Julie McNamara

Energy analyst

Author image
Julie McNamara is an energy analyst with the Climate & Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. In her role, she analyzes state, regional, and national policies relating to clean energy development and deployment. Ms. McNamara holds an M.S. in technology and policy from MIT, and a B.A. in biology and political economy from Williams College.

Subscribe to Julie's posts

Julie's Latest Posts

Valorous Congressmen, Tilting at Windmills

Legislators have pushed bills aiming to ban wind turbines from vast buffer zones around military installations—but these pesky little things called facts can trip up even the best of heroic narrative arcs. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Momentum on the path to our clean energy future. Credit: Dennis Schroeder, DOE/NREL

The Clean Power Plan Has Already Accomplished One of Its Most Important Tasks

Tuesday’s attack on the Clean Power Plan (CPP) did not exactly come as a surprise. Since the day President Trump was elected, the rule’s fate has seemed near-well sealed—when CPP lawsuit ringleader Scott Pruitt was confirmed as EPA administrator, all lingering doubts were reduced to specifics about how and when. Well here we are, and now we know.

But here’s the thing. Though the administration spoke of “relieving the burden” of the rule, and though there had been much braying when the CPP was first announced, there has been a conspicuous absence of utilities leaping to change course after the lifting of the (supposed) crushing yoke of the CPP. Today, in fact, most utilities seem much as they did yesterday: increasingly comfortable with, and confident in, the idea of serving electricity in a carbon-constrained world. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Electricity Rates Are Sorely Outdated. Let’s Give them an Upgrade.

Last month, to great and enthusiastic email fanfare, my utility presented me with a redesigned electricity bill. One meant to help me better understand the various costs and components that make up the final amount due. In an entirely relatable manner, my household met such news with chortles of joy. What a day!

But the utility’s trick? Colors and a stacked bar chart. They were nice colors, and yet…it proved a letdown. If our electricity bills contained just a bit more of the right information, we could collectively be saving billions of dollars a year, reducing air pollution all around us, and helping to bring ever more renewables online—a true step forward toward our vision of the modern grid. Now tell me that’s not a neat trick. Read more >

Bookmark and Share