Meeting tomorrow’s power needs will pose tough choices.
Clean Air Act
The AGs' Global Warming Suits:
A recent lawsuit filed by eight state attorneys general will take the industry to the place where bad policy meets with bad economics.
What's causing price volatility, and will it last?
Coal markets have changed dramatically in the last year, but uncertainty lingers over how permanent the changes will be. After relative stability in the 1990s, coal markets, like other energy commodities, have become increasingly volatile, although high prices should not be confused with increased volatility.
FrontlinesImported natural gas contains more Btus and fewer impurities than the domestic variety, raising questions for LNG development.
It started as a small problem that was supposed to stay small. When Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan called for a global natural gas market in 2003, the industry knew inherently that the quality and composition of natural gas imported from places like Qatar and Nigeria would vary from the gas used domestically in the United States.
Russia resurrects the Kyoto Protocol and the prospect of either mandatory CO2 emissions cuts for U.S. utilities, or the start of a global trade war.
In June 2001, the Bush administration withdrew an earlier campaign pledge to support the Kyoto Protocol, claiming that the treaty was fatally flawed in not requiring China and India to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and that the science underpinning the treaty was not yet definitive enough to justify the costs of compliance.1
For Public Utilities Fortnightly's 75th Anniversary CEO issue, the magazine looked to the horizon and asked these new captains about the planned course for their companies, and for an entire industry.
Two Cato analysts suggest a return to the past-vertical integration, but now with no state regulators.
The defeat of the energy bill in the Senate last year has thrown electricity restructuring back on its heels. There clearly is no consensus among politicians or academics regarding how this industry ought to be organized or how it might best be regulated. Finding our way out of this morass requires a reconsideration of how we got to this dismal point in our regulatory journey.
How will the EPA's rulemaking affect U.S. energy markets?
With President Bush's Clear Skies program stalled in Congress, it is increasingly unlikely that a multi-pollutant regulatory package will receive congressional approval in the near future. In addition to providing another source of frustration for the Bush administration, the delay also forces the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to propose regulations controlling mercury emissions.
From reporting to trading, utilities try to meet new expectations.
On the issue of global climate change, most utilities have devoted their attention to tracking developments in Washington, D.C., following the rising and falling fortunes of legislation that could result in federal greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting or regulatory requirements. For the most part, utilities have taken comfort in the resolutely anti-regulatory stance of the Bush administration on greenhouse gas emissions.
Financial players bring credit depth to energy markets, but will they play by the rules?
The center of gravity for energy marketing and trading activity is moving from Houston to Wall Street. Some major financial institutions already have plunged into the market, while others are testing the waters, gearing up to participate in a bigger way. Already their impact is being felt, and it is most definitely welcome.