Devin Hartman

Electricity competition excels in the Midwest

Beginning in the 1990s, 13 states and the District of Columbia restructured their electricity systems. This has facilitated competitive wholesale markets and enabled retail customers to choose their …

R Street initial comments on on-site fuel notice of proposed rulemaking

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BEFORE THE FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - Grid Reliability and Resilience Pricing - Docket No. RM18-1-000 INITIAL COMMENTS OF THE R STREET INSTITUTE Pursuant …

Why is Rick Perry’s Energy Department proposing an anti-conservative reform?

Let's be clear: The Energy Department's proposed rulemaking before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to subsidize power plants with on-site fuel is the antithesis of economic conservatism. The anti-competitive DOE …

Prescribing on-site fuel storage is an unreasonable approach to grid resiliency

The U.S. Energy Department’s proposed rulemaking to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is, at best, a myopic and inefficient approach to grid resiliency. The proposal prescribes one measure, among …

DOE proposal misframes grid resiliency  

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry directed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Friday to issue a rule to provide immediate cost recovery for power plants with extended on-site …

Clean Energy Choices

Ohio needs unimpeded energy markets

More and more, key players in the coal industry have had their hands outstretched in search of government support. At the federal level, they are asking for production …

Brief of Energy Economists as Amici Curiae in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellants

Amici curiae are leading economists and experts in the field of the markets for electric power. Amici also serve as professors and teachers of economics; write on economic …

Competitive energy markets, not coal favoritism, are best for Ohio

Ohio's unprofitable coal plants are not facing premature retirement - they're facing superior competition. Competitive forces are driving down power prices while maintaining a reliable supply of electricity, much to …

DOE grid study will shift and accelerate energy regulatory initiatives

The grid reliability study issued last week by the U.S. Energy Department is likely to shape the Trump administration's regulatory agenda in significant ways, offering some portent of things to …

Refreshing price formation policy in wholesale electricity markets

In less than two decades, the rise and proliferation of organized wholesale electricity markets has resulted in more efficient and reliable operations and investment in the bulk transmission …

DOE study provides insight, despite controversy

The U.S. Energy Department's much-discussed grid study, released this week amid a swirl of pre-publication controversy, offers a thoughtful and empirically based approach to examining current and future …

Ebbing the flow of hydropower red tape

The attached policy study was co-authored by Tom Russo, an associate fellow of the R Street Institute and president of Russo on Energy LLC. Whether the United States can retain …

Trump wisely rejects emergency order for coal

The Trump administration this week confirmed it has rejected a coal industry request seeking an emergency order for a two-year moratorium on coal-plant closures. This avoids what would …

Schumpeter keeps the lights on

The debate over America’s electric power mix has exposed that some partisans have a near-theological devotion to particular fuels. Opinions on retiring coal and nuclear plants and prospects …

Microsoft’s alternative power deal could be breakthrough for consumer choice

Washington state regulators approved a settlement last week between Microsoft Corp. and their monopoly utility, Puget Sound Energy Inc. (PSE), to enable Microsoft to buy its own wholesale …

The Market Advantage: A Q&A with Joe Bowring

The PJM Interconnection is a regional transmission organization that administers competitive wholesale electricity markets. Monitoring Analytics, PJM's independent market monitor, evaluates PJM's markets and monitors the behavior of …

R Street initial post-technical conference comments to FERC

The R Street Institute (RSI) hereby submits comments on the critical matter of state policies affecting ISO-NE, NYISO and PJM. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the “Commission” or …

Embracing baseload power retirements

A wave of coal and potential nuclear retirements has prompted extensive political controversy over the future of "baseload" power plants and the effects such retirements could have on …

In reshaping U.S. energy policy, Perry’s best model is his home state

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) held a high-stakes conference May 1 and 2 to address the contentious interplay of state policies and interstate wholesale-electricity markets. The week …

Why risk and reliability matter more than fuel diversity

Policymakers often presume that diversity in electricity supply is inherently beneficial, even a necessity. This presumption manifests in industry catchphrases, campaign slogans, government policy objectives and beyond. It …

Conservatives need an energy vision

For conservatives seeking a major victory, a great place to start would be to fix the mess of energy subsidies and regulations that have accumulated over the past …

Westinghouse bankruptcy epitomizes failures of electricity monopolies

Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC—the nuclear power company that traces its lineage to the original Westinghouse Electric Corp., founded in 1886—has been forced to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy, largely …

R Street comments to FERC on uplift costs

Pursuant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued Jan. 19, 2017, the R Street Institute respectfully submits these comments in response to the commission’s …

Beyond Preferences: Embracing a competitive energy vision

Testimony to the Subcommittee on Energy U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Good morning, Chairman Upton, Ranking Member Rush, and members of the subcommittee. Thank you for the opportunity …

Build infrastructure like a perennial football contender

The American Society of Civil Engineers' latest report card gave U.S. infrastructure a grade of D+. The report considers the rating “at risk” and one step above failing …

Comments on FERC’s notice of proposed rulemaking on the pricing of fast-start resources

Pursuant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (the “Commission” or “FERC”) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) issued on December 15, 2016,[1] the R Street Institute (“RSI”) respectfully submits …

New York’s nuclear subsidies contradict economic principles

When New York State's massive zero-emission credits (ZECs) program kicks off in April, it will begin a 12-year process of unloading $7 billion in subsidies on unprofitable nuclear …

Comments on FERC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on energy storage and distributed energy resources

