Emmissions & Environmental

  • Chasing the Sun

    Lessons for U.S. Utilities from the German Energiewende
    Sep 18, 2014 | Jack Azagury

    Energiewende has become one of the most talked about topics in the utilities industry and perhaps one of the most notorious. It has also become the example of how not to do energy policy. And while this may be true in many respects, the strategy has been successful in certain areas, least of which is providing learnings for other countries.

  • The state Department of Corrections and the union representing corrections officers each are conducting a health survey of present and former members who are working or worked at SCI Fayette and three other prisons built near coal ash disposal or coal mining operations.
  • People, states and groups interested in telling the federal government what they think about proposed rules to limit greenhouse gases from existing power plants will get another 45 days to have their voices heard.
  • For 14 years, an electric-power plant in Massachusetts used a chemical solvent process to capture carbon dioxide released from the combustion of natural gas.
  • Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) recently organized a letter asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to extend the comment period on a proposed rule to tighten restrictions on carbon emissions from existing power plants.
  • Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) expressed concern after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released an updated report on the projected number of retiring coal-fired plants in response to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for carbon dioxide emissions.
  • A man was fired from his job at TVA's Bull Run Fossil Plant after only three weeks because he has a workers' compensation claim pending due to "exposure" experienced while working at the federal agency's ash spill cleanup site in Kingston, a legal action avers.
  • Coal miners in West Virginia and other parts of Appalachia are suffering from black lung at some of the highest rates in decades, according to new information released by federal health officials.
  • Gov. Tom Corbett and 14 other Republican governors have sent a letter to President Barack Obama expressing their opposition to proposed federal controls on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-burning power plants.
  • The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) have filed a petition asking state regulators to strengthen a metric that requires Illinois' two biggest electric utilities to show how historic upgrades to the power grid are reducing "greenhouse gas" emissions.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is backing a less costly plan floated by Arizona's Generation & Transmission Cooperatives (known as AzGT) to cut emissions from the Apache Generating Station that contribute to regional haze.
  • The coal-fired Cholla Power Plant in Joseph City, Ariz., will close its 260-megawatt Unit 2 by April 2016 and stop burning coal at the other APS-owned units (1 and 3) by the mid-2020s if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approves a compromise proposal offered by APS, the plant's owner.
  • APPA’s Kelly on Emissions, Cybersecurity

    Aug 31, 2014 | Martin Rosenberg

    America’s public power utilities in more than 2,000 communities are wrestling with the new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposals to curb carbon emissions, and at the same time they are joining other energy companies trying to make our grid more secure. Sue Kelly, the new president and chief executive officer of the American Public Power Association, discusses the challenges ahead. 

  • Research is Critical

    Jul 06, 2014 | Martin Rosenberg

    We recently discussed the status of coal generation research with Tomasz S. Wiltowski, the director of the Coal Research Center at Southern Illinois University. His edited comments follow.

  • Energy Reform Revisited

    Max Bradford
    Jun 22, 2014 | Martin Rosenberg

    Fifteen years ago, the government of New Zealand forced energy companies to elect whether they wanted to sell energy or own power lines, and it split up the former government-run generation business. Max Bradford, energy minister of the England-sized nation, was a principal architect of the plan. I interviewed him in Wellington while he was orchestrating what he then described as “wrenching changes.” Recently, I called him in New Zealand to discuss how it has worked out.

  • Nov 21, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    The nation’s biggest publicly owned utility is quickly evolving. But one such change is still in the mix -- the one to privatize the Tennessee Valley Authority.

  • Nov 06, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    When four of the most prominent climate scientists emerged this week and said that nuclear energy was a must-have fuel to combat global warming, the message caught their biggest fans off-guard. Indeed, the green groups are saying that the four know a lot about science but not that much about nuclear power.

  • Support Coincides with National Showing of Pandora's Promise

    Nov 05, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    More than likely, those high-profile scientists and environmentalists supporting nuclear energy will not persuade their colleagues to change camps -- especially after the Fukushima accident. But they may soften the opposition just enough to allow a few more plants to get built in this country. That’s a start, the scholars say. But will it be enough to avert what they say will be the worst effects of climate change? 

  • Oct 26, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    Some big headlines are now highlighting the fact that carbon dioxide emissions are falling in the United States. Some even bigger ones are going to be written as to whether we should rely on shale gas to do this job, or whether this is creating an even greater issue down the road.