Insights from our Editorial Team

  • Nov 15, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    The coal industry has long argued that restrictive regulations are not just dooming an inexpensive and reliable power source but that they are also deterring national investment in advanced coal technologies -- the same ones that the current administration says will determine the fate of that industry.

    Comments: 5
  • Nov 14, 2013 | Terry M. Jarrett

    According to a recent US Department of Homeland Security report, in fiscal year 2012, ICS-CERT received and responded to 198 cyber incidents as reported by asset owners and industry partners. Attacks against the energy sector represented 41 % of the total number of incidents.  While none of these attempted cyber-attacks on utilities were successful, many experts have said it is not a question of if, but when.

  • Nov 14, 2013 | Staff Writer

    The energy industry is being reshaped by a confluence of changing consumer preferences, advancing technologies, and shifting regulatory policies. This ‘new normal’ offers both uncertainty and opportunities.  And regardless of the regulatory environment, new market entrants are engaging consumers with innovative value propositions and staking their claim to parts of the energy value chain that increasingly extends into homes and businesses. 

  • Acquistions up this past quarter
    Nov 13, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    The North American utility industry is gathering a head of steam, at least as far as mergers and acquisitions go. That’s according to PriceWaterHouseCoopers, which says that in the third quarter of 2013 that such combinations accelerated.

    Comments: 3
  • Oil and Farm Lobbies Face Off
    Nov 12, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    When it leaked that the federal government may curtail its Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), the words started to pour from the mouths of the agricultural and oil communities.

    Comments: 4
  • Nov 11, 2013 | Jessica Kennedy

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making the coal industry nervous with a proposed rule that would impose new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from newly constructed power plants.  This would permit new coal plants to emit no more than 1,300-1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour.  While the rule is more lenient in its standards for coal plants than for those powered by natural gas, coal powered generating facilities will need carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology installed in order to meet the proposed requirement. 

    Comments: 3
  • Nov 10, 2013 | Davis Swan

    The U.S. government had been "closed for business" while a looming debt ceiling crisis was pending. Now those same lawmakers must decide whether to extend the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC). President Obama's official position is that the PTC should be extended indefinitely. Many in Congress disagree and there are is ample private sector and research lab commentary on both sides of the question.

    Comments: 6
  • Nov 07, 2013 | Richard Schlesinger

    What is solar aggregation? It is treating several hundred or more individual rooftop installations as a single, virtual distributed generation power plant. It's an idea being actively pursued by some of the larger PV manufacturers and being considered by a small number of utilities.

  • 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.

    Comments: 18
  • 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? 

    Comments: 3