Hurricane Sandy presents state and federal officials nationwide with a superb opportunity to think through how to better utilize all their resources in an even worse disaster, says Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Stockton.
And a worse disaster is coming – either from human enemies or from Mother Nature, he warned the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), meeting recently held in Baltimore. Keep reading →
Anyone who thought economics was the dismal science should try civil engineering.
Despite more than a quarter of a trillion dollars in investment from 2001 to 2010 the US is still facing an enormous shortfall in electricity infrastructure. That decade was marked by higher spending on reliability in the years that followed the high-profile California blackouts and were interrupted by an equally notable New York City blackout. Keep reading →
The best way to get $6 natural gas is to have everyone plan on $3 gas.
That was a sentiment heard repeatedly last week, during the winter meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the Department of Energy’s National Electricity Forum in Washington, DC earlier this month. Keep reading →
Electricity regulators from across the US insisted this week that the Environmental Protection Agency is underestimating the time they’ll need to meet EPA’s newest air rules, and they want EPA to lay out standards now that will guarantee five years’ compliance time and insulate them from civil liability.
EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard gives generators three years from its publication date to comply, but allows state regulators to grant a fourth year and EPA to issue an administrative order allowing a fifth year in limited circumstances. The rule was approved but hasn’t been legally published yet. Keep reading →
Will financial system regulatory reforms make energy price hedging costly – or impossible?
That was the question experts grappled with – and disagreed over – at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) meeting in Washington, DC this week. Keep reading →
As utilities generate more electricity from natural gas, the potential is emerging for freak weather or other events to cause problems for both delivery systems and create a cascading regional disaster, industry officials and regulators concluded in a “stress test scenario” played out in Washington, DC this past Sunday.
Planning to avoid such events, in which problems in the gas system aggravate problems in the electric system and vice-versa, is complicated by the two energy systems’ significantly different regulatory structures, officials said. Keep reading →
Utility customers face a “perfect storm” of sharply higher bills for electricity and natural gas because trillions of dollars in capital expenditure will be needed to upgrade aging US infrastructure and comply with environmental rules, according to the new head of America’s utility regulators’ association.
David Wright, incoming president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, predicted ratepayers will bear the brunt of huge expenditure needs for such improvements as installing smart grid technology, controlling power station emissions, and replacing old pipelines over coming decades. Keep reading →
Power companies threatened US power regulators with the potential of rolling blackouts and unreliable electricity supply if they are forced to comply with what they claim are tight deadlines for meeting new emissions rules.
The companies told a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hearing they need more time to comply with new environmental regulations that would require the retirement or retrofit of hundreds of coal-fired plants. Emissions of mercury and other pollutants from those units would exceed the new standards. Keep reading →
A Department of Energy fee that costs nuclear power utilities some $750 million a year should be suspended because a nuclear-waste program the fee is designed to pay for does not exist, opponents said in a new court filing.
The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the Nuclear Energy Institute, a policy organization for the industry, urged a Washington DC appeals court to order the DOE to stop collecting the fee for the federally mandated Nuclear Waste Fund which grows by about $1 billion a year and is expected to total $28.3 billion by the end of fiscal 2012. Keep reading →