Aug
30
2017

After the Storm: Lessons Learned from Harvey

The Texas and Louisiana coasts continue to suffer the devastating effect of Hurricane Harvey. Donations to the Salvation Army to support the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts can be made:

Online at helpsalvationarmy.org. By calling 1-800- SAL-ARMY. By texting STORM to 51555.

With Hurricane Harvey still dropping untold amounts of rain on Gulf Coast states, it’s timely to start looking at how energy infrastructure weathered the storm. According to the Energy Information Administration, which is tracking facility outages and energy production slowdowns on its website, “over 45 percent of total U.S. petroleum refining capacity is located along the Gulf coast, as

Aug
28
2017

Back to School with DOE's New Electricity Markets Report

The Texas coastal community, including Houston, continues to suffer the devastating effect of Hurricane Harvey. To help the relief effort, consider donating $10 to the Red Cross by texting 90999 or giving to the Salvation Army of Houston.

All over Northern Virginia, it’s time to head back to school. Adults, too, have that sense of renewal and a bit of excitement. It’s also nearly time for Congress to return and handle some weighty issues such as the debt ceiling, annual appropriations, and healthcare. With those tests ahead, it seems likely that energy policy will be just an

Aug
23
2017

Energy Headlines Abroad - U.K. and Mexico

Energy Issues Facing Neighbors and Friends

Upon returning from a great road trip around the Southeast, it seemed appropriate to look abroad at global energy news. As we all pack up the beach gear and prepare to resume work or school, I hope you can find some use in what we’ve collected below. While neither the U.K. nor Mexican markets make an apples-to-apples comparison with the U.S. energy landscape, some facts leap out from the headlines generated by each country’s experience with deregulation or new technology.

S&P Global, under the Platts imprint, has released a

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

Aug
16
2017

Net Metering: Will Utah Choose a Smarter Way Forward?

Last month, PACE released our new report, “Net Metering: Costs, Customers, and a Smarter Way Forward.” The report provides policymakers and other stakeholders with current snapshots of net metering approaches in several states, including Arizona, California, Mississippi, and Nevada.

Net metering and related solar discourse is live in dozens of states, in addition to those covered by our report. In Utah this summer, a long-simmering debate seems poised either to boil over or come to a conclusion that works better for consumers.

Utah currently has full retail net metering for rooftop solar customers, a policy PACE

Aug
14
2017

Powering America with Jobs and More

This week, the PACE blog is coming to you from a beach house on the Georgia coast. In this relaxed setting, I had the chance to sit on the porch swing, iced tea in hand, and reflect in the relative quiet of August recess.

This house has quietly gone about its work since 1880, serving first as headquarters for the Chatham Artillery Club and then generations of those needing a respite from the modern world. It has withstood hurricanes and extreme temperatures. Its features combine the new (wi-fi, Roku, air conditioning) and the traditional (original louvered shutters,

Aug
09
2017

American Wind Week Offers Chance for Reflection

Over the years, PACE has written often about the deployment of new energy sources, advocating for the location of those sources where they work best and the integration of those sources in a way that serves both customers and the grid. Our work, for example, led us to Oklahoma in the most recent legislative session to discuss the significant contributions of wind power in that state. We’ve written similar encouraging reviews of utility-scale solar projects in places like New Orleans and Montgomery, Alabama.

As the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) celebrates its first-ever American Wind Week, running August 6th

Aug
07
2017

“Ree”-Examining Rare Earth Elements

Here in Boston for the National Conference of State Legislatures’ 2017 Legislative Summit, I’ve enjoyed attending several informational sessions on current topics in energy and environmental policy. It’s been an honor to meet and talk with dozens of state legislators from all over the country.

Rightly so, the legislators, their staff and energy leaders are asking future-focused questions and trying to imagine together what the utility of the future will look like. Many of the panels and forums touched on exciting developments in battery storage and renewable energy technologies.

State legislators could also benefit from tactical discussions about how

Aug
02
2017

A Lease on Life for U.S. Offshore Resources

Over the years, PACE has consistently spoken out in favor of increasing our nation’s supply of energy, across all sources. That’s why earlier this week, we filed a formal comment letter with the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) advocating for development of a new and expanded offshore oil and natural gas leasing program. If you or your organization would like to join the comment effort, let us know by emailing laura@energyfairness.org and we can guide you through the process.

At this point, BOEM is undertaking an initial scoping process for

Jul
31
2017

Choice, Consequences, and Consumers

PACE was on the road in July, covering national meetings of state legislators such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Southern States Energy Board, and the Council of State Governments’ Southern Legislative Conference. It was a privilege to hear hours of thoughtful discussions and be reminded how hard our elected officials work to get energy policy right for consumers. We were also able to share some thoughts about net metering and the importance of policies that avoid cost-shifting to customers who don’t (or can’t afford to) choose solar.

The energy policy workload isn’t going to lighten up anytime