Diversifying Utility Regulation: State regulators voice opinions as mixed as the nation’s geography.
Ken Silverstein is Editor-at-Large with Public Utilities Fortnightly. Contact him at email@example.com.
The mix of state utility regulation is as diverse as the mix of fuels that feed electric generation. And that's why Public Utilities Fortnightly has chosen to speak with an assortment of utility regulators who can shed light on the most pressing matters in their respective states.
In the nation's southern swath, there's Georgia, which relies heavily on coal, but that must now adapt to a changing regulatory culture - one that downplays coal and builds up other fuels, namely natural gas and some renewables. And so Georgia has taken up the challenge: It has taken the lead on nuclear and is working to install utility-scale solar.
Moving up the East Coast, there are Maryland and New York, each of which has chosen to tackle its carbon emissions, and each of which has taken action to curb pollutants that have drifted its way, from the South and the Midwest. The two states, for example, count themselves part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), whereby they participate in a cap-and-trade program to reduce their heat-trapping emissions. Monies collected selling credits go toward expanding their green energy options, and toward researching new technologies.