How Not to Set Electricity Rates

Clare McGuire, former attorney for the Georgia Public Service commission and Georgia Watch, contributed to this post. Electricity rate setting is a hornet’s nest full of accounting, policy-making and politics. People love power companies when rates are low, and they sometimes even love them when rates are high. The thing that really riles electric customers [...]

What do ObamaCare and EPA climate rules have to do with each other?

The last two weeks delivered some important legal news. A federal appeals court upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority and responsibility to control climate pollution on June 26. Two days later the United States Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”). It is clear that the former relates directly to clean [...]

The good and the bad of coal ash news lately

Last week brought a lot of news about coal ash in national media, some good, some bad. On one side we learned of new information from EPA to add to the growing mountain of evidence about the risks of unregulated coal ash (that’s bad). On the other side we pulled out a narrow victory in Washington, [...]

Loss of Life from Coal Pollution Outweighs Value of Electricity

A new study from the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) finds that in many cases, the value of lost life from a coal plant’s pollution outweighs the value of the electricity that the plant produces. EIP looked at a large selection of coal plants from across the United States. Using conservative estimates, they determined that pollution [...]

The Political Hypocrisy of Uranium Enrichment

Sara Barczak, SACE’s High Risk Energy Director, contributed to this post. Kentucky’s U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, along with U.S. Representative Ed Whitefield, have created a Rube Goldberg machine. Here is how it works: first you tell the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to provide power to a 60-year old nuclear enrichment facility, then [...]

EPA Finally Announces Greenhouse Gas Standard

After much delay, today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the first-ever national standards to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from coal plants. The proposal aims to restrict the amount of GHG emissions allowed from new coal plants to 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity produced. As a reference point, [...]

Georgia Public Service Commission Approves Coal Retirements

On Tuesday (March 20, 2012), the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) issued a decision approving Georgia Power Company’s request to retire two uneconomic coal units, Harllee Branch Units 1 and 2. We commend both the PSC and Georgia Power on this small but important step. However, we cannot ignore the fact that additional coal retirements [...]

Attacks Against Clean Air Keep Coming

They say that bad things come in threes. Recently we’ve seen three very bad ideas to attack and undermine the Clean Air Act on three of the worst categories of air pollution coming from coal-fired power plants and other fossil fuel industries. First the pollutants: (1) mercury pollution; (2) the traditional criteria pollutants sulfur dioxide [...]

Instead of Coal, Santa and EPA Bring Relief from Toxic Mercury

With less than a week to go before Christmas, you might think that this post is about an early present. In fact, it’s about a late present—two decades late—but it is a fantastic present anyway. Today, after more than two decades of delay, EPA has finally announced strong, life-saving emission limits for mercury from coal [...]

Enough Lies and Misinformation

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson is set to finalize a crucial new clean air rule to limit mercury pollution. Meanwhile opponents of clean energy are tripping over themselves to have the most outlandish (and erroneous) criticisms of the rule. For instance, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported the following on December 15th: Athens[, GA] Republican [...]