Addressing the Effects of Environmental Regulations: Market Factors, Integrated Analyses, and Administrative Processes
In this brief memo, RAP considers the role that utility market factors such as the price of natural gas, can play in the context of emerging environmental regulations and in regulatory compliance strategies. Utilities will consider both regulatory compliance and market fundamentals in their business decisions regarding existing power plants. The comments provided here seek to highlight the positive aspects of looking at resource choices in an integrated manner. States that consider methodologies and approaches that help in understanding the full value of various available resources, thereby ensuring investment in the most suitable resource choice at least-cost to customers and society, could earn dividends on their advanced planning and avoid costly duplication of effort later. Finally, we provide brief descriptions and characterizations of various “process” approaches being employed by several states.