Providing support in energy litigation, negotiation, and research to governments, industries, utilities, and First Nations 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, after losing $11 million generating hydropower, forges new dam deal that could lose millions more

McCullough, who reviewed the project’s financial tables as well as publicly available purchasing data by PGE, said that even with scheduled rate hikes and inflationary adjustments, the forecasts would remain out of reach unless the rains repeatedly soak through the record books.
“Suffice it to say, this makes damn little sense,” he said. “For these numbers to work, they’d need to have one hell of a water year — year after year.”

How a Florida Power Project Flew Under the Regulatory Radar

“We have 120 years of crazy regulatory practice in electricity and natural gas,” Mr. McCullough said. “There will be a day when someone will ask why they have just an extension cord there instead of the appropriate transmission line, because none of this makes good economics or engineering sense.”

California is beginning to bury its power lines to prevent wildfire

Compared to elsewhere, PG&E has been slow to embrace the solution, said Robert McCullough, a veteran energy consultant in Portland, Oregon, and adjunct professor of economics at Portland State University.

“California is the nation’s most regulated state, with a certain amount of inertia. It’s rigid and slow to respond,” he said. “But Pacific Gas & Electric is the posterchild child of rigidity… It should have been fixing everything all the time.”

New Articles

Whither Hydro-Québec?

High above René Lévesque Boulevard in Montreal looms the redoubt of Hydro-Québec — long one of the most secretive utilities in North America. While resource plans at other utilities in Canada and the U.S. can run to thousands of pages — including detailed studies of markets, technologies, loads and transmission — Hydro-Québec’s periodic Strategic Plans have slowly but surely shrunk to a minimalist report announcing their existence, their profound popularity and their contribution to the Quebec economy.

In March, the tiniest glimmer of information was released from la
forteresse d’Hydro-Québec.

Increasing U.S. Oil Production During Ukraine Invasion

Successful oil sanctions against Russia will cause less harm to the world economy if U.S. oil production ramps up. Unfortunately, the U.S. response to high oil prices has been slow and cautious. To meet needs in Europe, the U.S. may need to consider financing support for independent wildcatters in mid-continental oil fields to accelerate U.S. oil production.

One Tomb Raider Good: Two Tomb Raiders Better

The poorly drafted New York contract will probably face many of the same problems that the similarly drafted contract with Massachusetts has had in New Hampshire and Maine. The lack of transparency creates suspicions, the lack of co-operation creates enemies, and the lack of environmental substance creates opponents. All three problems are relatively easy to solve — however, I think we will find that if one tomb raider is good, two are better is the wrong model.

New Reports

Ensuring Transparency in Petroleum Markets

The economic impacts of the Russian Federation’s war on Ukraine have surprised many. The rapid increase in oil prices reflect a legitimate concern that the world’s largest oil ex-porter – Russia – may restrict exports or be subject to international boycotts or embargoes. However, in many cases, public perceptions of the United States and its energy balance have lagged behind market developments. This has led to unfounded fears of a 1970s style energy crisis.

The most effective policy to curb Russian aggression in Ukraine is to displace Putin’s oil exports with enhanced U.S. production while protecting U.S. consumers from unnecessary price increases at the pump.

I have conclusions and recommendations in three areas: transparency, drilling, and windfall taxes

Russian Federation Actions and Intentions at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Project (ZNPP)

On Friday, March 4, 2022, Russian Federation troops reportedly shelled the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, Zaporizhzhia NPP in Ukraine. A reactor was hit, as well as spent fuel storage casks, and a fire was ignited at the training center near the reactors. Soon after, Russian troops seized control of the grounds. As this is typed, troops are currently occupying the plant and, in some confusing fashion, supervising the plant’s opera-tors. Recently, there were reports that communications with the plant — including radio-activity monitoring — had been lost.

Accelerating the Rate of New U.S. Oil Production

Successful oil sanctions against Russia will cause less harm to the world economy if U.S. oil production ramps up. Unfortunately, the U.S. response to high oil prices has been slow and cautious. To meet needs in Europe, the U.S. may need to consider financing support for independent wildcatters in mid-continental oil fields to accelerate U.S. oil production.