Public Utility Commissions
Utilities control a lot of the power system. How can we get their support for the energy transition?
Investor-owned utilities supply almost three-quarters of U.S. electricity. With some notable exceptions, they’ve tended to drag their feet on the energy transition. In order to push the transition forward, we need to get them on board. This post will try to diagnose the problem and sketch some possible remedies. The proposed Clean Energy Standard is …CONTINUE READING
State agencies will need help to deal with a fast-changing energy system.
The COVID pandemic has provided a vivid picture of what happens when ill-prepared governments are suddenly hit with huge responsibilities. Underfunded state and local public health agencies were overwhelmed, while governors and local officials found themselves struggling to obtain and distribute vital supplies, from respirators to vaccines. Efforts to accelerate the transition away from carbon, …CONTINUE READING
Strong Push for Renewables in the Land of Enchantment – But Is It a Bailout?
Although it reliably votes for Democratic Presidential candidates, has two Democratic United States Senators, and a trifecta of Democratic control in the state house, blue-state New Mexico is not usually thought of as a progressive environmental leader. The State Public Regulation Commission — one of only 13 directly elected by voters — has been plagued …CONTINUE READING
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: …CONTINUE READING