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

Trump Wants To Sell Public Power Agencies To Wall Street

BPA transmission charges after a sale would rise by at least 24%, utility economist Robert
McCullough calculated for DCReport.
McCullough is a cheerful Oregon utility economist. He has a long track record of exposing utility
industry cost estimates as low-ball fantasies designed to trick regulators and customers. He was
formerly the chief economist for Portland General Electric, a for-pro

Another mirage?

Consultant Robert McCullough’s energy research firm gives the project a no more than 34% chance of reaching the operational stage.

How PG&E Ignored California Fire Risks in Favor of Profits

New York Times, Ivan Penn

The risk of wildfires in California has clearly gone up, but Robert McCullough, a longtime consultant to energy companies and state and federal officials investigating them, said there would have been far fewer destructive fires had PG&E followed San Diego’s lead years ago.

“Their culture of a lack of safety is unique, in my opinion,” he said.

New Articles

The end of big hydro

The Lawyer’s Daily, Robert McCullough

From the Tennessee to the Columbia rivers, hydroelectric dams have played a decisive role in making cheap electricity widely distributed throughout the North American economy. From declining fish populations to flooded land, some Canadians and Americans have had to pay a higher price to make hydro power possible.

That social trade-off is making less sense today as the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) from wind and solar generation has now dropped below the LCOE of hydro and most all thermal energy resources. The portion of a U.S. state’s power generation by hydro no longer predicts its electricity prices.

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