Unsung Role of Fossil Fuels in the Miracle of U.S. Growth

Past, Present, and Future, Part I

Robert Gordon’s seminal book, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, has a pessimistic message with profound economic, social, and political implications. But nowhere in Gordon’s 762-page book does he give credit to fossil fuels for the economic miracle of the past two centuries. In this article, I focus on the critical historical role that fossil fuels played in creating the technological and economic miracles that Gordon articulates so well.

A Five-Point Plan For The Next Wave Of Electricity Restructuring

The monopoly utility model was once expansive and revolutionary. Now, it is contracting and preservationist.

A plan for restructuring: Delivery service pricing reform; devolution of generation and re-allocating risk; stranded cost recovery; distributed resources neutrality; optimization of service offerings.

An Industry Transformed

Looking back on my 45 years in the energy sector.

By diving into today’s more diverse energy sector and embracing change, utilities stand to benefit over the long term. This is precisely why I am so excited about the future, even if I do occasionally look back wistfully on the past.

Schneiderman Targets Peabody Energy

Shareholder Protection or War on Coal?

Why did Schneiderman sue Peabody? Because Peabody is America’s biggest coal company. He also likely wanted to establish a precedent before launching a Martin Act investigation of even bigger game: ExxonMobil.

Government Works Better Pulling than Pushing

As we drive toward cleaner air, government should set standards, not interfere with practices

Opening a new front in its war on coal, the Obama administration is halting new coal leases on federal lands. But attacking coal isn’t the way to achieve what the government is after: a reduction in carbon emissions.

The Economics of Clean Power

And how the market has outmaneuvered the political forces, so far.

While former CEO Charles Bayless says that economics remains the driving factor behind the shifting sands, there are plenty who would put the blame on the Obama administration and its “War on Coal.”

Climate, Carbon, Fuel, and the Future

The view from Oregon and Portland General Electric.

Fortnightly speaks with Jim Piro, president and CEO of Portland General Electric. Piro serves as a member of Oregon’s Global Warming Commission. He’s also active in the Electrification Coalition, a national group of business leaders advocating for policies that support electric vehicles.

Is Nuclear Energy Still Viable?

Cheap natural gas is not just hurting coal. It’s doing the same to nuclear.

As the nation strives for cleaner air and less carbon emissions, nuclear – the most promising carbon-free power source – faces stiff competition from natural gas, which is cheap, abundant, and a lot easier to get permitted and built than a conventional reactor.

EPA's Clean Power Plan

Charting a Path Forward

With respect to the Clean Power Plan, the question is whether EPA will address the major issues and reinforce its positions in advance of the anticipated legal challenges.