Clean Energy & Climate Change

Regionalization of the Western Grid May Be Inevitable

 July 29, 2019 by Carl Zichella, NRDC Director of Western Transmission  A regional electricity transmission operator—almost certainly an expanded California Independent System Operator (CAISO)—may be inevitable despite last year’s failure of the California legislature to pass legislation to allow a West-wide grid operator. It’s needed in order to operate a wholesale energy market that can use the lowest-cost resources available to meet regional electric demand. That was…

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After Broad Run, FERC’s GHG policy is on thin ice

 June 7, 2019 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney The DC Circuit fired a warning shot this week at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and its analysis of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with gas pipeline projects. The court rejected the core legal arguments that underpin the agency’s policy and admonished FERC for its “less-than-dogged” efforts to build a robust record regarding these emissions.…

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The Coal/Nuke Plant Bailout: We Must Remain Vigilant

October 16, 2018 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney Recent media reports suggest that the White House has tabled its plan to bail out costly coal and nuclear plants. While this would be an encouraging development for consumers and the nation’s energy markets, it is far too soon to let down our guard. This is already round three in this saga.…

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FERC Can’t Just Check the Climate Box

February 26, 2019 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney Federal law requires that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) take a “hard look” at a proposed energy’s project’s effect on climate change. In last week’s order approving the Calcasieu Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, FERC adopted what it called a “new approach for consideration of direct greenhouse…

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Important Electric Grid Recommendations from the U.S. Department of Energy’s New Report

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently released its first installment of its Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) – a comprehensive report examining how the United States can modernize energy infrastructure to promote economic competitiveness, energy security, and environmental responsibility. This installment contains many good findings and recommendations pertaining to electric grid modernization relevant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). While…

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New Report: States Can Cut Carbon Pollution and Protect Grid Reliability

Feb 14, 2015 by John Moore States can meet or exceed the proposed limits on dangerous carbon pollution from power plants while preserving the reliability of the electricity flowing to our homes and businesses, according to a new report from the highly respected Brattle Group. Countering exaggerated claims by opponents of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, Brattle finds that…

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Congratulations Commissioners LaFleur and Bay!

July 15, 2014 by John Moore The U.S. Senate today approved President Obama’s nominations of Cheryl LaFleur and Norman Bay as commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the independent federal body which oversees the high power electric grid, natural gas pipelines, and hydroelectric dam licensing. Today’s vote means FERC now has a full complement of five commissioners for…

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FERC Nominations Clear Big Hurdle

June 18, 2014 by John Moore The nation is one step closer to getting a full complement of commissioners on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which regulates America’s transmission grid, wholesale sales of electricity, and gas pipeline infrastructure. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted today to approve the president’s nominations of Acting Chair Cheryl LaFleur and current…

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Court Deals Setback to Cleaner Electric Transmission Grid

May 25, 2014 by John Moore and Allison Clements A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. has handed a major setback to one of the cornerstone reforms for a cleaner, more intelligent and consumer-friendly grid. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on May 23 invalidated a federal rule that allowed consumers to be paid a fair…

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The Polar Vortex and the Power Grid: What really happened and why the grid will remain reliable without soon-to-retire coal plants

Apr 29, 2014 by John Moore and Allison Clements In the grip of the “Polar Vortex,” much of the nation experienced an extremely cold winter. The good news is that despite record electricity demand and some of the coldest weather in 20 years, power companies and grid operators kept the lights and heat on. Yet some observers are now claiming…

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