Author Archive: Larry Shapiro

Larry Shapiro is Associate Director for Program Development at the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF). He is a founder of RFF’s Power Plant Finance Project, the predecessor organization to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

Atlantic Coast, Keystone XL, Dakota Access — for pipeline companies, winning ain’t what it used to be

Project cancellations highlight larger stressors in the oil and gas industry

If you are a pipeline developer, landmark court victories just aren’t what they used to be. Dominion Energy and Duke Energy announced on Sunday that they are canceling their proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline just 20 days after they won a 7-2 decision in the U.S. Supreme Court authorizing them to build the pipeline underneath the Appalachian Trail. […]

How Are For-Profit Pipelines Fair Use of Eminent Domain?

A Topic From the GOP Presidential Campaign That’s Worthy of More Discussion

One of the many sharp—and welcome—arguments among the GOP presidential candidates of late has been over what constitutes reasonable use of eminent domain. Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) has called Donald Trump out, for instance, for having used eminent domain to try to demolish the home of an elderly widow in Atlantic City so he could […]

February 29, 2016 Read More →

New York Is on the Verge of Going Coal Free

A Bipartisan Energy-Transition Example Other States Can Follow

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State speech this month contained one especially good bit of news for the planet and for public health: New York state’s remaining coal-fired power plants will close by 2020. The governor also committed to helping the workers who lose their jobs as a result of plant retirements and the […]

January 26, 2016 Read More →

U.S. Puerto Ricans Have the Clout to Steer Puerto Rico Toward a Modern Energy Policy

Wall Street Sympathizers Would Lock a U.S. Commonwealth Into a Future of Fossil-Fuel Reliance

Puerto Ricans who live in the continental U.S. have tremendous, if often-unrealized, power. More than a million Puerto Ricans reside in Florida, for instance, which with Ohio is one of the two most important states in presidential politics. Moreover, even recent arrivals from Puerto Rico have a status that recent arrivals from elsewhere in Latin […]

Big Coal, Not So Big Anymore

The Challenge Now Is to Find Common Ground Culturally and Regionally

Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of its rule to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. It’s not a perfect rule, and there’s a long road ahead that is likely to include litigation and implementation challenges. But the rule, often referred to as the Clean Power Plan, is […]

August 27, 2015 Read More →

The Whac-a-Mole Strategy Works (and Is Helping Shape the New Energy Economy)

Yogi Berra Was Right: You Can Observe a Lot Just by Watching

Whac-a-Mole is an arcade game in which a mole pops up from a hole and must be hit in the head with a mallet. This sends it back down its hole. As soon as one mole is whacked, another pops up from a different hole and must be similarly dispatched. The moles keep coming back […]

In Western New York, an Instructive Tale of Two Coal-Fired Plants

One Community Clings to the Past; the Other Explores How to Survive in a New-Energy Economy

Even when it’s clear that a coal-fired power plant can’t make money if subjected to the discipline of the marketplace—and even when the power produced by that plant isn’t necessary to keep the lights on—politics can keep that plant operating. That’s what’s happening in Dunkirk, N.Y., where Gov. Andrew Cuomo has committed to keeping an […]

The Lasting Impact of the Anti-Keystone Campaign

Today, Every Significant Fossil-Fuel Project in the U.S. Faces Substantial Opposition

We don’t know for sure yet whether President Obama will allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built. But we do know the public campaign against the project has been a resounding success in the way it has elevated public awareness of the risks tied to such development. Long ribbons of oil and gas pipeline […]

April 22, 2015 Read More →

Electric Grid Managers: Quasi-Public Corporations Gone Wild (and in Secret)

A fact little known to most Americans is that the grid they rely on for electricity is controlled by quasi-public organizations whose lavishly paid executives and board members conduct business in deep secret. Independent system operators, or ISOs, work almost entirely behind closed doors, even though their every action affects public electricity customers of all […]

March 24, 2015 Read More →

Expand Oil Drilling in California? Only If You Want Another ‘There Will Be Blood’

California, for good reason, is often thought of as the national leader on environmental and energy policy. The state has led the way in energy-efficiency electricity programs and the development of air-emission standards for automobiles. It’s also been in the vanguard of a wide range of other model initiatives that run the gamut from coastal […]

February 5, 2015 Read More →