Apr
20
2018

Springtime in D.C. - Cold, Sunny, Chance of Hearings and Orders

PACE got a taste of warm weather, sunshine and BBQ last week, visiting with Cobb EMC, a progressive urban/suburban electric cooperative just outside Atlanta that serves over 200,000 meters. Cobb’s board and leadership team are responding adeptly to consumer demand for renewable energy by making significant investments in utility-scale solar. PACE also visited the Southern States Energy Board (we joined SSEB earlier this year) to discuss energy and environmental issues that are top-of mind to the elected officials in SSEB’s sixteen state, two territory membership.

Returning to D.C., I found that with Easter recess in the rearview mirror, the springtime

Oct
12
2017

Climate Policy Swings and Balloons

As anticipated since just after the November 2016 election, the Trump Administration, through Environmental Protection Agency Administrator (EPA) Scott Pruitt, has officially released documents that set the stage for repeal of the Clean Power Plan. PACE welcomes this move. The original CPP, especially its approach to existing plants, failed to adequately consider how the CPP would raise electricity costs and create lasting impacts on consumers. It deserved the nickname PACE and countless other groups gave it – a carbon reduction mandate.

Creation of the original CPP was complex and lengthy. It sprang into public view June 2013,

Oct
10
2017

D.C. Energy News, Inside and Out

During Columbus Day week, the U.S. House of Representatives will be in session, although the Senate is on recess. With very few legislative days left in this first session of the current Congress, the most significant activity on energy will take the form of nominations and hearings looking ahead at 2018 issues. I’ve been lucky to split time the last 4 weeks (commercial flights only!) between D.C. and states far outside the beltway, getting a small glimpse of how D.C. news plays in the real world.

The constant meme about the lack of key figures in the

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

Aug
21
2017

Ordering Common Sense with “One Federal Decision” 

Last week, the Trump Administration released an executive order that deserves attention and discussion. It follows a January 24 order that gave agencies authority to fast-track high priority infrastructure projects. It also revoked a January 2015 Obama Administration executive order that included standards for review of sea-level rise when assessing infrastructure projects. Unfortunately, this provision dominated press coverage of the order, obscuring some needed reforms that should help many energy projects, whether traditional or renewable, navigate environmental permitting and get online much faster with reduced costs.

The philosophy behind the August 15th order “Establishing Discipline and Accountability

Jan
02
2017

New Year Offers Restart for American Energy

There can be little doubt that 2017 will witness one of the most dramatic ground shifts in American policy in recent history. The election of Donald Trump, victories by Republicans in both the U.S. House and Senate, and geopolitical pressures that continue to mount are all conspiring to create a new political landscape in our nation. We know with certainty that this administration will be markedly different than the last one, but will it be like any other? Or will it be completely uncharted territory? And most important from our point of view, what will this new landscape mean for