Blog

Jun17

Are Oil Trains Coming Back to Philly’s Rails?

Posted by Christina Simeone

Is it just me, or have others in the downtown Philadelphia area noticed the recent uptick in oil trains cruising through the City? Last summer, several rail shipments per day of 100 or so crude oil tanker-cars each could be seen chugging through the City, many bound for the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery...

Jun10

Cyber Attacks on Energy Infrastructure

Posted by Christina Simeone

Policymakers are increasingly hearing concerns about the doomsday impacts of a coordinated “cyber Pearl Harbor” threat on U.S. soil (though some in the claim the threats are exaggerated).  But, what are the energy-sector cyber threat experiences so far? The joint U.S. and Israel Stuxnet Project - which successfully...

Jun06

Dismembering the CPUC, What the Heck is Happening in California?

Posted by Christina Simeone

In a series of events that has played out under my radar (am I the only one?), lawmakers in the Golden State are moving to dismember the California’s Public Utility Commission (CPUC) - the agency that regulates privately owned electric and natural gas utilities (as well as telecom, water, passenger transit and rail)....

May25

Top Lines from PJM’s Capacity Auction

Posted by Christina Simeone

PJM Interconnection, the operator of the electricity grid serving 13 states and D.C., runs its annual capacity auction in order to ensure it has enough resources to provide power in the future.  These “Base Residual Auctions” procure enough resource supply to meet forecasted power demand, plus a little extra (called a...

May16

TVA Files First-Ever Application for Small Scale Nuclear Reactor

Posted by Christina Simeone

On Friday the 13th of May, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) submitted the first-ever permit application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for development of small modular reactors (SMR), a form of distributed nuclear energy. This happened just a week after TVA’s board voted to sell the unfinished...

May10

California and PA Pipeline Forecast Summer Energy Dialogue

Posted by Christina Simeone

The April 29 explosion on Spectra’s Texas Eastern natural gas pipeline in western Pennsylvania’s Westmoreland County has implications for the electric power grid and the public is going to start asking questions. Namely, have we become more vulnerable in the age of gas? Be prepared to hear more about gas supply...

Apr28

Highlights from FERC’s 2015 State of the Markets Report

Posted by Christina Simeone

As part of its energy market oversight responsibilities, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) annually publishes its “state of the markets” report.  In mid-March, FERC released its 2015 market report focusing on electricity and natural gas market activity. Below are just some of the takeaways from the...

Apr25

Opportunity Remains as CEO Mavericks Fall Short

Posted by Christina Simeone

What do SunEdison’s CEO Ahmad Chatila, NRG’s David Crane and Shell’s Marv Odum have in common? Your first responses might be bankruptcy, being ousted or failure. And you wouldn’t be wrong.  You also wouldn’t be totally right. These leaders gambled big because they know the game (theory that is). SunEdison, once...

Apr21

Pennsylvania Highlights the Local Debate on Nuclear Waste Storage

Posted by Christina Simeone

Communities across the country might be surprised over how little say they have about the nuclear waste being indefinitely stockpiled in their neighborhoods. The United States government planned to develop a centralized facility to store in perpetuity (think hundreds of thousands of years) the high-level radioactive...

Apr19

Gas Trust Fund to Help Communities Faces Uphill Battle

Posted by Mark Alan Hughes and Christina Simeone

It’s hard to make a deal when two sides have little trust in each other. So, society has developed many ways of overcoming distrust: contracts define remedies, treaties have inspectors, suspects post bonds.   The Brookings Institution’s new report, “Permanent Trust Funds: Funding Economic Change with Fracking Revenues...

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