Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted October 17, 2017
It’s unclear what the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will do with U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s request that FERC alter the electricity marketplace in favor of certain generating facilities – a proposal that by design would favor some energy sources over others.
Perry says his request to FERC was meant to be a conversation starter. But if it’s a conversation about government tilting the electricity market one way or another, it’s the wrong one.
Indeed, as the secretary tried to explain his FERC order to lawmakers at a House hearing last week he missed the mark when he questioned the reliability of natural gas, the leading fuel for U.S. electricity generation in 2016, and asserted that the natural gas and oil industry receives federal subsidies – it doesn’t.
Posted October 10, 2017
With talks between the U.S., Canada and Mexico on modernizing NAFTA heading for a fourth round this week, our negotiators can help ensure the global competitiveness of U.S. energy companies by working to retain strong protections for U.S. investments abroad through the agreement’s investment protections and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision.ISDS sounds a little wonky, but its basic mission is pretty straightforward: It helps protect U.S. investors from being treated unfairly by host nation governments. Conversely, there’s potential jeopardy if the U.S. allows ISDS to be weakened or removed in the current talks. It could undermine ISDS provisions globally in other treaties and agreements.
Posted October 5, 2017
Ohio voters continue to oppose bailouts for nuclear plants. As a statewide poll showed this summer, a new poll by API Ohio shows big opposition to a proposal to let nuclear plant owner FirstEnergy charge its customers a special fee to increase funding for its plants in three counties that are near FirstEnergy’s headquarters and its Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants. The opposition in Lake, Summit and Ottawa counties is bipartisan and huge.
Posted October 4, 2017
Some initial takeaways from this week’s House hearing, during which there was considerable discussion of the U.S. Energy Department’s recent request that a new electricity pricing program be developed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – one that effectively would favor some energy sources over others.First, as we argued twice last week (read here and here), markets – not preferences, mechanisms, subsidies or whatever – should be allowed to select energy sources for power generation, because they reward innovation, promote efficiency, lower prices and work to benefit consumers.
Posted October 3, 2017
Posted September 29, 2017
Earlier this week we wrote about the market perils of government efforts to favor some energy sources over others (“On Energy, Let Markets Choose”). We may as well have been talking about Friday’s U.S. Energy Department request that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) develop a new electricity pricing program that lets some power plants recover the costs of providing that power.Whatever you call these preferential measures – subsidies, mechanisms, credits – they tend to foil the way markets, if left to themselves, reward innovation, promote efficiency, lower prices and work to benefit consumers.
Posted September 26, 2017
We support all-of-the-above energy – the concept that America is strongest and its citizens are best served when all of our country’s energy sources play their part. We’re also for the important role markets play in determining energy sources, because markets reward innovation, spur efficiency, lower prices and work to benefit consumers. That said, a new study that basically argues market-distorting subsidies enjoyed by some energies should be followed by market-distorting subsidies for others makes little sense.
Posted September 21, 2017
For a number of months we’ve been talking about the need for more efficient and predictable federal processes for the permitting of energy infrastructure – including new natural gas pipelines and added capacity. New, bipartisan legislation introduced this week in the U.S. Senate is latest move in that direction.
Posted September 19, 2017
Looking at the benefits of natural gas in a state such as New Jersey – lower consumer costs, jobs, environmental progress – it makes no sense to risk what works for New Jerseyans by handing state subsidies to nuclear plants. New Jersey voters agree: A strong, bipartisan majority opposes the idea in a new poll.
Posted September 7, 2017
As the Texas-Louisiana region continues its recovery from Hurricane Harvey, energy companies are making preparations for Hurricane Irma, which the National Hurricane Center projects could make landfall in Florida on Sunday. The big issue in Florida is consumer access to fuel. Companies are working with state and federal officials to meet needs.