Posted October 17, 2017
It’s unclear what the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will do with U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s request that FERC alter the electricity marketplace in favor of certain generating facilities – a proposal that by design would favor some energy sources over others.
Perry says his request to FERC was meant to be a conversation starter. But if it’s a conversation about government tilting the electricity market one way or another, it’s the wrong one.
Indeed, as the secretary tried to explain his FERC order to lawmakers at a House hearing last week he missed the mark when he questioned the reliability of natural gas, the leading fuel for U.S. electricity generation in 2016, and asserted that the natural gas and oil industry receives federal subsidies – it doesn’t.
Posted October 11, 2017
There’s a remarkable reality – among the many benefits of abundant, cleaner-burning domestic natural gas – that mustn’t be lost in the political back-and-forth over this week’s EPA decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan (CPP): The U.S. is achieving CPP’s objectives for reducing power sector carbon emissions – without CPP’s implementation.
It’s true: Reductions of U.S. CO2 emissions from electricity generation are well on their way to surpassing EPA’s estimate that CPP would lower CO2 emissions 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. And it’s being done without CPP, thanks largely to market forces driving the increased use of natural gas in power generation.
Posted October 5, 2017
Ohio voters continue to oppose bailouts for nuclear plants. As a statewide poll showed this summer, a new poll by API Ohio shows big opposition to a proposal to let nuclear plant owner FirstEnergy charge its customers a special fee to increase funding for its plants in three counties that are near FirstEnergy’s headquarters and its Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants. The opposition in Lake, Summit and Ottawa counties is bipartisan and huge.
Posted October 4, 2017
Some initial takeaways from this week’s House hearing, during which there was considerable discussion of the U.S. Energy Department’s recent request that a new electricity pricing program be developed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – one that effectively would favor some energy sources over others.First, as we argued twice last week (read here and here), markets – not preferences, mechanisms, subsidies or whatever – should be allowed to select energy sources for power generation, because they reward innovation, promote efficiency, lower prices and work to benefit consumers.
Posted October 3, 2017
Posted September 29, 2017
Earlier this week we wrote about the market perils of government efforts to favor some energy sources over others (“On Energy, Let Markets Choose”). We may as well have been talking about Friday’s U.S. Energy Department request that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) develop a new electricity pricing program that lets some power plants recover the costs of providing that power.Whatever you call these preferential measures – subsidies, mechanisms, credits – they tend to foil the way markets, if left to themselves, reward innovation, promote efficiency, lower prices and work to benefit consumers.
Posted September 19, 2017
API has a new group director for Market Development – former Ohio Public Utilities Commissioner Todd Snitchler. He heads a team that is focused on increasing market opportunities for abundant natural gas, which is benefiting consumers and manufacturers while advancing U.S. climate goals. In addition to serving as Ohio PUC chairman and chairing the Power Siting Board of Ohio, Snitchler was elected twice to the state’s House of Representatives.
Posted August 17, 2017
In 2017, it would be hard to find very many people who don’t know about Monday’s big solar outage. Here’s hoping everyone safely enjoys the eclipse in all its wonder – while also absorbing what this dramatic sun interruption teaches about the need for reliable energy in our daily lives. And that lesson is that natural gas is the every-day essential partner – partner, not backup – to intermittent energy sources like solar because, as will be underscored on Eclipse Monday, the sun doesn’t always shine.
Posted August 14, 2017
A couple of new data points from the government show the importance of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to America’s trading posture and to its global energy security role, as a growing supplier of natural gas. First, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that the U.S. exported more natural gas than it imported in three of the first five months of this year – February, April and May – which is historic since the U.S. has been a net importer (on an average annual basis) for nearly 60 years.
Posted August 9, 2017
Total up industry’s economic contributions to Pennsylvania – helping to support its schools, first-responders, local infrastructure and jobs, lots of them – and it’s a pretty fair amount. But not fair enough for some. Last month a narrow majority in Pennsylvania’s state Senate voted for a $600 million tax increase that would hit natural gas producers and natural gas and electric users while also hiking taxes on communications services – all of which could significantly impact Pennsylvania consumers.