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Tag: transmission

Advocating for a Comprehensive Energy Bill

Advocating for a Comprehensive Energy Bill

Christine Coogle, Editor and Social Media Manager, NEMA This week, I joined the NEMA government relations team and representatives from several NEMA companies on a visit to Capitol Hill to meet with congressional staff involved in the House-Senate energy bill conference committee. Our object was to advocate for the swift development and passage of a comprehensive energy bill with a number of specific provisions important to our members. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate Read more [...]
Argonne Observations

Argonne Observations

Dear Mr. President, We at NEMA were delighted when you visited Argonne National Laboratory to raise the curtain on initiatives aimed at delivering a “clean and security energy future” to the nation. One part of the two-part strategy you unveiled was music to our ears:  making our current energy resources go farther across the economy. The other part was expanding domestic energy sources, mostly in renewables. You spoke of an “Energy Efficiency Race to the Top challenge” Read more [...]
Obama continues to push infrastructure bank

Obama continues to push infrastructure bank

A central policy recommendation touted by President Obama during his multistate bus tour this week is the creation of an infrastructure bank.   But does it make sense to be talking about a new government program while we are battling with the highest national debt ever?  In a word, yes.   Despite the unprecedented importance to our economy of bringing down our deficits and our debt, make no mistake that the federal government will continue to make decisions on Read more [...]
Feds leave court ruling on transmission unchallenged

Feds leave court ruling on transmission unchallenged

This week, the deadline passed for the federal government to appeal the February ruling by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which invalidated the establishment of National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors.  These NIETCs were conceived in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and designed by the Department of Energy to streamline the regulatory landscape in two of the most congested regions of the country—the Southwest and the Mid-Atlantic.  If progress in these areas can be stymied, what Read more [...]
The Newest Dirty Word: NIMBY

The Newest Dirty Word: NIMBY

George Carlin was made famous for his 7 Dirty Words.  But when it comes to meeting our electricity demands of the 21st century, we can add another word whose utterance should cause shock and outrage to the general public: NIMBY. NIMBY (“Not in My Backyard”) is the genesis for much of the opposition to various endeavors that would serve the public, such as improving the electrical grid. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has just released an updated report on the state of transmission Read more [...]
The president “has no clothes?”

The president “has no clothes?”

We all remember Hans Christian Andersen’s story about the emperor and his new clothes, right? He was swindled by two weavers into believing that his new suit is made of fabric that is invisible to those who are stupid. And so the emperor, wearing this new suit, goes out among his subjects, until one young boy cries out that he has no clothes. Well, isn’t that what is happening in the current debate about renewable energy? The president correctly advocates the production of renewable Read more [...]
Siting Transmission Corridors: A Real Life Game of Chutes and Ladders*

Siting Transmission Corridors: A Real Life Game of Chutes and Ladders*

Oh, for the simplicity of Chutes and Ladders! In the massive effort to attain energy independence by connecting vast renewable energy resources with energy-hungry population centers, power transmission lines are both the obstacles and the solution—the chutes and ladders—to success. Everyone wants to harness the energy from wind, sun, earth, and tides, but moving it can be tricky. Transmission corridors are the means by which energy moves from source to destination. They are integral Read more [...]
Trimming Trees Trims Power Troubles

Trimming Trees Trims Power Troubles

Utilities need to trim trees around overhead power lines to minimize power outages that may occur during powerful storms due to falling branches.  Many times a utility’s tree trimming program runs into opposition from a locality’s tree canopy preservation policy.  A town wants to preserve its tree canopy and residents will vociferously complain that a utility “butchered” the tree in of their home.  These same residents will also complain that their electrical Read more [...]
Connecting the Dots in Waxman-Markey

Connecting the Dots in Waxman-Markey

Waxman-Markey will require 20% renewables by 2020. To see how that changes the power generation industry, I plotted the EIA’s business-as-usual case versus the HR 2454 requirements. How do we get from here, the EIA base case, to there, the 290% increase in  Waxman-Markey? To connect wind energy alone, the Department of Energy estimates that we will need 12,000 – 19,000 miles of new high voltage lines at cost of $20 to $26 billion. Without grid access, remote renewable projects Read more [...]
House Committee Seeks Ways to Modernize, Expand Grid

House Committee Seeks Ways to Modernize, Expand Grid

The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on Friday to discuss the future of the transmission grid. As noted in this blog before, obtaining federal permits can sometimes be as time-consuming as coordinating between states. Rich Halvey from the Western Governors Association noted that the federal permitting process can take 5 to 10 years. Chairman Markey barely covered his incredulity, noting that sometimes it is not the states, but “The federal government [that] serves as an impediment.” Read more [...]