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Retooling Regulation: Breaking the Trail Forward

In our prior Retooling Regulation posts, we illuminated the need to integrate energy and environmental regulatory planning processes, spotlighted recommended steps to do so via a process we’ve dubbed “E-Merge,” and considered the legality of such an approach. In this fourth and last post, we look at experience to date with related retooling efforts. First,…

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Utilities Can Get a “LEG” Up with Beneficial Electrification—But Regulators Also Have to be Ready

In a series of blog posts over the last several weeks, RAP has spotlighted the opportunities associated with beneficial electrification—the practice of electrifying appliances and machines that are currently powered by fossil fuels. Embracing beneficial electrification provides a significant opportunity for utilities, making them more competitive by giving them a “LEG up”—where “L” stands for…

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Beneficial Electrification: A Growth Opportunity

In the first blog post in this series, we observed that rapid power sector transformation presents challenges but also opportunities for utilities. As older, inflexible resources are retired, cleaner, more distributed resources are being deployed by companies and customers who are consuming, saving, and producing energy in new ways. We also discussed a major opportunity…

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Beneficial Electrification: A Key to Better Grid Management

As highlighted in our earlier post, Beneficial Electrification: Opportunity Knocks for Utilities, the power sector is rapidly transforming. Today’s older, inflexible resources are being retired, the grid is becoming more flexible, resources are getting cleaner and more distributed, and customers are consuming, saving, and producing energy in new ways. Beneficial electrification—which refers to electrifying energy…

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Beneficial Electrification: Opportunity Knocks for Utilities

It is increasingly apparent that power sector transformation isn’t happening in the future; it’s occurring now. Already, resources are cleaner and more distributed, previously docile customers are actively seeking opportunities to save, consume, and even produce energy in new ways, and unregulated service providers are emerging to motivate customers and make it easy. One of the…

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Retooling Regulation: Is Integrating Energy and Environmental Regulation Legal?

Broad state authority under the Clean Air Act means regulatory reforms would likely be permitted This is the third of RAP’s four-part series on the merits of greater integration of energy and environmental planning and regulation. The first piece set out the general concept, a process we’ve dubbed “E-Merge.” The second laid out a sample…

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Retooling Regulation: a Closer Look at Integrating Energy and Environmental Policy

Part one of this series described why it is increasingly necessary to integrate energy and environmental planning and introduced one way to do so, the E-Merge approach. Improvements in public health science, detection technologies, and modeling over the last 25 years require parallel improvements in our decades-old regulatory approach for air quality. Likewise, the rapidly…

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Is It Time to Retool Regulation for Clean Air, Clean Energy?

Looking at the electric power industry today brings to mind the well-known April 1970 dispatch from Apollo 13: “Houston, we have a problem.” Actually, we have several. Prominent among them is the growing permeation of environmental issues into energy policy and energy issues into environmental policy. On the one hand, for example, the U.S. Environmental…

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Recognizing Early Action Under the Clean Power Plan

Data suggest that the electric power sector’s long march toward decarbonization was already well underway before the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) rulemaking, let alone the final rule’s compliance period, which doesn’t begin until 2022. If so, then the emissions reduction obligations imposed by the CPP might be characterized as consistent with the dramatic changes…

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Put the Horse Before the Cart: Align Clean Power Plan Compliance with State Energy Goals

Most states are still sorting through the details of EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) final rule. Given its significant, though generally positive, departure from the proposed rule, and EPA’s initial plan submittal deadline of September 6, 2016, states might justifiably feel squeezed between a plethora of new questions and fast-approaching deadlines. States that dive directly…