electricity generation

Another Court Loss for the Trump EPA

D.C. Circuit enforces deadlines for air pollution compliance

On Friday, the D.C. Circuit issued a brief order in a case called New York v. EPA.  In some respects, the order was a foregone conclusion, given the same court’s September ruling in a case called Wisconsin v. EPA.  But it’s nonetheless noteworthy. Both the New York and the Wisconsin case involved a section in …

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More States Are Finally Following California’s RPS Lead

California has long led the push for renewable energy mandates, and others are catching on

California’s renewables portfolio standard (RPS) is a flagship component of the state’s robust portfolio of climate change policies. The RPS is complex, but the basic concept is simple: state law requires electric utilities to procure a minimum percentage of their retail electricity from qualifying renewable sources under rules set by the California Public Utilities Commission. …

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What Hath FERC Wrought?

FERC’s GOP majority has taken a swipe against renewable energy. It might work, or it might backfire.

At the end of June, in a vote divided along partisan lines, FERC handed down a sweeping order that will impact electricity markets in a wide swath of the country. — likely at the expense of renewable energy and nuclear power. Unfortunately, like Trump’s power plant bailout, the result may be to delay the closing …

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The Death of Deference?

Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted cert. in several cases to hear the following question: “Whether the Environmental Protection Agency unreasonably refused to consider costs in determining whether it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.” The fundamental issue is whether it was unreasonable for EPA to interpret section 112 to preclude consideration …

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Public Health and the Changing Electicity Mix

The electricity mix has changed dramatically, as discussed by my colleagues from the Haas School recently. The following chart tells the tale: Notice that the blue line (coal) is diving, while the orange line (natural gas) is picking up the slack. The change seems to be due to the rapid decline in gas prices. The …

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Heat Waves, Droughts, and the Energy System

According to the IPCC,  it “is very likely that hot extremes, heat waves, and heavy precipitation events will continue to become more frequent.” For instance, by midcentury, the number of heat wave days in Los Angeles is expected to at least double over the late twentieth century, and quadrupling is expected by the end of …

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