Visual Primer: State Commissions Grapple With Impacts of Utility Disconnection Bans

In light of the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, state utility commissions are taking different approaches to mitigate the impacts on utilities and ratepayers. Several states have extended moratoriums on service terminations while directing utilities to proactively engage in outreach programs to inform customers about payment assistance and plans. Others have allowed utilities to resume disconnections for nonpayment as costs of unpaid bills continue to mount.

Fossil Fuels Account for 80 Percent of U.S. Energy Production, Consumption: EIA

The share of U.S. energy production from fossil fuels peaked in 1966 at 93 percent, but production from nuclear power and renewables have also risen. Fossil fuels have accounted for about 80 percent of U.S. energy production in the past decade, according to a Sept. 14 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In 2019,…...

U.S. Natural Gas Exports Decline Amid Economic Slowdown Caused by COVID-19: EIA

U.S. net natural gas exports continued to grow in the first six months of 2020 compared to the same period last year, but began to decline in spring 2020 due to the global economic slowdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and related containment measures, according to a Sept. 15 report from the U.S. Energy Information…...

Pennsylvania Board Approves Draft Regulation to Participate in Regional Carbon Market

The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board on Sept. 15 voted in favor of a proposed regulation that would allow the state to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, a cooperative effort among 10 states to cap and reduce emissions from the power sector. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf applauded the move, which stems from…...

States Challenge Trump Administration’s Plan to Open Alaska Wildlife Refuge to Oil, Gas Drilling

A coalition of 15 states on Sept. 9 filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for approving oil and gas leasing activities in the 1.56 million-acre Coastal Plain area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The lawsuit, filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska, argues that the approval is based on…...

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Pass Bill Requiring Legislative Approval to Join Regional Carbon Market

The Pennsylvania Senate on Sept. 9 voted in favor of a bill that would require legislative approval before the state can impose a carbon tax or join a multi-state carbon-trading program. The House of Representatives approved the legislation in July. The move comes ahead of a Sept. 15 meeting of the state’s Environmental Quality Board…

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Utilities Continue Plans to Accelerate Phase-Out of Coal-Fired Generation

Proposals to accelerate the phase-out of coal-fired generation appear more prominently in long-term resource plans of U.S. electric utilities, reflecting the growing shift to renewable energy. The transition from coal continues to be driven by state clean energy mandates, emissions reduction goals, low natural gas prices, and increased availability of low-cost renewables and storage resources.

Duke Energy’s 15-Year Resource Plan for Carolinas Examines Options to Accelerate Coal Plant Retirements

Duke Energy Carolinas LLC and Duke Energy Progress LLC on Sept. 1 unveiled their 15-year integrated resource plans for the Carolinas, presenting a range of scenarios with accelerated coal retirement options and substantial increases in solar, wind, and energy storage technologies. The proposal details six generation portfolios that would keep Duke Energy Corp. on a…...

U.S. Interior Department’s New Mexico Oil, Gas Lease Sale Nets $8.3 Million

The Bureau of Land Management’s quarterly oil and gas lease sale in New Mexico generated net proceeds of $8.28 million, according to an Aug. 28 press release. Nearly half the revenue from the sale is allotted to the states where the oil and gas activity takes place namely, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The remainder…...

U.S. Added 5 Billion Cubic Feet Per Day of Gas Pipeline Capacity in First Half of 2020: EIA

About 5 billion cubic feet per day of new natural gas pipeline capacity came online in the U.S. during the first half of 2020, according to an Aug. 24 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. At the same time an estimated 8.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of pipeline projects were canceled in…...

Michigan Commission Approves $110 Million Rate Hike for DTE Gas

The Michigan Public Service Commission on August 20 authorized a settlement allowing DTE Gas to increase its revenues by $110 million, which is about 46 percent lower than the utility’s original request. The new rate, effective Oct. 1, will raise monthly residential bills for customers using 100 cubic feet of gas by about $2.97 or…...