Recent News

Data shows benchmark gas prices ('Henry Hub' prices) in the past four years to be cheaper than coal from Appalachia for over 88% of the months. Even the cheapest coal, in Wyoming's Powder River Basin, competes poorly in generating power in the great population centers east of the Mississippi once rail transport of $0.03 per ton-mile is considered.
Credit: Courtesy of The Electricity Journal

Shale gas, not EPA rules, has pushed decline in coal-generated electricity, study confirms

CLEVELAND — “Power plants, which use 93 percent of the coal produced nationally, have been operating under the same EPA regulations signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. Proposed new rules since then have all been challenged in court and not implemented until June 2016, when the […]

Ohio’s choice: How much of our energy should be renewable?
Freeze on Clean Energy

Ohio’s choice: How much of our energy should be renewable?

CINCINNATI — “Ohio is behind almost every American state when it comes to the percentage of renewable energy it creates. The United States, as a whole, sits at nearly 14 percent. As for our neighboring states; Indiana generates 5 percent of its electric power from renewables, defined as conventional hydroelectric, wind, solar, geothermal or biomass (organic waste) power. Kentucky is nearing […]

Ohio PUC rejects FirstEnergy virtual power deals
FirstEnergy / Ohio Utility Bailouts

Ohio PUC rejects FirstEnergy virtual power deals

No one cheers for alternative: $600 million over 3 years COLUMBUS — “The PUC of Ohio rejected First Energy’s ‘virtual’ power purchase agreement (PPA) proposal yesterday, but approved staff’s proposal to pay the firm $600 million over three years to shore up its financial health. The amount is less than […]

The Davis-Besse nuclear power plant might not survive, says FirstEnergy, unless its gets special treatment from the PUCO.
Coal / Energy / FirstEnergy / Ohio Utility Bailouts

PUCO gives FirstEnergy up to $200 million in surcharges a year for three years, and chance to extend increases an additional 2 years

COLUMBUS — “In a unanimous decision today, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved a $204 million-a-year rate increase for FirstEnergy despite the objections of consumer groups, environmentalist and business customers. The initial increase will run for three years, with an option for the the company to ask for another […]

FirstEnergy's downtown Akron headquarters.
Energy / FirstEnergy / Ohio Utility Bailouts

FirstEnergy Corp. gets a bailout, but not the one it was hoping for

COLUMBUS — “Sometimes, “no” is better than ‘nothing,’ and that’s likely the case with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s Oct. 12 ruling on Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp.‘s request for subsidies of its old coal-fired plants in Ohio. The PUCO rejected FirstEnergy’s request for a ‘retail rate stability rider’ that would […]

More than half of new wind capacity in 2015 was contracted through power purchase agreements, according to AWEA. Photo: Portland General Electric / Creative Commons

Utilities squeezed as corporations seek renewable energy elsewhere

CARSON CITY, NV — “As large corporations increasingly demand 100 percent renewable energy, many utilities are left in a bind: Add to their already excess capacity, or they can risk losing new customers to lower-priced third-party agreements. …Many large power consumers have clearly demonstrated that, with or without their local utilities, […]

Lawmakers race to change Ohio’s renewable energy standards
Freeze on Clean Energy / Renewable Energy

Lawmakers race to change Ohio’s renewable energy standards

COLUMBUS — “Time is running out for Ohio Republicans who want to change the state’s renewable energy standards, and a battle with Gov. John Kasich over what those changes might look like remains. Ohio’s renewable energy standards, dating back to 2008, require utility companies to incorporate an increasing percentage of […]

Once the soot clears, the “War On Coal” probably won’t get the Ken Burns treatment. But, as the courts decide on the Clean Power Plan, here are some landmark moments to remember.
Clean Power Plan

Commentary: Coal—The War Years

ANDERSONVILLE, GA — “Last weekend in the southwestern Georgia town of Andersonville, a large crowd gathered to watch two mock battles, buy souvenirs, eat, drink, dance and soak in the nostalgia of the War Crimes Capital of America. For its short 14-month lifetime, Andersonville’s Camp Sumter was the epitome of […]

Clean Power Plan / Coal

Coal plants are shutting down, with or without Clean Power Plan

WASHINGTON, DC — “The coal industry’s decline has been a long time coming, thanks to an aging fleet of power plants. True, the Supreme Court’s pending decision on the legality of the administration’s carbon-cutting Clean Power Plan could dramatically speed coal’s demise. But it’s happening nonetheless. In 2015, 94 coal-fired […]

Illustration: Simon Abranowicz
Renewable Energy

Wind is the new corn for struggling farmers

NEW YORK CITY, NY — “Wind energy, the fastest-growing source of electricity in the U.S., is transforming low-income rural areas in ways not seen since the federal government gave land to homesteaders 150 years ago. As commodity prices threaten to reach decade lows and farmers struggle to meet debt payments, […]