Feb
22
2018

Tax Extenders Will Make Plant Vogtle More Affordable

PACE is honored to re-publish a blog originally published by Georgia Tech’s Climate and Energy Policy Laboratory and authored by Dr. Marilyn A. Brown, who created and directs the CEPL.

On Friday, January 9, 2018, Congress passed and President Trump signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. This budget-busting bill will add an estimated $2 trillion to the U.S. debt over the next decade. But nestled within it is some good news for advocates of low-carbon energy solutions.

Earlier this month, a collection of energy tax extenders and incentives was added to the Congressional budget deal. They will support

Feb
16
2018

Budget Distractions Won't Help Energy Infrastructure

Earlier this week, the Office of Management and Budget released the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal. As with any massive federal government document, there’s a mixture of good and bad ideas. Stakeholders and media are still reading to find both. To be sure, there are highlights, such as forward-thinking ideas on cybersecurity, expanding broadband access, and energy research and development. PACE will highlight some of these in the weeks to come.

However, one bad idea was easy to find since it appears to have been copied and pasted from several past Administration proposals, both Republican and Democrat. Once again,

Feb
08
2018

Value of the Regulated Utility

Based on observing and responding to Florida’s sudden spike in deregulation conversations, PACE has built on research and work highlighting the value of the regulated utility model. The University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government released a new study this week, “Powering the Future and Protecting Consumers: Ensuring Reliability, Resilience, and Quality of Electric Service.”

Whether you’re an energy policy veteran who recalls the deregulation debates and decisions of twenty-plus years ago, or somewhat newer on the scene, this paper serves as a useful resource recounting the historic policy rationale for regulating electricity providers. As set forth in the

Feb
02
2018

Trading Away Common Sense

Yesterday, PACE commentary was featured in Morning Consult. The content of our op-ed, part of a continuing focus on harmful and misguided energy divestment and defunding campaigns, is below.

Environmental activists, driven by self-interests and profoundly mistaken beliefs about financial markets and energy policy, are pressuring citizens, public officials and corporate boards to abandon profitable investments in energy companies. These activists promote divestment and claim its implementation will save the environment. The reality, though, is that divestment is a poor solution for tackling the climate challenges that lay ahead. In fact, divestment simply doesn’t work, failing virtually everywhere it’s

Jan
31
2018

Florida Energy Consumers Win

Common sense prevailed earlier this month at a brief, but important meeting of Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission (CRC). Under extraordinary pressure, five members of the General Provisions Committee did the right thing and rejected a measure that sought to force drastic changes to the state’s electricity landscape on a rigid timeline. Under “Proposal 51,” Florida’s consumers would have been pushed down a path of uncertainty, experimentation and higher costs.

Since electricity deregulation special interests could revive their push for energy choice, it’s critical to understand why consumers won. The clever, but misleading banners of energy choice and energy freedom mask

Jan
23
2018

Pension Divestment Policy Wrong Fit for San Francisco

Following up on our December report “Rhetoric without Reason: The Dangers of Divestment” PACE wrote to the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System Board to oppose the adoption of a divestment policy in a vote scheduled for January 24.

 

Dear SFERS Board:

I would like to express my opposition to the Board’s consideration of a policy related to fossil fuels divestment at your special board meeting tomorrow. I have enclosed, on behalf of myself and the Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy (PACE), a recent analysis and report on how divestment from these funds can have harmful effects on pensioners

Jan
16
2018

Tough Sledding for Alaska

The Alaska Legislature resumes work today, amid much ongoing discussion of the state’s economic woes, including a $2.7 billion annual budget deficit. Important decisions lie ahead about how to stabilize the state’s finances and return to the days when Alaska’s economy hummed and people saw it as a land of opportunity.

As PACE wrote in December, raising taxes on the oil and gas industry, whether through new levies, or by removing long-standing incentives or credits, is the wrong way to address the financial quagmire. The oil and gas industry has faced over a decade of dizzying policy changes that make

Jan
11
2018

PACE Continues Florida Engagement on Deregulation

On Friday, the Florida Constitution Revision Commission will once again examine deregulation of the wholesale and retail electricity markets. PACE will testify, as we did in December, to share our views and research on why deregulation doesn’t work for consumers.

Dear Chair Thurlow-Lippisch:

Thank you for reconvening the General Provisions Committee on January 12 for a portion of the morning to further discuss Proposal 51. The Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy will appear again in order to shed light on why Florida should not enshrine complex electricity policy in its Constitution and explain why the Texas electricity market isn’t

Jan
09
2018

Baby, It's Cold Outside

The great majority of U.S. citizens east of the Mississippi have engaged in popular January 2018 conversations – first, “it is so, so [insert profanity of choice] cold outside.” In the greater D.C. metropolitan area, that is quickly followed by “why are the [choose another profanity] schools closed AGAIN?” Involuntary confinement to home offices has allowed energy policy observers to freely opine on the impacts of winter storms and the deep-freeze. Articles and blogs are piling up like …

While “Deep Freeze 2018” (there isn’t yet a catchy “Polar Vortex” phrase for this event, and “snow bomb” doesn’t apply

Jan
04
2018

Kicking Off 2018 and Examining the Energy Playbook

Now that the universe is properly aligned, with the University of Georgia once again playing for the national college football title, PACE has great hopes for 2018. Should that sense of optimism extend to Washington, D.C. and progress for energy consumers? This early in the year, there are more questions than answers.

First, of course, Congress and the Administration have to settle out how to pay the bills. A series of short-term spending Continuing Resolutions for FY2018 runs out soon, and until a solution is reached, there’s not enough oxygen to fully undertake other important discussions on tax extenders,