Jan
23
2017

Karr: Coal Still Important in Alabama

The following opinion piece comes from Charles L. Karr, Dean of the College of Engineering at The University of Alabama and a Senior Policy Advisor to the Energy Institute of Alabama (EIA). Click here to see an economic impact study commissioned by the EIA.

I cut my teeth in the mining industry early in my career as a research engineer with the United States Bureau of Mines, and I have seen the strength and determination of the people who labor to bring us the raw materials that make so much of our life possible.

Alabama was modernized because of

Jan
16
2017

Indian Point Closure Threatens New York City

Last week, New York Governor Cuomo announced the completion of one of his long awaited goals: closing down the Indian Point nuclear plant. The plant will shut down completely in just four years, leaving many questions about what will fill the gap to keep the power on in New York City. Today, the city receives an incredible one third of its electricity from the plant.

Perhaps most troubling is that there are no current plans to build a new nuclear plant, a coal-fired plant, or pipelines to transport more natural gas from Pennsylvania. (Note that New York State has

Jan
11
2017

Repealing Coal and Methane Rules Priority for Congress

With a new administration taking office later this month, House Republicans have pledged to make repealing the Obama administration’s regulations on coal mining and methane emissions a top priority.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) says the Republicans will first plan to work on changing the way the executive branch writes rules and then focus on undoing specific rules. EPA rules that address the coal industry and methane will be at the top of the list.

“While we haven’t yet determined what needs to be repealed first, I expect to start with swift action on at least on the

Jan
04
2017

Nuclear Power At Risk?

There is widespread agreement across the political spectrum that increasing the amount of low-carbon energy on the grid is an important priority for the future of the U.S. and the rest of the world. PACE has argued that nuclear power is an indispensable part of the solution for meeting future power demand. Many climate activists agree. That is why it is concerning to hear that nuclear capacity in the U.S. could actually be decreasing rather than growing.

Environmental Progress, a green advocacy group, announced just last week that at least a quarter and as many as two-thirds of all

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

Dec
19
2016

States Urge Trump to Scrap Carbon Regulation

It is no secret that many states have grave concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to regulate the emission of carbon dioxide, known as the Clean Power Plan. PACE, too, has been critical of the plan’s likely effect on U.S. power generation and electricity prices, testifying to EPA leaders in November of 2015 that the plan is a poor bargain for American consumers. Official remarks from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy confirmed that the sweeping and costly regulation would not cause any change to the agency’s 26 indicators of climate change.

Now, state leaders are sending a clear message

Dec
12
2016

EIA: Winter is Coming… And So Is Coal

Last year, PACE wrote that natural gas had surpassed coal for U.S. electricity generation for the first time. A combination of inexpensive natural gas and restrictive federal regulations governing the use of coal caused a tectonic shift in how American utilities produce power. While that trend largely continued through most of 2016, new reports find that coal will again take over the top spot as a source of electricity, at least for a while, as temperatures drop this winter. The U.S. still needs coal.

“While more U.S. electricity is expected to be generated from coal than natural gas this

Dec
06
2016

PACE to Georgia PSC: Vogtle Nuclear Units Important to Customers

Later this morning, PACE will deliver the following message to the Georgia Public Service Commission about its support of nuclear power and the completion of two new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle in east Georgia.

In October of this year, PACE wrote about the completion of TVA’s Watts Bar Unit 2 and about the progress of Plant Vogtle, two important nuclear energy projects in the Southeast.

We wrote specifically about an agreement between Georgia PSC staff and Georgia Power Company, telling our readers that the agreement is a positive development as Georgia Power completes two new nuclear units at

Nov
28
2016

Report: Oklahoma Depends on Wind

In April of this year, PACE became involved in discussions over Oklahoma’s support of the wind industry. Faced with a large budget deficit, lawmakers in that state were considering eliminating state support for the commercial wind industry, which ranks fourth nationally in terms of production. Oklahoma today gets about a sixth of its electricity generation from wind power.

While we don’t support the idea of energy subsidies in general, Oklahoma presents a special case. We wrote in April that the wind industry in Oklahoma reflects our philosophy of building energy resources where they work the best. In addition, the

Nov
22
2016

Discussions About Future of Solar Far From Over

In an opinion piece published earlier this week in Utility Dive, David Pomerantz, executive director of the Energy and Policy Institute, draws a number of conclusions about what the failure of Florida’s Amendment One means to the future of solar power. Tying the Amendment One vote to Mr. Trump’s election, Pomerantz reasons that the Amendment One vote shows that the public is fully dedicated to the robust future of residential solar power. Those are shaky conclusions, though, and Pomerantz would do well to abandon the solar industry’s talking points and face some basic realities.

If passed, Florida’s Amendment One