Archive for August, 2015

More News and Commentary

How Exelon Lost Its Bid to Win D.C.

Kelly Andrejasich for SNL: Concern about Potomac Electric Power Co., and thus District of Columbia ratepayers, getting swallowed up by a much larger corporate structure played a role in the decision by D.C. regulators to reject Exelon Corp. and Pepco Holdings Inc.’s proposed merger. The merger would combine Exelon’s three electric and gas utilities — […]

August 31, 2015 Read More →

Op-Ed: Say No to Bailout for FirstEnergy

Daniel Sawmiller for the Cleveland Plain Dealer: FirstEnergy’s proposals would force its customers to bail out the old, dirty and expensive Sammis coal-burning power plant as well as the aging Davis-Besse nuclear plant for 15 years. These plants compete poorly in a free market against cheaper, cleaner sources of energy. The PUCO should say No. […]

August 31, 2015 Read More →

WSJ: ‘Suppliers Feel Pain as Coal Miners Struggle’

John W. Miller for the Wall Street Journal: Suppliers of equipment for big coal miners are scrambling to find new customers as the coal companies get slammed by natural gas, environmental regulations and the strong dollar, John W. Miller reports. The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy estimates that four subsidiary jobs depend on […]

August 31, 2015 Read More →

Influential Michigan Tea Party Leader Pushes for More Solar

Andy Balaskovitz for Midwest Energy News: A Michigan lawmaker more widely known for his strongly conservative positions on social issues may be an unlikely ally for those pushing for more clean energy here. State Rep. Gary Glenn, a first-term tea party Republican who also heads the state chapter of the American Family Association, says he […]

August 31, 2015 Read More →

Support Grows for Boulder Muni Takeover of Xcel Utility

John Tomasic for the Colorado Statesman: Members of the state’s Public Utility Commission on Wednesday agreed to let five additional groups “intervene” in a case that involves this city negotiating to buy Xcel Energy’s local power-distribution equipment as part of a voter-backed effort to run a clean-energy-sourced municipal utility. Interveners in the PUC case can […]

August 31, 2015 Read More →

FirstEnergy Continues Its Fear-Mongering Ways

‘Attempting to Scare Ohioans’ is a Tried and True Strategy for a Utility Seeking a $3 Billion Bailout

Andre Porter, the new chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, made headlines a couple of weeks ago when he said utilities have got to “stop attempting to scare Ohioans.” Porter’s admonition was noted by Columbus Business First reporter Tom Knox in response to an op-ed in the Plain Dealer by FirstEnergy CEO Chuck […]

August 31, 2015 Read More →
How ‘Gold-Plating’ the Australian Electricity Grid Is Killing Off Coal-Fired Generation

How ‘Gold-Plating’ the Australian Electricity Grid Is Killing Off Coal-Fired Generation

High Prices Will Continue to Drive Consumers to Alternative Sources

A startling decoupling of grid-supplied electricity and economic growth has occurred in Australia over the past few years. Since peaking in 2009, electricity demand in the Australian National Electricity Market has fallen by 7.5 percent while Australian GDP has expanded by about 16 percent. What this goes to show is that economic growth can—and has—proceeded […]

August 31, 2015 Read More →

U.S. ‘Coal Burn’ Falls to Levels Last Seen in Early ’80s

Molly Christian for SNL: U.S. electricity generation from coal fell by over 14% in the first half of 2015 from the same time in 2014 on competition from natural gas-fired capacity and unit retirements, causing coal burn to slump to levels not seen since the early 1980s on an annualized basis. Nationwide net generation from […]

August 28, 2015 Read More →

Bloomberg News: ‘Ohio Coal Plants Want Regulators to Keep Them Alive’

Paul Barrett for Bloomberg: Until recently, FirstEnergy, a utility in Akron, favored rate deregulation. FirstEnergy, which serves 6 million customers from western Ohio to the Jersey shore, relies on coal-fired power plants that once offered some of the cheapest electricity in the region. The company benefited from wholesale competition among generators. Today, with cheap natural […]

August 28, 2015 Read More →

Walter Energy Sees ‘Same Assets and Corporate Structure’ in Bankruptcy Reemergence

Molly Christian for SNL: Alabama-based coking coal producer Walter Energy Inc. hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a going concern but only if it can “materially reduce” its labor costs, the company said. Walter filed a reorganization plan Aug. 26 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The […]

August 28, 2015 Read More →