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,

Jan
02
2018

The Best Resolutions are Made at Home

With champagne flutes and noisemakers safely stored away, many of us turn to making New Year’s resolutions. These vary widely, but usually have one thing in common – we select them and measure success or failure ourselves. Wise partners and friends know to give advice only if asked. In short, one size doesn’t fit all, and mandates backfire.

Over the holiday break, I was reminded that local officials should adopt this same approach when it comes to one of the most important transactions that a family encounters – buying or selling a home. Lots of ink has already been devoted

Dec
21
2017

Winter’s Arrival Highlights Value of Natural Gas Hedging

Today’s guest blog is by Andy Whitesitt, Vice President, ACES Power. ACES Power is a national energy management company which helps its members and customers buy, sell and manage energy more efficiently and with less risk.

For the past 15 years, I’ve been responsible for procuring fuel for power generation across the U.S. Therefore, I’ve learned firsthand what volatility in natural gas prices does to power prices and ultimately the rate that end-users pay for their electricity. Natural gas hedging provides a tool to help reduce some of this volatility.

Based on my experience with hedging natural gas for

Dec
19
2017

Do Tomorrow's Consumers Know Enough About Energy?

By Gary Swan Vice President, Development at the National Energy Foundation

What do high school seniors think about current issues such as climate change and energy independence? How much do they know about where our energy in the U.S. comes from and how we get it? Do they understand the difference between fossil and renewable fuels, and do they have any idea how much we use of each?

If you’re an energy professional, or just interested in energy issues, you may have wondered about questions like these. And you’re not alone. The National Energy Foundation (NEF), a 501 (c) (3)

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