Jun
19
2017

Nuclear Shutdowns Cast Doubt for France

As discussions continue about the recent announcement by President Donald Trump that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, a piece of related news from France is worth considering. In recent years, France has shut down a number of its nuclear reactors, casting doubt on whether the nation will be able to achieve its climate goals.

Currently, nuclear power provides around 75% of France’s electricity, compared to around 20% here in the United States. However, French nuclear power production has fallen in recent years, largely because of laws in place to encourage the use of solar power. These

Jun
15
2017

A Time for Change

In January of 2009, energy discussions in the U.S. were abuzz with talk of cap and trade, federal and state renewable energy mandates, and questions about the future of oil as prices spiked historically the year before. It was an interesting time to start a new organization focused on energy. It was also the right time to do it.

I founded PACE because the conversation about energy policy needed changing. There was too much talk about energy sources and not enough talk about the people who pay for them. Discussions about possibilities were too rarely accompanied by asking what

Jun
08
2017

Officials React to Paris Climate Agreement Announcement

In the wake of President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would eventually withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, a number of elected officials offered their thoughts on the news. The following is a compilation of several statements from leaders in the Southeast region. All statements are listed alphabetically by author.

U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Alabama)

“I wanted to share my thoughts on President Trump’s decision to exit the Paris Climate Agreement. I was not for the United States signing it in the first place because I considered it to be a sham on the basis of two facts.

May
24
2017

EPA Stays Landfill Methane Rule

In late March of this year, just weeks after assuming office, President Donald Trump issued his Energy Independence Executive Order that orders agencies to “review existing regulations that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources and appropriately suspend, revise, or rescind those that unduly burden the development of domestic energy resources beyond the degree necessary to protect the public interest or otherwise comply with the law.”

On Tuesday, pursuant to that order, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a 90-day administrative stay for the August 2016 New Source Performance Standards and Emissions Guidelines for

May
15
2017

OPEC Asks United States to Curtail Oil Production

According to multiple reports from sources such as CNN and Andrew Follett of the Daily Caller News Foundation, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has asked the U.S. to curtail its oil production. The request came last week as part of OPEC’s monthly report.

According to OPEC, the use of hydraulic fracturing technology, known as fracking, has enhanced American oil production, leading to a sustained period of low oil prices. Current oil prices are hovering just below $50 a barrel, buoyed by talks by Russia and Saudi Arabia that those nations might extend production cuts by an additional

May
11
2017

Will U.S. Stay or Go in Paris Climate Deal?

According to a report from Reuters, the Trump administration will likely decide later this month whether the U.S. will remain party to the Paris climate deal.

“The president has been meeting with his team for quite a while on this matter, and he will not be making an announcement regarding that agreement until after he returns from the G-7,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer explained recently, referring to the Group of Seven meeting scheduled for May 26th and 27th in Italy.

Canceling the Paris agreement was initially a key part of President Donald Trump’s 100-day plan for energy

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
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
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

Feb
07
2017

Energy Institute of Alabama Names Hardwich Executive Director

Blake Hardwich has been named Executive Director of the Energy Institute of Alabama, Board Chairman Seth Hammett announced yesterday.

“Blake will take the lead in working with elected officials and industry leaders as the Institute advocates for solid, information-based energy policy,” Hammett said. “She has a perfect blend of competence, experience and enthusiasm to do the job. We are lucky to have such a capable and energetic person guiding the day-to-day functions of the Energy Institute of Alabama.”

Hardwich brings extensive experience in business and public policy to the job. Hardwich, who also serves as Special Counsel in the