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New Hampshire Governor Vetos Expansion of Net Metering Program

LCG, June 21, 2018--The Governor of New Hampshire vetoed Senate Bill 446 and Senate Bill 365 that were expected to cost electric ratepayers approximately $100 million over the next three years.

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Connecticut Selects Over 250 MW of Clean Energy Request Proposals

LCG, June 15, 2018--As part of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's (DEEP) recent Clean Energy Request for Proposals, the State of Connecticut has selected over 250 MW of clean and renewable energy projects. The largest projects utilize offshore wind and fuel cells.

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Industry News

California Capsule:. Attorney General Blasphemes Enron Chief;. State Politicians are an Embarrassment

By Ric Teague
Editor
LCG, May 23, 2001Mr. Lay, on behalf of California's 34 million citizens, I would like to apologize for the juvenile and intemperate remarks by the state's attorney general.

"I would love to personally escort Lay to an 8-by-10 cell that he could share with a tattooed dude who says 'Hi, my name is Spike, honey'," California Attorney General Bill Lockyer was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying.

Enron Chairman Ken Lay has not been charged with anything and his company has not been one of Gov. Gray Davis' "biggest snakes on the planet earth" that have been accused of "gaming" the state's wholesale power market.

Lockyer is an embarrassment to all Californians.

The attorney general said yesterday he decided to "ratchet up" the vitriol to put the power companies on notice that "we are not afraid of them and have the will to prosecute."

Ratchet down is more like it mister attorney general right into the gutter.

To make the matter more galling, none of the half-dozen investigations being conducted for months by Lockyer's office, the California Public Utilities Commission, the state legislature and others, has produced either civil or criminal charges.

Lockyer has offered hundreds of millions of dollars in rewards for whistleblower tips, and nothing has been forthcoming.

Mark Palmer, Enron's vice president for corporate communications, said Lockyer's remark about Lay "is so counterproductive that it doesn't merit a response."

FERC May Impose Cap on Gas Pipeline Rights
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday asked for comments on a proposal to reinstate price caps on the sale of pipeline capacity rights. The notice of proposed rulemaking was seen as a response to complaints that gas marketers may have used their rights to pipeline capacity to drive up prices for the commodity.

FERC does not have jurisdiction to impose price caps directly on the natural gas itself but can set rules governing the rights to use pipeline capacity where interstate transmission of gas is concerned. A year ago, the agency lifted its price cap on the sale of short-term pipeline rights.

In the year since, natural gas prices nationwide have risen from between $2 and $3 per million British thermal units to as much as $7, but in California the price shot up to between $12 and $19. FERC said it was not clear that lifting the capacity price lid contributed to the gas price increase. The agency said only about 1 percent of the transactions between November and April exceeded the cap level.

Still, Californians welcomed the proposed price controls, which have the potential to lower electricity prices, because most of the state's power plants burn natural gas.

Davis Signs Bill to Speed Power Plant Approval
California Gov. Gray Davis yesterday signed into law a measure that will speed up the process for approving new power plants and for making improvements to existing plants.

"California is in a war with energy producers," Davis said speaking for himself, "and the best long-term weapon is to build more power plants."

The new law will expedite the approval process by the California Energy Commission for a new or remodeled power plant, would shorten the time allowed local governments to review the proposals, and would make commission decisions subject to review by the state Supreme Court without first going through lower courts.

The legislation, sponsored by Democrat state Sen. Byron Sher of Palo Alto, will "set a land speed record for siting plants," the governor said in a curious analogy.

The measure will reduce the time it takes to approve upgrading an existing plant from a full year to six months and would require the California Air Resources Board and local air districts to speed up their investigations and approvals.

Legislation Would Swap Blackouts for Low Prices
Legislation introduced in the California legislature yesterday by state Sen. Dede Alpert, a San Diego Democrat, would have the state accept long and large blackouts in exchange for low power prices. In a nutshell, the measure would tell power producers "this is what we'll pay and we'll do without in the meantime."

Alpert's measure would have Oregon and Washington join with California in forming a "cartel" to purchase power at an agreed-upon maximum price. The scheme could work, if no other state's could use the power.

Stanford economist Frank Wolak wasn't so sure about the idea. "I think generators can outlast consumers any day. I have to confess, after a week of rolling blackouts for me, I'd be willing to pay what they want."

But Peter Navarro, an economics professor at University of California's Irvine campus who originated the idea, said the plan can help control prices so long as the state is prepared to manage blackouts especially if the state lets it be known that it will use eminent domain to seize plants that refuse to sell power.

If you're planning to study economics, go to Stanford. Professor Navarro teaches political science at Irvine.

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