Dec
12
2017

Rhetoric Without Reason: The Dangers of Divestment

Over the past several years, PACE has reported on the energy stock divestment movement, noting this misguided social activism’s potential to weaken university endowments and spread misinformation about energy. Today, we are releasing a new paper describing a renewed and expanded divestment push, now also aimed at pension funds and financial institutions. Today’s PACE blog is the white paper’s Executive Summary; please take a look and share this with colleagues and on social media.

Simply put, divestment is the selling of stocks deemed by an individual or institution as unworthy of holding. Over the past several years, a small

Dec
12
2017

Vogtle 3 and 4 Still Common Sense for Georgia

The Georgia Public Service Commission is once again holding hearings and taking public testimony on the merits of proceeding with construction of Units 3 and 4 at Plant Vogtle. This week’s Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) hearings have, as usual, included spirited debate, sometimes set to ukulele music. (As Florida’s sage Dave Barry used to say, “I am not making that up.”)

As the Commissioners and staff continue to closely and responsibly examine the costs and timelines for the massive construction project, they are being bombarded with half-truths and histrionics. But there are just as many rational voices in the debate,

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

Dec
05
2017

When More is Less: Higher Oil and Gas Taxes Harm Alaska

 

Alaska’s citizens and the oil and gas industry have a long and mutually beneficial relationship. The industry continues to be a leading employer, generating over 100,000 jobs. Since 1982, most Alaskans have received direct payments from the Alaska Permanent Fund, created in 1976 to ensure that citizens would benefit from petroleum revenues. Even as oil prices fluctuate and trend lower because of abundant global supply, oil and gas continues to pay a significant share of taxes that support a wide range of government services. Over $180 billion dollars has flowed to Alaska’s treasury over the state’s existence.

Like many

Nov
30
2017

Hedging, Natural Gas and National Security

PACE Guest Blog By Captain Leo Goff, Ph.D., Captain, US Navy (Ret.) Even when energy markets seem calm and stable, utilities use price and supply risk management tools such as hedging to maintain predictable fuel supplies and prices. This is part of the obligation to serve and the duty to maintain reasonable prices for end-use electricity customers. Hedging natural gas, however, will become even more important over the next decade because of global market pressures and geopolitical concerns.

Over the next two decades the global energy landscape will change dramatically. The way the United States manages its vast energy resources

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

Nov
23
2017

PACE is Thankful for Progress in 2017

Borrowing from David Letterman, PACE has assembled a Top 10 list of energy policy developments, people and institutions that energy consumers can give thanks for this year. In no particular order:

Renewed efforts to (safely and in an environmentally friendly manner) explore, map and perhaps one day develop our country’s abundant natural resources. Rollback of WOTUS and the Clean Power Plan. Introduction of multiple model lines of affordable, versatile electric vehicles for commuters and commercial uses. The open and vigorous discussions of reliability/resilience, how America’s power mix is changing, and what it should look like in the future. “Energy Dominance”

Nov
21
2017

This Thanksgiving, Resilience & Reliability Still Matter

Opinions about DOE Rick Perry’s bold moves to kick-start the regulatory policy discussion regarding resiliency and reliability of the electric grid are swirling around and piling up like the abundant autumn leaves here in D.C.

And as energy lobbyists and lawyers gather around Thanksgiving dinner, many of them can give thanks for the plethora of panel discussions, op-eds and client billing opportunities the Section 403 process has yielded just since the end of September. If the process continues to generate an open discussion of what resources are needed to ensure all Americans have affordable, reliable energy across a range

Nov
16
2017

Driving to the Future in Electric Vehicles

The NARUC community has come to count on the Edison Foundation’s Institute for Electric Innovation (IEI) for creative and informative events alongside the official meetings. A breakfast panel on Tuesday brought together large utilities (Southern Company, BGE), environmentalists (the Energy Foundation) and EV consumer advocates (Plug in America).

Led by Phil Jones, a revered former PUC Commissioner from Washington state, now Executive Director of the new Alliance for Transportation Electrification, the panel united around strong support for electric vehicles and utilities’ central role in bringing the necessary charging infrastructure online. Regulators are just beginning to grapple with

Nov
14
2017

State Regulators Advance Critical Energy Conversations

The nation’s regulatory utility commissioners are gathered in Baltimore, Maryland for their 129th annual meeting. I’m pleased to represent PACE and raise awareness about our partnerships all across the country and our mission of driving policies that deliver reliable, affordable energy to consumers.

It’s not just the brisk, wintry temperatures here in Baltimore keeping attendees focused on where consumers will get their energy and what it will cost. Several sessions across the 4 days of meetings delve into these important questions.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) convened an early morning breakfast yesterday to discuss the pending Federal Trade Commission