect will hurt our nation and bring growth and profit to foreign nations like China and India who will fill in the gaps left by

Oct
24
2016

2016 PACE Energy Tour: Showing Energy Up Close

Late Friday, PACE concluded the final portion of its 2016 Energy Tour as the Megan Parker, a motor vessel operated by Parker Towing, returned to its dock in Northport, Alabama. A twenty-person contingent of regulators, elected officials, staffers, and other energy leaders had just seen firsthand how much of America’s coal resources travel along America’s waterways. Just minutes after the tour departed, that same vessel would push coal barges down the Black Warrior River toward their destination at McDuffie Coal Terminal in Mobile, the nation’s second largest coal terminal. Meanwhile, other vessels in the Parker Towing fleet undertook similar errands,

Oct
17
2016

Arkansas Governor Hutchinson to Euro Leaders: Wood Energy Industry Good for Both Sides of Atlantic

This past July, in the wake of an historic vote by the United Kingdom to exit the European Union, PACE wrote about the role that wood energy from the United States could play in the future of Britain. Not only could wood energy help to satisfy the British need for a low-carbon future, we argued, but an increased focus on wood energy supplies could create thousands of jobs here at home.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson

“In Europe, demand for biomass sources like wood pellets has grown in recent years due to carbon emissions mandates instituted by the EU. This

Oct
03
2016

Florida in the Middle on Energy Efficiency. And That’s Okay.

According to a recent report released by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Florida ranks 25th nationally in energy efficiency. That has some readers worried that Florida in some ways lags behind in fully taking advantage of energy efficiency. However, that’s not exactly the case and, as usual, there is more to the story.

For example, ACEEE gives Florida just one point out of a possible twenty for utility policies that address energy efficiency. That likely is a direct effect of the Florida Public Service Commission’s decision in 2014 to scale back the energy efficiency goals

Sep
28
2016

EPA Carbon Mandate Gets Day in Court

On Tuesday, opposing sides took to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to argue their cases on the merits of the Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark bid to control the emission of carbon dioxide, known as the Clean Power Plan. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay against the plan this past February, shortly before the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia.

The Appeals Court, the second most powerful court in the nation, for nearly seven hours on Tuesday heard arguments related to the plan, which would call for a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from

Sep
07
2016

Air Conditioning as Public Enemy #1?

With the college football season upon us, we are reminded once again just how engrained the sport is in the life of the South. Of course, there are places across the nation that take their football seriously, too, but no region brings college football fandom to quite the fever pitch as the South.

Four years ago, in September of 2012, PACE wrote about an item that is just as quintessential to life in the Southeast: air conditioning. We told our readers in a piece called “Keeping Our Cool” that people worldwide were beginning to catch on to the value