May
22
2018

A Tale of Two States - Deregulation in Texas

Last month, the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP) released an update to its regular report on Texas’ deregulated power market. TCAP is a not-for-profit that helps aggregate electricity purchases for dozens of cities in Texas, and so has a vested interest in monitoring the state’s complicated and ever-changing electricity markets. TCAP’s analysis can help you decide whether the Texas deregulation “miracle” is a tall tale.

I became a TCAP fan last summer after identifying them as one of the nation’s few organizations able to discuss “capacity markets” in plain English.

Since Texas is so frequently held up as an

Mar
16
2018

Springing Forward on Fuel Diversity

With spring come spending bills, and this year Congress has the chance to support energy diversity across the board. In the FY18 omnibus, and a series (hope springs eternal) of appropriation bills for FY 2019. There are also talks of a fix-it tax package. In short, there are many opportunities for lawmakers to support a robust, diverse fuel mix now and in the future.

Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN) has introduced legislation, the “Electricity Reliability and Fuel Security Act” that seeks to establish a 30 percent tax credit, for only a five-year period, for the fixed operation and maintenance expenses

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

Dec
07
2017

Energy Retail Deregulation Wrong Fit for Florida

This week, PACE was on the road in Tallahassee, visiting with several members of the Florida legislature and learning about energy issues likely to arise in the 2018 session. As always, it was enjoyable to be outside the D.C. beltway, with warmer temperatures and fresh Gulf seafood all around.

Snow is rare in Tallahassee, but consumers need to be wary of the potential for a snow-job. Outside interests are setting up camp here to push for electric retail deregulation. Their primary vehicle so far is Prop 51, recently introduced and the likely subject of ongoing deliberations by the state’s Constitutional

Nov
28
2017

The Disaster of Deregulation

Earlier this year, PACE shared some thoughts about deregulation of the electric power retail markets and why it doesn’t make sense for consumers. With state legislatures across the country gearing up for 2018 sessions, it seems timely to touch on the topic again. When it comes to deregulating (or restructuring) retail electricity markets, the song remains the same. Nearly two decades of experimentation, creation of complicated behemoth markets and establishment of cumbersome oversight mechanisms has rarely, if ever, produced meaningful cost savings or competition.

Pushed by giant casinos and renewable advocates, Nevada’s Public Service Commission has recently created a new

Oct
17
2017

October 2017:

Although October hasn’t been officially named “Reliability Month,” it might as well have been, owing to all the recent news bearing on how our country will generate power in the future.

In Texas, a merchant power company announced the closure of two large coal-fired plants, totaling over 2300 MW of capacity across 4 units, along with a mine that supports one of the plants. The company said that the plants fell victim to “an oversupplied renewable generation market, and low natural gas prices.”

Beltway coverage focused on Texas’ lost capacity and laudatory comments from the