Archive for February, 2015

More News and Commentary

Rising Opposition to Exelon-Pepco Merger in D.C.

Rising Opposition to Exelon-Pepco Merger in D.C.

The Washington Examiner stays with the Exelon-Pepco story with a piece this morning by Zack Colman on rising opposition to the proposed merger, which would affect residents of the District of Columbia. It includes this textbook explanatory passage: “One of the most common concerns is that Exelon would arbitrage its losses from struggling nuclear generators […]

February 27, 2015 Read More →
An ‘Uh-Oh’ Day in Ohio for FirstEnergy Corp.

An ‘Uh-Oh’ Day in Ohio for FirstEnergy Corp.

A regulatory decision this week that keeps Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power from raising customers’ rates to subsidize aging coal-fired plants has implications for First Energy Corp., Dan Shingler writes today in Crain’s Cleveland Business. FirstEnergy has made a similar request of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, which is the body that turned AEP […]

February 27, 2015 Read More →
Signs of Coal Divestiture at Rio Tinto

Signs of Coal Divestiture at Rio Tinto

Reuters has posted an article saying certain personnel changes and corporate structural changes at the global mining giant Rio Tinto suggest it is getting out of the coal business. “In its latest effort to slash costs as commodity prices fall, Rio Tinto is letting go its energy chief and rolling its coal and uranium businesses […]

February 27, 2015 Read More →
Another Study That Dispels a Common Solar Net-Metering Canard

Another Study That Dispels a Common Solar Net-Metering Canard

Midwest Energy News this morning reports on a new study by the Missouri Energy Initiative reaches conclusions in line with a larger body of research that finds solar net-metering beneficial to all utility customers. The article, by Karen Uhlenhuth, notes that similar studies in Vermont, New York, Texas and Nevada have had similar findings. Net […]

February 27, 2015 Read More →
Exelon Seeks $2-Per-Customer Subsidy to Maintain Money-Losing Nuclear Plants

Exelon Seeks $2-Per-Customer Subsidy to Maintain Money-Losing Nuclear Plants

The Chicago Tribune this morning describes a scheme by Exelon Corp. to extract an additional $2 per month from its customers “to prop up what the company says are three money-losing nuclear plants.” The article, by Ray Long, includes this important passage: “Opponents question whether Exelon would get an unnecessary bailout when a trio of […]

February 27, 2015 Read More →

Within the Coal Industry Itself, Less Reliance on Coal

It’s increasingly evident that if U.S. coal companies are to survive they must diversify. This truth is obvious even to some coal-industry executives, most notably perhaps Bob Murray, the outspoken CEO of Murray Energy who famously said this a few months ago: “We have the absolute destruction of the United States coal industry. It isn’t […]

February 27, 2015 Read More →
Ohio Regulators Deny a Proposed Ratepayer Bailout for American Electric Power

Ohio Regulators Deny a Proposed Ratepayer Bailout for American Electric Power

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has declined to let American Electric Power impose a rate plan that would subsidize its operation of aging coal-fired plants. Dan Gearino has the story today in the Columbus Dispatch. Excerpts: “Most of the outside attention was on the income-guarantee provision, which utilities and coal companies saw as a […]

February 26, 2015 Read More →
Newsweek: Canada’s Tar Sands at Risk of Becoming a Stranded Asset

Newsweek: Canada’s Tar Sands at Risk of Becoming a Stranded Asset

Newsweek is out this morning with an article critical of Canada’s devotion to development of its tar sands. The article, by Mark Dowie, says investors are “beginning to wonder whether they have backed a good play by investing over $160 billion to turn tar into oil.” Dowie suggests that the tar sands are fast becoming […]

February 26, 2015 Read More →
Cloud Peak CEO Sees Powder River Basin Delays Through 2020

Cloud Peak CEO Sees Powder River Basin Delays Through 2020

The CEO of Powder River Basin coal producer Cloud Peak Energy said this week that the company’s hopes for new export port facilities in the Pacific Northwest could remain in limbo until 2020. In an article by Darren Epps, CEO Colin Marshall says, “As we all know, if you’re against anything in America, you can […]

February 26, 2015 Read More →

How the Alabama Public Service Commission Keeps Its Ratepayer Public in the Dark

The Alabama Public Service Commission is a laggard both regionally and nationally in its outdated insistence on conducting the rate-paying public’s business in private. The commission’s secrecy is especially notable in how it shields its integrated resource plan analyses, or IRPs, from public view, as we document in detail in a report we published today […]

February 26, 2015 Read More →