May
09
2017

Wind Turbines and Military Bases Not At Odds

There is little doubt that Oklahoma is a state with strong and proud ties to the U.S. military, with major installations across the state. In addition to Fort Sill, a primary training center for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, and McAlester Army Munitions Plant, the state is home to Altus, Tinker, and Vance Air Force bases. Oklahoma is also one of the nation’s most productive states for wind power. There is no reason that these two significant resources for Oklahoma can’t exist side by side, enriching the state.

Earlier this legislative session, the Oklahoma Legislature helped to resolve

May
01
2017

EPA Postpones Costly ELG Rule

Earlier this month, the EPA requested that ongoing litigation for its Steam Electric Power Generating Effluent Guidelines (ELG rule) published by the Obama administration in November of 2015 be suspended for six months. Just this past week, the United States Court of Appeals granted this motion and agreed to hold the lawsuit in abeyance until August 2017.

The ELG rule aimed to place more stringent standards on effluent or wastewater limitations from power plants. How costly was the rule? The EPA estimated the measure to cost $480 million per year and have a reported average cost of $1.2 billion

Apr
24
2017

Georgia Voices Reiterate Value of U.S. Nuclear Leadership

After years of interacting with members of the public and policymakers about American energy policy, there aren’t many questions I haven’t heard. Many casual observers of energy inquire about the future of traditional energy sources, which prompts some discussion on my part about the importance of reliability and balance. Others ask with puzzlement why the U.S. is dragging its feet on renewable power sources, an area of significant misinformation I am glad to correct and clarify.

Almost invariably, however, there is a question about nuclear energy. Even on Saturday, after I made a presentation at my alma mater, the

Apr
20
2017

Grid Reliability and Resilience Come Into Focus

Late last week, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry ordered his department to determine whether fundamental changes to the U.S. power grid, including the reduced use of coal-fired power, could affect the reliability of electricity. PACE has written often in recent years about threats to the availability of power posed by the closure of baseload power plants nationwide.

In an April 14th memo obtained by Bloomberg News, Perry underscores a number of the same concerns, asking department officials to determine whether federal policies toward renewable resources are accelerating the closure of coal and nuclear power plants and whether the “erosion”

Apr
17
2017

Coal's Steady Comeback

While good news for coal country has been hard to come by in recent years, new developments could be changing the outlook for the industry. Buoyed by the election of a new administration and the prospect of regulatory changes, there is a degree of optimism about the direction of American coal.

The optimism about coal’s future has also been lifted by the emergence from bankruptcy of Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. mining company. Peabody Chief Executive Officer Glenn Kellow credits President Trump for taking action to declare the importance of coal to the U.S. energy mix. Kellow says the

Apr
04
2017

Bipartisan Nuclear Power Bill Advances in U.S. Senate

PACE has written consistently about the need for nuclear power to remain part of the U.S. energy mix, not just for the low cost, reliable electricity it provides, but also for its role in a carbon-constrained future. And while closures to nuclear units in recent months have dimmed the outlook for American nuclear power to some degree, recent bipartisan legislative action in the Senate gives reason for hope.

Recently, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 18-3 to advance legislation designed to simplify the federal permitting process for new nuclear reactor designs. The legislation, Senate Bill 512, called

Mar
29
2017

PACE in The Hill: Tax Reform An Important Part of Pro-Consumer Energy Policy

The following opinion piece from PACE Executive Director Lance Brown appeared in today’s edition of The Hill. Read the piece online here.

Later today, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy will convene to discuss the effects on federal energy taxes on power prices and the families and businesses who pay them. This is a timely topic for lawmakers, as eight years of changes to the energy sector by the Obama administration have already helped to distort the energy marketplace and place upward pressure on the price of electricity. The EPA, emboldened by the president and spurred on by

Mar
27
2017

PACE Report: Natural Gas Hedging Protects Power Customers

A new report from the Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) explains that the practice of natural gas hedging is a critical instrument for protecting electricity customers over the long term. Natural gas has now surpassed coal as the most used fossil fuel for power generation, meaning that hedging against potential increases in the price of natural gas has become more important.

Nationwide, electric utilities have continued to use natural gas hedging instruments as a way of stabilizing power prices over the long term and avoiding so-called ‘sticker shock’ for customers.

“Historically, hedging has allowed utilities to navigate the

Mar
22
2017

Clark: Gulf of Mexico Energy Critical to Alabama Manufacturers, Economy

The following guest blog is provided by George Clark, President of Manufacture Alabama, the only trade association in the state dedicated exclusively to the competitive, legislative, regulatory and operational interests and needs of manufacturers and their partner industries and businesses. A PACE partner, Manufacture Alabama works to create a business and political climate that promotes a positive, competitive environment and enhances the opportunity for growth of all Alabama manufacturers.

As Alabama’s voice for manufacturing and industry, Manufacture Alabama fully recognizes the critical importance of affordable and reliable energy. Manufacture Alabama member companies are among both the largest producers of

Mar
06
2017

Pipeline Benefits Consumers, North Dakota

The Dakota Access Pipeline remains a highly visible, highly controversial energy infrastructure project. As news reports convey, the pipeline project has been hotly contested by environmental groups and Native American tribes who live near the area where it is being built. Meanwhile, the State of North Dakota has supported the pipeline’s construction, believing it to be a safe means of transporting crude oil and a source of massive potential revenue for the state.

Helping to reinforce the state’s position, a new report from the Associated Press has confirmed that the state stands to gain $110 million per year in