Transparency


What’s Hiding in Your Electric Bill? How Utility Customers Finance Risky Investments

, Senior Energy Analyst

Utilities are expected to make investments that are prudent and in the public interest; in return, they get to recover those costs plus a profit. All the utility investments, operating costs, and profits get pooled together and are reflected in customer utility bills. Expenditures that aren’t “prudent” and “in the public interest” (two key terms in the industry) don’t get to be recovered. But many utilities have found a way to get around guidelines and force customers to finance fossil fuel infrastructure, lobbying, and power plants that aren’t even built yet. Read more >

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Cartoon: Justin Bilicki

5 Tips for Working in the Trump Administration Like an Absolute Pro

, Senior Energy analyst

Are you a new political appointee looking to join your administration peers in governing by deregulatory splash? Does the idea of winning the title of Best Worst Rule-Maker of Them All make you want to jump to the front to assume the mantle of dismantle? Would you be interested in throwing logic, scholarship, and ethics out the window in favor of the unbridled thrill of flying by the seat of no pants?

If yes, then read on, because the below five tips have been systematically shown to plummet Trump appointees from hero to zero in under one rulemaking flat.

Read more >

Justin Bilicki
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EPA office building with agency flag

The EPA Should Not Restrict The Science They Use To Protect Us

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

On Tuesday morning, the Environmental Protection Agency is holding their only hearing on their proposed rule that would restrict the science that the agency is allowed to consider in developing health and safety protections. My colleagues and I have written extensively about this proposal. On Tuesday, I will have the opportunity to speak directly to the agency about this proposal. I will have five minutes. Here is what I intend to say. Read more >

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Photo: Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0 (Flickr)

Pruitt’s Science Advisors Urge Him to Let Them Review His So-Called Transparency Initiative

, Lead science and policy analyst

One week after issuing its letters on EPA’s spring and fall regulatory agendas, the SAB posted a letter to Administrator Pruitt urging him to charge the SAB with reviewing the flawed restricted science rule before taking further action on the proposed rule due to the very important scientific considerations needed for transparency at the agency. This is a strong statement coming from the Administrator’s very own science advisors, 18 of whom were hand-selected by Pruitt himself. Read more >

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The EPA SAB Agreed to Tell Pruitt that EPA’s Restricted Science Rule is Problematic, But Where’s the Follow-up?

, Lead science and policy analyst

The EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) met earlier this month in DC to discuss a range of issues, but perhaps most prominently, to discuss whether any of Pruitt’s deregulatory actions from 2017 had scientific issues warranting SAB review. Also on the agenda was whether the SAB should have a chance to review the merits of the EPA’s restricted science proposal before it moved any farther in the rulemaking process. At the end of the meeting, the SAB members agreed (almost unanimously) that they would write to Pruitt and tell him that they did indeed want to review five spring and fall 2017 regulatory agenda items, including the glider truck rule and the Clean Power Plan, and the restricted science proposal. Read more >

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