Federal Government uses UPLAN model to examine price volatility in ERCOT

LCG, October 11, 2022--The U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA, released its latest supplement to the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) in the Texas market, assessing various possible scenarios using LCG’s UPLAN NPM model, with a special focus on the effects on wholesale power prices and market conditions.

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Michigan Governor Supports Reopening Palisades Nuclear Facility

LCG, September 16, 2022--The Governor of Michigan last week sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in support of Holtec International’s application for a federal grant under the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) program to save the Palisades Nuclear Facility in Southwest Michigan. The federal grant could result in restarting the baseload, carbon-free, nuclear power plant.

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Industry News

Ambulance Chasers See Gold in California Power Pinch

LCG, Dec. 19, 2000--The California power crisis has caused visions of solid gold sugar plums to dance in the heads of the state's trial lawyers and the first of what could be an avalanche of class action lawsuits have been filed in a Southern California court, alleging a conspiracy exists among some energy companies to plunder the state's consumers.

O'Donnell & Shaeffer, a downtown Los Angeles law firm, said it has filed two lawsuits against Southern California Gas Co., San Diego Gas & Electric Co., Sempra Energy Inc. which owns SoCal Gas and SDG&E, El Paso Natural Gas Co., and other companies related to El Paso Natural Gas. The lawyers are looking for people who might agree with them that they have been conspired against.

No one can allege allegations better than class-action lawyers, so here's how they say it: "This action involves a massive conspiracy to eliminate competition in the newly deregulated energy industry that has resulted in endangering California's electrical system and threatening California's economy. It is perhaps the largest gouging of energy consumers in American history."

The grammar isn't too good, but you get the idea.

The lawyers claim to have evidence that "In September of 1996, top executives of Southern California Gas Co., San Diego Gas & Electric and El Paso Natural Gas Corp. met at the Embassy Suites Hotel, near Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. Fearing a new era of open competition and lower prices, these latter day captains of industry gathered secretly to hatch a conspiracy to dominate the unregulated aspects of the natural gas and electricity markets.
"At the meeting, these three companies, who together dominate the Southern California natural gas market, illegally agreed not to compete against each other in the Southern California and Baja California natural gas delivery markets. They also conspired to prevent other pipelines from being built that would have competed against them and lowered natural gas prices in these markets. The conspirators sought to eliminate competition, take advantage of electric deregulation, drive up the price of natural gas, and profit from the increased prices."

The lawyers are a little weak on economics, and seem to have convinced themselves that "Southern California's current 'energy crisis' is not simply the result of ever-increasing demand by a growing population for energy. Rather, it is the direct result of a conspiracy among the natural gas industry's most powerful Southern California players to preserve and maintain the market dominance that they enjoyed for many years as monopolies subject to regulation."

You be the judge.

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