POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for Oct. 7, 2015

Coal's calamitous 2015; EPA and the economy; FERC's upcoming vacancy

POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily round-up of news for your consideration:

  • Bloomberg has highlights of a BB&T report yesterday that suggests the good news for coal producers in 2016 is that it can’t get much worse than 2015 has been. In sum: “President Barack Obama’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which were implemented this year, spurred a rash of coal-fired power plant closures. Meanwhile, natural gas prices that have dropped 37 percent in the past year made that fuel more attractive than coal for electricity generation. In July, gas eclipsed coal as the primary fuel for power for the second time in U.S. records.”
  • Kathleen Hartnett White, former chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, says the EPA’s new standard for ozone “may be the straw that breaks the back of our struggling economy.” In the context of the 20 or more other EPA rules, she goes on to say, “Perhaps worse than increasing the costs of doing business, the rising stack of EPA rules cumulatively smothers the fundamental dynamics of profitable enterprise. The EPA’s regulatory regime makes businesses operate more like bureaucracies rather than efficient, creative and productive enterprises.” Here’s her opinion piece in full.
  • Phillip Moeller will retire from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the end of this month. The move is not a surprise, as he had indicated his intentions in May. The rumored pick to replace him, according to here, is that Patrick McCormick, a senior GOP aide on Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.


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