News - Future of Utility Regulation

Beyond the recent blackouts in Texas, new technologies and a changing climate require changes to old grid models, write four participants in the RTOGov project for a Niskanen Center blog post.

On March 5, Duke in DC hosted the event “Energy & Utilities,” part of its Beyond Talking Points series. The panelists—Greg Gershuny, Aspen Institute; Kate Konschnik, Nicholas Institute; and Brian Murray, Duke University Energy Initiative—listed their biggest areas of focus going into the Biden administration and new Congress and discussed the implications of the Texas blackouts in February.

The Biden administration will take over the executive branch on Jan. 20, but the new president won't have a Democratic majority on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission until June 30 after the Senate approved a bipartisan pair of Trump administration nominees this week. Kate Konschnik told Roll Call that FERC works relatively well across party lines without monumental shifts from one administration to the next.

A historic discussion on carbon pricing broke previous attendance records for a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission technical conference, but Utility Dive reported that the conference was missing key constituencies, including states, female voices, and voices of color.

Kate Konschnik was among 30 energy sector experts who spoke during a virtual Federal Energy Regulatory Commission conference on carbon pricing in regional wholesale power markets. Konschnik told the commission that the Federal Power Act "poses no fundamental obstacle to markets incorporating state carbon pricing," according to a story by Energywire.

Eight former FERC commissioners submitted a “friend of the court” brief to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to offer their energy expertise to the Court in a challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest power sector carbon rule. The brief was written and filed by Kate Konschnik.

A new policy brief from the Nicholas Institute says a large Southeast power market would be the best hope for creating greater competition, lowering prices and encouraging cleaner energy production as the Carolinas look for alternative regulatory structures for their power utilities, reports the Charlotte Business Journal.

Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and New York University's Institute for Policy Integrity co-hosted a conference on March 3 that focused on different approaches for carbon pricing in wholesale energy markets.

Jennifer Chen spoke to the Energy Evolution podcast about why a recent order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will likely worsen the oversupply of gas generation capacity in the PJM Interconnection.

Jennifer Chen spoke to Law360 about potential legal challenges to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order stating that state-subsidized power producers must hit a price floor to participate in electricity capacity auctions run by PJM Interconnection.