Steptoe Johnson

Pope Francis Gives His First Angelus Blessing To The Faithful

The global natural gas revolution has arrived in Mexico. As the country’s power sector undertakes a fuel shift toward natural gas, state-owned and domestic companies are beginning to seek ways to partner with technology-empowered foreign firms to boost domestic production. While maintaining and expanding struggling crude oil production at state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (better known as… Keep reading →

One of the biggest ignored threats to the power sector – and to electricity delivery to homes and businesses across much of the country’s most populated regions – is from a lack of natural gas pipeline capacity. A former federal regulator is warning that this issue, arcane at first glance, could prompt market failure and a crisis of reliability for some generators.

The free market is a funny thing; it works only over time and often in socially unpopular ways. The energy market in the US has been regulated, de-regulated and re-regulated over its history, but all market participants are operating in the context of rules set up to balance policy priorities and operating realities. Keep reading →

Efforts to build new transmission and expand natural gas production in the US have been a qualified success because of “studious” efforts to craft the right price signals and break down traditional monopolies on power generation and sales, a former state and federal energy commissioner says.

There has been more transmission built “in the last ten years than in the previous ten,” former Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Marc Spitzer told Breaking Energy in a recent discussion about his priorities as he reenters the private sector. Spitzer is currently a partner in the Electric Power Group at law firm Steptoe & Johnson, following his original indication he would leave FERC last summer and a final voluntary departure from the Commission in mid-December. Keep reading →

Crimped credit availability and a delayed economic recovery are being treated as certainties by many energy firms as the prospect of a potential default by the US federal government or a downgrade of its debt continue to dominate political and business news.

“The electric power industry is probably the most capital-intensive in the US,” Steptoe Johnson lawyer Dave Raskin told Breaking Energy. “That means anything that increases the cost of borrowing or complicates the debt markets worries the industry and makes it harder for them to build needed infrastructure.” Keep reading →

The division of the US transmission grid into separate regions has been the cause of complaints, disconnected pricing, and even blackouts for years.

One startup firm is trying to change that, and has taken on a devilishly complicated but potentially industry-transforming project in the American southwest. Keep reading →