Archives

PUR Guide 2012 Fully Updated Version

Available NOW!

This comprehensive self-study certification course is designed to teach the novice or pro everything they need to understand and succeed in every phase of the public utilities business.

Order Now

Environmental

Obligations and Opportunities: Wires Cos. Plug In to Clean Power Plan

When the the Clean Power Plan is reviewed on the merits in Fall 2017, Justice Scalia will have been replaced, and the newest justice may hold the key to the fate of the plan.
Image: 
"Utilities should use this time to formulate informed positions on the implementation issues that most affect their business." – Brendan Collins
Author Bio: 

Brendan K. Collins is a partner with Ballard Spahr LLP with extensive experience in the electric power sector. He is a member of Ballard’s environmental, energy and appellate litigation practice groups. Brendan has served as lead counsel for a group of energy companies in litigation before the D.C. Circuit and Supreme Court concerning the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards and the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.

Vol. 1: “If It’s Stayed, Why Should I Go?”

Perfect Superstorm

Since Obama won reelection, we must ask whether we’d rather have EPA cracking down on carbon emissions, or whether a legislated framework would be better for everyone.

Category: 
Frontlines
Author Bio: 

Michael T. Burr is Fortnightly’s editor-in-chief. Email him at burr@pur.com

Could carbon taxes emerge in the election aftermath?

Multi-pollutant Emissions Control

Conflicting demands for complying with EPA’s MATS rule favor a single control technology to deal with multiple types of power plant emissions.

Category: 
Technology Corridor
Author Bio: 

Kevin Crapsey is vice president of corporate strategy and development at Eco Power Solutions.

MATS compliance now, with flexibility for the future.

Solution in Search of a Problem

Utilities seeking financing for environmental upgrades should look to the markets for debt and equity, rather than trying to securitize those costs.

Image: 
Figure 1 - Securitization by Purpose (% of Total)
Figure 2 - Risk Compression Caused By Securitization
Category: 
Transactions Business & Money
Author Bio: 

Thomas Feldman is a principal at Concentric Energy Advisors.

Securitization fails the test for financing environmental capex.

Maximum Burden

Although EPA claims its tough new clean air regulations will improve public health, in fact they’ll measurably degrade the health of Florida seniors.

Image: 
Figure 1 - Florida Residents 65 years or Older
Figure 2 - Utility MACT and Florida Elders
Category: 
Op Ed
Author Bio: 

Roger H. Bezdek (rbezdek@misi-net.com) is president of Management Information Services Inc. He’s authored several articles for Fortnightly since 1996, most recently “Energy Subsidy Myths and Realities,” June 2012.

The electricity price increases from the proposed EPA Utility MACT will act as a regressive tax on the elderly.

Least-Risk Planning

The D.C. Circuit’s CSAPR ruling reinforces the benefits of planning ahead and keeping options open. A diverse portfolio strategy reduces risks and costs.

Author Bio: 

Ken Colburn (kcolburn@raponline.org) and David Farnsworth are senior associates at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP). John Shenot is an associate, Camille Kadoch is a research and policy analyst, Elizabeth Watson is energy and environment fellow, and Rebecca Wigg is a communications associate at RAP.

The Homer City decision increases uncertainty—but rewards forward thinking.

Federal Feud

When Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays led an attack on the federal Springfield Armory in January 1787—the spark that ignited the federalist movement—he scarcely could’ve guessed that now, 225 years later, his spiritual descendants would still be fighting that very same battle.

Author Bio: 

Bruce W. Radford (radford@pur.com) is Fortnightly’s publisher, and Michael T. Burr (burr@pur.com) is the editor-in-chief.

The jurisdictional battle rages on, with FERC and EPA squaring off against the states.

Cleanup Time

Ongoing litigation over EPA rules raises compliance risks and costs. North Carolina utilities, however, benefited from the state’s forward thinking.

Category: 
Op Ed
Author Bio: 

David Hoppock (david.hoppock@duke.edu) is a research analyst and Sarah Adair (sarah.adair@duke.edu) is an associate in research at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions in Durham, N.C.

Retrofitting early protected North Carolina ratepayers.

What Price, GHGs?

Renewable portfolio standards and other green energy rules put a price on environmental benefits. Calculating this price can help clarify the social value of GHG reductions.

Image: 
Figure 1 - Implied CO2 Externality Values of Carbon Reduction Policies
Figure 2 - Ranges of Implied CO2 Externality Values
Category: 
Business & Money
Author Bio: 

Philip Q Hanser is a principal with The Brattle Group, and Mariko Geronimo is an associate with the firm. The views in this article are theirs and not those of The Brattle Group or its clients.

Calculating the implied value of CO2 abatement in green energy policies.

Mitt Romney and You

The Republican nominee’s energy plan doesn’t say much about electricity or natural gas. But what it does say should sound familiar to anyone who’s followed energy policy for more than four years.
Category: 
Frontlines
Author Bio: 

Michael T. Burr is Fortnightly’s editor-in-chief. Email him at burr@pur.com

Bold plan for independence, or more partisan overreach?

Pages