Energy

Risky Business

Risky Business

Last week, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis issued a report criticizing BlackRock, the world’s largest fund, for making bad bets on the fossil fuel industry that cost the firm billions of dollars.  What I found significant was less the plight of Blackstone’s shareholders than the fact that the energy firms weren’t doing […]

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Get Ready for Phase 2 of the Deregulation Wars

Air quality standards are next on the chopping block.

The first phase of Trump’s regulatory rollbacks has been directed against Obama’s climate change regulations.  Those deregulatory actions will be finalized soon.  What happens next will be in the hands of the courts. But the Trump EPA is now beginning a new phase in its attack on environmental regulation.  Having tried to eliminate climate rregulation, […]

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Perfection – Public Enemy Number One, or Straw Man?

We don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Is that always a good thing?

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” How many times do you think you have heard that phrase? Many people attribute the concept to Voltaire, so as advice goes, how bad could it be? It’s darn good advice in many situations – such as selecting a checkout line to stand in at […]

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The Expanding Gap Between Business and Trump

Big business was happily married to the GOP. But there’s trouble in paradise.

The GOP used to be synonymous with big business.  But there seem to be growing divisions – divisions that may open the way to new environmental initiatives. In April, the Washington Post ran a story about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s decision to loosen its ties to the GOP and move toward a more bipartisan […]

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Renewable Texas: Lessons from the Lonestar State

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 […]

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ACE or Joker? Trump’s Self-Defeating Climate Rule

The ACE rule adds costs, achieves little, and disempowers the states. Nice job.

The Trump ACE rule violates all the Administration’s own deregulatory principles.To hear Trump talk, the point of deregulation is to reduce the burden of regulation on industry.  But weirdly enough, that doesn’t turn out to be true of Trump’s effort to repeal Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) and replace it with his own Affordable Clean […]

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New York’s Big Move

The Empire State has jumped into the first tier of state climate action.

Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a breakthrough climate change law, the “New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.” What every state does to address climate change is worthwhile, of course, but New York is particularly significant in terms of the national picture. It’s the nation’s third-most populous state and also […]

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Resolving Interconnection Disputes to Speed Clean Technology Deployment

New California agency dispute resolution process in need of expert panelists

When a homeowner or business wants to install clean technology like renewable electricity generation or energy storage either for on-site usage or as a grid service, they occasionally run into problems obtaining approvals from the local electric utility to connect that resource to the electrical grid. The owner must enter into an interconnection agreement with […]

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Is the Sun Finally Rising in the Southeast?

Slowly, and a bit grudgingly, the Old South is moving toward solar.

Southern states like to brag about their sunny weather.  Florida even calls itself the Sunshine State.  Yet the region lags well behind in terms of putting that sunshine to work. But it appears that change is coming.  Solar generating capacity in the Southeast is expected to nearly double over the next three years, though from […]

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Helping Repair Our Broken Governance System

Our institutions have been battered. How will we be able to fix them?

Much of Trump’s damage to the environment is obvious: his efforts to increase gas and oil production, his regulatory rollbacks, and his efforts to gut the agencies charged with protecting the environment. But he has also done deeper damage to the institutions we need to address climate change and other daunting environmental challenges. These problems […]

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