Widening Energy Regulators’ Circles of Interest: State Examples of Energy Regulations and Processes That Consider Environmental Impacts
When energy regulators plan, approve utility investments, and make other regulatory decisions without incorporating environmental considerations, ultimately more costly supply options or solutions can be chosen, opportunities for less costly options can be passed by, and money, time, and resources lost. Once made, many such decisions are hard to redirect later and commit states, utilities, and ratepayers to specific outcomes for decades. To be effective, energy regulators now must find ways to regularly incorporate environmental issues into their processes, and to do so with the help of their counterparts in environmental agencies. When they do so, the result is better energy policy. Some states have started to proactively do this in various ways, providing a good learning opportunity for states which have not yet begun the process. This report describes the efforts of selected states that have taken steps in this direction.