Balance and Adaptability are Critical
Understanding the new mosaic of commodities trading regulations.
ConEd, public safety, and the regulatory response.
Last summer’s union lockout at Consolidated Edison raised novel legal and regulatory questions that remain unresolved. Organized labor can strike, and management can respond, but do state utility commissions have authority to end a lockout that threatens service?
The jurisdictional battle rages on, with FERC and EPA squaring off against the states.
When Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays led an attack on the federal Springfield Armory in January 1787—the spark that ignited the federalist movement—he scarcely could’ve guessed that now, 225 years later, his spiritual descendants would still be fighting that very same battle.
What happens when the Bush tax cuts expire?
Congress again is embroiled in another hyper-partisan food fight that threatens to blow up into a fiscal crisis. And once again dividend-paying companies like utilities are caught in the crossfire.
Bold plan for independence, or more partisan overreach?
Why Idaho is fed up with renewables.
Idaho Power has more wind power than it can use—so much that it’s costing its ratepayers a bundle. It wants out, so it won’t have to buy from all the small wind farms that claim “QF” status under the 1978 PURPA law.
Bonneville Power, wind curtailments and the bigger picture.
Asset owners in the Northwest cry foul as the Bonneville Power Administration struggles to reconcile FERC orders with its operational realities. The battle between wind and water has blown up into a regional conflict over transmission tariffs.
Developing a new paradigm for managing fine particulate air pollution.
The Environmental Protection Agency regulates emissions of particulate matter based on the mass of those emissions—not on the toxicity of the particular components. A growing body of evidence shows that different kinds of particulates affect health differently. Research by the Electric Power Research Institute suggests that in order to most effectively protect public health, the EPA’s next round of air quality standards should differentiate between relatively benign sulfate or nitrate compounds, and more harmful trace metals in particulate emissions.
Election politics portend painful cutbacks.
Whether it deserves it or not, the solar energy industry can’t count on continued government largess, thanks in part to the Solyndra mess. But in the end, Solyndra’s demise might be exactly what the industry needs to wean itself off heavy subsidies and become a mainstream resource.