Texas is firmly in the grip of conservative Republicans. So what’s the deal with renewables?
I sometimes ask students to guess what state produces the most wind power. They’re always shocked to find out the right answer: Texas. Republicans have an iron grip on Texas government. And not just that, but Texas is by far the biggest producer of oil, with a governor who has pledged to protect the industry …CONTINUE READING
A short video explainer of why passage of the IRA bill is such a big deal.
We all have something to celebrate with the House passage of the IRA on Friday. Getting it passed required some difficult compromises, but the bill represents a major step forward. Because of the Mar-a-Lago search, it hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention as it deserves. If you don’t have time for a lot of details, …CONTINUE READING
Texas has the most wind power in the country and is rapidly building solar. How did that happen?
People are often surprised to learn that Texas is the national leader in wind power, with the twice the generating capacity of any other state. On one notable night in December of 2015, the state got 45% of its power from wind, though the year-round average was only about 10%. In July of this year, the …CONTINUE READING
Renewable energy and climate action are big issues in NY and NJ.
New York and New Jersey are at the core of what people think about in terms of the “Northeast.” Both are very active in promoting renewable energy — New Jersey despite Governor Chris Christie, New York in part because of Governor Cuomo. New York in particular seems ready to position itself as the East Coast …CONTINUE READING
Technological and economic forces will continue to cut prices, regardless of Trump.
The Trump Administration is trying to save coal and stop the growth of renewables. Just this week Scott Pruitt issued a proposed repeal of Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Whether or not the repeal succeeds, Pruitt & Co. are fighting against the economic tide. If the price of renewables continues to fall, it will be harder …CONTINUE READING
The Great Plains are wind power’s firewall of Republican support in Congress.
You might find this a bit surprising, but wind power has a solid political base in key Republican states. It’s a case of economics outweighing politics. Here are the top five states for wind power: Rank State Installed Capacity* 1 Texas 20,320 2 Iowa …CONTINUE READING
Carbon emissions are set in decline in Texas, with less coal and more renewables.
At a national meeting of state utility regulators, the head of the group recently said that the Clean Power Plan was basically dead, BUT this might not matter because “arguably, you’re seeing market-based decarbonization” due to technological changes. Case in point: Texas. Market trends are pushing Republican-stronghold Texas toward a cleaner grid. ERCOT, which operates nearly all …CONTINUE READING
Dump your coal stocks while you still can!
The market’s message is simple: coal’s day is ending. Three major coal companies (Alpha Natural Resources, Walter Energy, and Patriot Coal) have gone into bankruptcy. The two largest publicly traded companies (Peabody and Arch) are now trading for a dollar a share, down from $16 and $33 within the past year. They, too, may well …CONTINUE READING
At an energy policy conference that I attended on campus recently, one of the speakers asked how many people in the audience were familiar with the Duck Chart. As someone who tries to stay on top of things in the energy world, I was surprised by how many people raised a hand to express familiarity …CONTINUE READING
A few years ago, a friend of mine suggested starting a blog entitled something like, “Why The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Was Idiotic Today.” You’d never run out of material for posts! Certainly that was the case today, as Senator Lamar Alexander and Representative Mike Pompeo, both Republicans, make a case against the wind …CONTINUE READING