Progress in electric power, particularly the growth of renewable energy and consumer choice, is looking like gridlock. Look closer and we can see three fundamental issues: state policy vs. federal policy; changing perspectives on reliability, and how electric grid planning should accommodate the ongoing transition to renewable energy. We even have gridlock in the appointment and continuity of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that oversees much of the decision making in these spaces.
December 6, 2018 9:44 AM EDT
There’s a little known independent federal agency whose decisions could have big impacts on states like Kansas and Iowa. It’s called the Federal Electricity Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC makes decisions that affect electric power markets and approval (or rejection) of applications to build interstate electric transmission lines that are essential for the continued growth of the thriving wind industries in these states. But the independence of this agency is being threatened by the Trump Administration with the potential confirmation of Bernard McNamee for FERC Commissioner; a Trump politico who has no regulatory experience or experience in the electric utility industry and is an avowed critic of wind power and renewables.
November 29, 2018 4:18 PM EDT
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted Tuesday to approve the appointment of Bernard McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The final confirmation vote now moves to the full Senate. McNamee’s confirmation threatens to transform FERC – with a longstanding tradition of political independence – into another arm of the Trump Administration, paving the way for Trump’s pro-fossil fuel agenda, a move that could impact all of us. Read more >
October 10, 2018 2:57 PM EDT
President Trump’s nomination of Bernard McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) may not grab a lot of headlines but make no mistake – it’s a blatant (and oft repeated) move by the Trump administration to pollute an independent regulatory body with political operatives intent on carrying out his crony capitalism. A hearing to consider McNamee’s nomination is already set for Tuesday, October 16th – a clear sign that Trump’s political allies are trying to ram through his appointment without thoughtful consideration. But here’s three reasons McNamee is a horrible choice to be a FERC commissioner and why his potential confirmation should worry all of us. Read more >
September 24, 2018 10:27 AM EDT
My latest research has uncovered that every month, millions of consumers are unwittingly bailing out coal-fired power plants to the tune of over a billion dollars a year. Read more >