Department of Energy

Guest Blogger Michael Wara: The Trump Administration Moves to Guarantee Profits for Coal-fired and Nuclear Power Plants

Finally, something anti-regulation conservatives and pro-environment progressives can agree on: dislike of the Sec. Perry’s Resilience and Reliability NOPR

The gloves came off last week when it comes to the Trump Administration’s attempts to subsidize coal in U.S. electricity markets. On Friday, Energy Secretary Rick Perry formally requested that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission guarantee profits for both new and existing coal fired and nuclear power plants. While Sec. Perry doesn’t have the power …

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Rick Perry At the Helm of the Department of . . . What Was That One Again?

Compared to other members of the Trump Administration, he’s actually not that bad.

Expectations for Perry were about as low as you can get. He advocated closing the Department of Energy but then forgot the name during a televised debate. He was appointed by Trump, whose fondness for fossil fuels knows no limits, and at the time Perry was selected had little idea of what DOE actually does. …

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The Ever-Growing Crisis Over the Nation’s Nuclear Waste Non-Solution

The Associated Press reports that six underground storage tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State are leaking a witches’ brew of high-level nuclear wastes into the soil that threatens regional groundwater supplies. This news highlights a crisis of national proportions that has for too long gone unaddressed. Hanford is the most contaminated nuclear …

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The Election Results and National Energy Policy

In trying to read the effect of the 2012 elections on national energy policy, there are at least five places to look: 1. Continuity at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission One of the more dramatic changes that occurred during the first Obama term was a shift in the mission of the Federal Regulatory Commission. FERC …

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The Politics of State Energy Deregulation: A Hypothesis

If you are interested in environmental policy, state public utility commissions might be the important agencies you’ve never heard of.  PUCs determine how much power capacity there will be and even more importantly, what the mix of energy sources will generate it.  Sometimes pundits will speak of “national energy policy”, but that is essentially a null set: …

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Putting Cooperation Into Cooperative Federalism

When federal law tells a federal agency to consult with the states before issuing its rules, what is the agency obliged to do?  Is it enough to allow the states to file comments on a proposed rule, or to invite their representatives to speak at a public hearing?  According to the recent Ninth Circuit Court …

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Three Obstacles To California Climate Progress

California’s AB 32  — the Global Warming Solutions Act — is the biggest and best thing going on the domestic climate change front.  The bill is sweeping in its application and the agency charged with implementing the Act, the California Air Resources Board, has moved aggressively to chart out the path the state will need …

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What a Waste of Energy

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has issued its annual snapshot of our national energy use, based on data collected by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency.  The good news is that we used less energy in 2009 than we did in 2008 (almost all of the savings probably attributable to the still-weak economy).  The …

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If not at Yucca Mountain, then where?

Cross-posted at CPRBlog. Last August, Dan announced “The Death of Yucca Mountain,” pointing to a news story in which Senator Harry Reid ( D – Nev.) declared that he had dealt a fatal blow to plans to store high-level radioactive waste in a repository there. The Department of Energy sought to pull the plug on …

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DOE Bets on Central Station Solar — Is It the Right Horse?

Congratulations to Oakland’s BrightSource Energy Inc. for winning the largest federal loan guarantee for a renewable energy project thus far — $1.37 billion for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, to be constructed in the Mojave Desert.  For an observer like me – one who is most definitely not a financial markets expert – the …

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