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GET TIMELY INSIGHTS. Our blog showcases a variety of voices from our home at the University of Pennsylvania—including faculty, students, staff, senior fellows, and visiting scholars. Opinions and perspectives are from the authors; not the Kleinman Center.

Apr07
2016

Emergency Plans Needed for the Power Grid in the Age of Gas

Christina Simeone
The massive, multi-month gas leak in California’s underground Aliso Canyon storage facility has major implications for millions of California’s electricity users, with state regulators warning of up to 14 days of planned electricity blackouts this summer. In the new age of gas, are electricity systems prepared to...
Apr05
2016

Blue Skies over Beijing

Angela Pachon
When I think of pictures of Beijing, for example prior to the 2008 Summer Olympic games or those images shown in the 2015 documentary film Under the Dome, by Chai Jing, the last thing that comes to my mind are blue skies. This may change in the near future. According to Matt Kahn, Professor of Economics at the...
Apr04
2016

PUCO Rules Against Competitive Markets

Christina Simeone
On March 31, the Public Utility Commission of Ohio (PUCO) issued orders approving power purchase agreements (PPA) with FirstEnergy (FE) and American Electric Power (AEP) owned coal and nuclear plants, sending ripple effects of controversy throughout stakeholders in the 13-state PJM grid footprint. The 8-year term PPA’...
Apr01
2016

DOE’s Lifeline to Transmission Siting for Renewables

Christina Simeone
On March 25, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz announced the agency’s participation in a first-ever public-private partnership authorized by the 2005 Energy Policy Act, to enable construction of a large-scale electricity transmission infrastructure project to bring cheap wind energy to the southeast U....
Mar24
2016

IMF Links Low Interest Rates to Missing Stimulus from Oil Price Declines

Christina Simeone
Back in my February blog post, I explored a phenomenon baffling economists, low oil prices coupled with slow economic growth. Typically, low oil prices mean consumers spend less on energy and have more money in their pockets to spend on other things, creating economic stimulus.  But this isn’t happening, and...
Mar17
2016

California’s Cold Shoulder to the Bloom Box

Christina Simeone
In a November report, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) found Bloom Boxes were too expensive and released too much carbon dioxide to qualify for a lucrative rebate program. Now, at the recommendation of staff, the CPUC is considering ending incentives for the technology. For years, energy aficionados...
Mar10
2016

Bankruptcy Court Pushes Domino on Oil and Gas Industry

Christina Simeone
On March 8, a federal bankruptcy court declared that Sabine Oil and Gas Corporation’s contracts used to secure pipeline gathering infrastructure could be nullified, raising major concerns for midstream gas companies.  This ruling could have even broader implications, as oil and gas producers around the country are...
Mar08
2016

NY Court Taps Breaks on NY REV

Christina Simeone
On March 4, the New York State Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order against recently released rules by the NY Public Service Commission (PSC) that sought to impose various limits on retail energy suppliers. As I discussed last month, the NY PSC issued an order on February 23 that, among other things,...
Feb29
2016

Financing Gas Pipelines through Electric Rates?

Christina Simeone
America needs new energy infrastructure, and increasingly ratepayers are being looked upon to bridge the financing gap. This week, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments about Maryland’s efforts to use ratepayer subsidies to support construction of new gas-fired generation. Ohio regulators are considering long-term...
Feb26
2016

NY REV: Promoting Innovation and Competition Through Price Caps?

Christina Simeone
New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (NY REV) process, led by the NY Public Service Commission (NY PSC), is an ambitious project to restructure the energy distribution business model in order to enhance resiliency, integrate renewables, promote efficiency and lower costs. The model envisions a narrower role for...

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