Oct
04
2017

Natural Gas Hedging Works for Customers

Earlier this year, PACE reported on the importance of natural gas hedging as a tool for keeping power prices stable and affordable. With debate continuing about the role of natural gas in our country’s power generation portfolio, we think it’s timely to revisit the topic.

Last month, we asked two experts to share their views on why using natural gas makes our nation more safe and secure, and why allowing utilities to hedge natural gas purchases makes good business sense and protects consumers.

You can see a short excerpt from our conversation here:

Natural gas is now

Oct
03
2017

Lessons on America's Power Supply Formula

The utility industry, the federal government and numerous NGOs are on the ground helping our 3.4 million fellow citizens in Puerto Rico. The Salvation Army is on the front lines and collecting much-needed donations. Our concern also extends to the victims and families impacted by the terrible events in Las Vegas.

In the wake of the hurricane trifecta of Irma, Harvey, and Maria, more Americans than usual may be thinking about power supply. Luckily, so are leading voices in Washington, D.C. and around state capitols. An already healthy debate about what sources our country uses to generate electricity, and

Sep
28
2017

The Impressionist Energy Policy Landscape

The utility industry, the federal government and numerous NGOs are on the ground helping our 3.4 million fellow citizens in Puerto Rico. The Salvation Army is on the front lines and collecting much-needed donations.

As we ease into fall in Washington, D.C., there’s very little talk left of comprehensive energy bills. Yet, small developments and conversations keep going, adding bits of color and light to the energy policy landscape. It’s akin to an Impressionist painting at this time; general outlines are there, but interpretation of the overall scene depends greatly on your vantage point.

PACE

Sep
26
2017

Solar Trade Wars: Can Consumers Win?

Last Friday saw the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) vote unanimously (4-0) that imports of markedly less expensive Chinese solar panels have harmed domestic solar panel manufacturers. The case, always controversial, now enters a new phase, in which the ITC will assess and recommend potential remedies, including tariffs on imported panels.

How did we get here? Suniva, headquartered in Georgia, filed for bankruptcy and filed its claim of “serious injury” at the ITC in April 2017. SolarWorld Americas, also bankrupt, joined the petition soon thereafter. The two companies used an obscure provision of U.S. trade law (Section

Sep
21
2017

Natural Gas Pipelines - Mountains of Rhetoric and Facts

Traveling around this Southeast this summer, I saw quite a few yard signs registering opinions about drilling and pipelines. Last month, PACE filed comments supporting an expanded federal offshore oil and natural gas leasing program.

Onshore energy projects, such as the Atlantic Coast (ACP) and Mountain Valley (MVP) pipelines also bring value to consumers. Both have been extensively studied and are now working through exhaustive reviews and approvals. Unsurprisingly, the projects are also targets for well-funded opposition campaigns from environmental groups.

The ACP would run about 600 miles starting in West Virginia, extending into Virginia

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