Pursuant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (the “Commission” or “FERC”) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) issued on November 17, 2016, the R Street Institute (“RSI”) respectfully submits these …

Disciplined policy responses to nuclear retirements

A combination of market, policy and regulatory factors have converged to squeeze the finances of the U.S. nuclear generation fleet. Among a variety of organic and external factors, …

Comment on FERC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on primary frequency response

COMMENTS OF THE R STREET INSTITUTE Pursuant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (the “Commission” or “FERC”) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) issued on November 17, 2016,[1] the R …

FERC chair’s departure spells policy uncertainty and infrastructure delays

In his first week in office, President Donald Trump elevated Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur to serve as acting chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This action removed that …

Environmental benefits of electricity policy reform

The structure of the electric industry can help shape environmental outcomes. In the United States, we have significant experience with the regulated monopoly model, which dates back to …

More consumer choice in electricity should be on policymakers’ holiday wish lists

As we head into the holiday shopping season, consumers should consider adding one more item to their lists: an alternative electricity supplier. The process of switching energy providers long …

What Joe Maddon can teach Illinois lawmakers about competition

Illinois policymakers are considering a sprawling, damaging and wasteful energy bill that seeks to bail out two unprofitable Exelon Corp. nuclear plants. This massive 446-page piece of legislation—dubbed …

Ohio’s fight to preserve energy competition and choice

Ohio regulators recently approved a problematic, watered-down subsidy for investor-owned utility FirstEnergy Corp. amounts to corporate welfare to protect captive ratepayers of its monopoly utility segment from the …

Conservatives should seek to enable and fairly value solar power

Competitive markets are at the heart of American economic prosperity and stability. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been true of the monopoly-led, scandal-prone Arizona electricity industry. Conservatives should welcome new technologies …

Utility regulators must protect average electricity customers and competition

The following op-ed was co-authored by Dick Munson, director of Midwest clean energy for the Environmental Defense Fund. Ohio's utility regulators may have been appointed by a conservative governor, who …

Avoiding the renewables blame game – lessons from down under

News that wind energy may have played a role in an electrical blackout experienced last week in South Australia has reinvigorated the question of whether renewable-energy mandates decrease …

Wholesale electricity markets in the technological age

The U.S. power industry, a major underpinning of the national economy, has experienced significant regulatory and market transitions over its long history. The unique nature of electricity provision …

Types of organized electricity markets

Regional transmission organizations and independent system operators (RTO/ISOs) deliver reliable electricity through organized competitive markets. These markets reduce the costs to operate the grid and send long-term investment …

Traditionally regulated vs. competitive wholesale markets

In the 1990s and 2000s, U.S. states chose either to restructure their wholesale electricity markets fully or partially, or to retain regulation of vertically integrated monopoly utilities.[i] Generally, …

Economic characteristics of electricity

The physical fundamentals of energy inform the economic fundamentals of electricity. Power plants that generate electricity face both fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs do not vary with …

Physical characteristics of energy

Power vs. Energy: Power is the instantaneous flow of electricity, or current – that is, the rate of electricity production, transfer or demand. Under the International System of …

Federal Power Act and organized electricity markets

Organized electricity markets that allow competition have evolved considerably since their inception in the late 1990s. A host of policy, market and technological developments have altered their outcomes …

Generation Gap: The age of nuclear retirement

The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Energy Policy Director Catrina Rorke.  At a meeting of the National Association of Science Writers in New York in 1954, the …

Democrats’ climate agenda deserves a conservative response

As the Democratic Party looks to advance what has been characterized as the “most progressive platform in the party's history,” there's never been a more urgent time for …

Pathways to competition in demand response

Demand response (DR) holds great promise to improve the competitiveness, reliability and environmental performance of the electricity system. DR refers to a system under which end-use customers earn …

State subsidies and competitive wholesale electricity markets

On June 10, 2016, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman, sent a …

Let my Nevadans go

More than 3,000 years later, another desert exodus is upon us. Customers yearn to break free from NV Energy, the sole electricity provider in most of Nevada. Escaping …

Ohio’s attempt at power-plant bailouts should alarm conservatives

This piece was co-authored by Dick Munson, Midwest clean energy director for the Environmental Defense Fund. In a recent victory for consumers, federal regulators blocked bailout plans by two of …

When it comes to solar, average isn’t everything

This summer, the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative will reach its halfway point. Established in 2011 as a ten-year project, the program aims to make solar "fully …

SCOTUS protects electricity competition, strikes down Maryland subsidies

Tuesday’s unanimous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court invalidating Maryland's subsidy program to encourage building new power generation marks a welcome defense of the principles of competition in electricity …

Competition, ratepayers lose big in Ohio

In a unanimous vote, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) moved March 31 to accept modified plans from investor-owned utilities FirstEnergy Corp. and American Electric Power Ohio …

Rash Ratemaking: Lessons from Nevada’s NEM reforms

In a December 2015 order, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) made drastic changes in its policies governing net energy metering (NEM), the process under which consumers …

Oregon energy bill is long on symbolism, short on smart policy

Oregon's S.B. 1547, signed into law last Friday by Gov. Kate Brown, has all the hallmarks of top-down, government-directed industrial policy. But when it comes to weighing costs …

AEP and FirstEnergy proposals undercut competition and ratepayers

FirstEnergy Corp. and American Electric Power (AEP) are looking to undo Ohio's electricity market reforms in an effort to extract more revenue from Ohio ratepayers. The companies’ proposals, which …

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