Let’s face it, regulators won’t let U.S. utilities die; they SHOULD update rules to better serve customers by allocating costs to those who benefit from them

The tally of utilities and governments around the world imposing or boosting fixed charges for grid-supplied electricity is rising to make up for the decline in traditional, rate-based revenue.  In the U.S. this has been due primarily to ever-improving energy efficiency and the end of year-to-year increases in electricity usage. Now, the demand curve looks […]

With lower filibuster threshold, new Obama appointees on D.C. Circuit Court portend stricter emissions limits

The U. S. Senate’s confirmation Tuesday of Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, along with two other confirmations to that court expected by year’s end, increase the odds that stricter regulations on power U.S. plant emissions that President Obama has not been able to accomplish through legislation will stand up in court. […]

Fast Fix: The public list of companies preparing for a carbon tax keeps growing, but . . .

UPDATED . . . whether the U.S. and more governments will focus their nation’s economic priorities on a cleaner energy future and a healthier environment with a carbon tax or cap and trade program seems as bleak as ever. But for how much longer? If you know of others, help me keep track here of […]

With California Leading the Way, Energy Storage Is Ready to Earn a Real Place in Utility and Commercial Portfolios

The absence of a viable means to store a significant amount of electricity generated from renewable resources is one of the tallest hurdles limiting their growth.  After a series of financial setbacks and exhaustive regulatory deliberations, energy storage fed by renewables  is set to earn a scalable role due largely to a new mandate in […]

Fugitive methane emissions: the achilles’ heal of the natural gas push?

Buoyed by low prices, environmental benefits and thousands of newly created jobs, the push to produce more natural gas in the U.S. is reaching its stride thanks largely to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. But do we understand the implications, some of which might negate the environmental gains? The answer to many objective analysts is: […]

Updated draft rules for hydraulic fracturing deserve the chance to work

Complaints by both sides over the Obama administration’s newly updated draft rules regulating the hydraulic fracturing of shale natural gas and oil on public and Indian lands signals the Interior Department has found enough common ground to raise the bar — albeit slightly — on drilling operations. Because the updated draft rules would only apply […]

Center for Sustainable Shale Development – peeling back the packaging

Since its launch about one month ago (see The Energy Fix, March 22), the Center for Sustainable Shale Development has been met with accolades from entities such as The Washington Post to harsh rebukes by the likes of the Sierra Club. It’s not surprising that these and other parties differ on the Center’s potential for […]

Boone Pickens: focus energy innovation more on cheap, plentiful natural gas made in the U.S.

You may have heard it before from Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens about the potential for natural gas produced in the U.S. But featuring him at this year’s ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit Tuesday near Washington, DC put a new spin on the benefits of America becoming more energy self-sufficient on the backs of the lower-emitting […]

Collaboration on Illinois legislation could achieve standards for regulating hydraulic fracturing

Illinois is on track to go where no push for hydraulic fracturing has gone before in the U.S.: a consensus on how to regulate the controversial practice of injecting chemicals and large amounts of water deep underground to flush out large quantities of natural gas and crude oil. As states such as New York and […]

Energy and climate portion of President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address

To save you time searching for the energy and climate portion of Obama’s February 12, 2013 State of the Union address, which occurred not quite half way through the speech, here it is, courtesy of ABC News: “After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce […]