Jul
10
2017

Looking Before Leaping: The Debate over 100% Renewables

In early May 2017, California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon introduced S.B. 100, the California Clean Energy Act of 2017, which seeks to put the state on a path to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2045. In a press conference supporting the bill, Sen. de Leon cited clean energy’s job creation and economy-boosting properties. Other California Senate leaders analogized this bill to the Kennedy Administration’s drive to place a man on the moon and said that California would continue to be the model for energy policy.

Intrigued by S.B. 100, I began to wonder about the

Jul
04
2017

Energy and Freedom

Happy 4th of July from just outside our nation’s capital! And, welcome to my inaugural blog for the Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy. It’s a great honor to continue PACE’s tradition of open, inclusive dialogue about energy policy. Over the coming years, I hope the words and images that appear in this space will spark even more questions, comments, and ideas that PACE can share with a wide universe of energy stakeholders and policymakers.

Energy and freedom go together like the 4th of July and fireworks. It seemed like a fantastic first blog theme as I sat with my

Jun
12
2017

Tyree: American Electricity Consumers Are On A Diet

The following guest blog comes from Corey Tyree, Ph.D., Director of Energy & Environment at Southern Research and a Senior Policy Advisor for the Energy Institute of Alabama.

Whether it be food or energy or water, Americans are known for consuming more and more. There is at least one exception – electricity. In Alabama, and the U.S. as a whole, we are consuming less and less. Electricity consumption (as measured by electricity sales) has fallen nationally five of the past eight years and only increased 5 percent during the 2000s. Consumption in Alabama lags behind even that slow

Jun
02
2017

PACE in The Hill: Fair, Pro-Growth Tax Policy Can Help Energy Consumers

The following op-ed from PACE Executive Director Lance Brown appeared in the June 2nd online edition of The Hill. Read the piece online here.

When it comes to energy policy, language matters. That’s why a recent letter from the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, written by Democrats lawmakers, deserves careful scrutiny.

In their letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady and Ranking Member Richard Neal, the lawmakers call for the Committee to consider a number of measures as part of House leadership’s efforts toward much-needed comprehensive tax reform. These include levying an “economy-wide price on

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