Providing support in energy litigation, negotiation, and research to governments, industries, utilities, and aboriginal peoples from California to Quebec.

 

Providing support in energy litigation, negotiation, and research to governments, industries, utilities, and aboriginal peoples from California to Quebec.

New Media

Portland businesses on track to dodge millions in city taxes owed

The Oregonian, Gordon R. Friedman

Thousands of Portland businesses have not paid their city taxes and the problem has reached a crescendo this year, leaving millions of dollars of revenue uncollected as city bureaus prepare for budget cuts.

One City Hall observer, energy consultant Robert McCullough, has been pushing Mayor Ted Wheeler to take note of the past due business tax accounts, and to adjust city tax collection policies accordingly.

Wind Buffets Energy Landscape

The Progressive Farmer, Washington Insider

Robert McCullough, the Portland energy economist and principal at McCullough Research, said that the rapid change had caught many in the industry by surprise and that it could lead to a shorter future for natural gas.

New Articles

PGE study: low-carbon grid is doable, affordable

The Oregonian, Ted Sickinger

“The utilities should love this” future, said Robert McCullough, a Portland energy consultant, noting that utilities don’t earn a rate of return on their fuel costs, only the capital they invest in hardware. “This is a lot of new hardware.”

Taking the path less followed

Vancouver Sun, Robert McCullough

A month ago, I had the honour of sitting down with the NDP cabinet and Premier John Horgan. I gave a detailed presentation why proceeding with Site C would be costly and risky. Curiously, after the cabinet meeting the only followup involved questions from specific MLAs — not inquiries from the cabinet or their staff.

Opinion: Site C proponents fall prey to Sunk Costs Fallacy

Vancouver Sun, Robert McCullough

This fallacy, which is related to status-quo bias, can also be viewed as bias resulting from an ongoing commitment. For example, individuals sometimes order too much food and then over-eat ‘just to get their money’s worth.’ Similarly, a person may have a $20 ticket to a concert and then drive for hours through a blizzard, just because s/he feels that s/he has to attend due to having made the initial investment. If the costs outweigh the benefits, the extra costs incurred (inconvenience, time or even money) are held in a different mental account than the one associated with the ticket transaction.

New Reports

ASC 980 and the Decision to Complete Site C

At the invitation of the Canada Institute, I gave a speech on the decision-making process behind continuing construction of the Site C Dam. This memo is based on my presentation on April 11, 2018.

Are Bitcoin Miners Suitable Electric Loads?

Recent press reports indicate that a substantial electric market may be emerging for these tariff sensitive, highly mobile loads. Given North America’s falling energy prices, some utilities may find these attractive customers. There may also be significant downsides as well.