This Week in Energy
Energy Headlines
Washington Examiner
New York Times
New Discussion
By Sabrina Cowden
CEO, Milepost Consulting
"In 2018, roughly 69% of energy produced in the United States was lost, most often in the form of waste heat, such as exhaust from cars and furnaces.... Solid efficiency standards should frame the discussion around what generation options can best meet the needs of society . Maximum efficiency will result in the need for less generation, which could pave an easier path for the implementation and management of renewables projects." Read more.
  1. What policies would be most impactful and cost-efficient with respect to new energy efficiency requirements?
  2. What sector has the greatest potential for improvements in energy efficiency?
  3. Is government at the federal and state levels doing enough to require greater energy efficiency?
Open for Comments
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) , chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, is welcoming comments to her discussion draft of the Strategic Energy for America (SEA) Act of 2019.

The bill "would leverage the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to let American companies better compete for international energy projects" ( Morning Consult ).
To submit comments to the SEA Act, send your comment in a plain text email or Microsoft Word document to Sen. Murkowski at with your full name, affiliation, & contact information . Comments must be submitted by Sept. 15.
Ongoing Discussion experts continued adding comments last week to Robert Dillon 's discussion, " The Need for Restructured Electricity Markets ."
Commenters responded to the question, " Should monopoly utilities be allowed to compete with retail companies in the generation and sale of electricity or be quarantined to the building and operating of the transmission and distribution infrastructure?"
"Here in Virginia, we have deregulated and regulated again but not decoupled. Efficiency and onsite generation reduce centrally generated load and so reduce utility profits. In Virginia, we have done little on efficient buildings and rooftop solar as well as other Distributed Energy Resources like demand response. The rules that create incentives for utilities to build more need to be replaced, and since the wires themselves remain a natural monopoly, the changes will require the regulators and legislators to create those required new rules ...."
- Jane Twitmyer , Principal, CACW|Watts
" Cost and reliability of electricity supply to consumers is an issue ill-served by an ideological bias that 'small, distributed, competitive' is always better than centrally planned and controlled. Over the course of 40-years experience in systems analysis and design, I’ve become very much a fan of distributed control — in situations where it makes sense . But I’ve also learned not to elevate it to dogma...."
- Roger Arnold , Systems Architect, Silverthorn Engineering
" Our overall goal should be to achieve, as quickly as possible, a low-carbon future that is reliable and is affordable for most people. Before even getting into discussions of the likelihood of implementing some form of carbon taxes, or the possible superiority of one electricity source over another, or centralized versus decentralized electricity or the benefits and limitations of competition, etc., we should ask ourselves how much electricity might we need to have a low carbon future and what combination of policies and actions have the greatest chance of getting us to this low carbon future before climate change overcomes everything. "
- Herschel Specter , President, Micro-Utilities, Inc.
".... There’s no longer a need for a big monopoly to generate electricity –there’s thousands of companies across the country that are building, installing, and operating renewable and lower-carbon power plants. The regulated electric utilities (monopolies) should focus on owning and operating the most secure and reliable transmission system possible, and leave the generation and sale of electricity to private-sector companies to encourage maximum competitiveness...."
- Robert Dillon , Executive Director, Energy Choice Coalition
Want to weigh in? Register for an account if you are work in the energy sector, and log in to comment in the discussion .
New Publications
Grid Strategies, LLC
August 28, 2019
Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy
August 15, 2019
Find these new publications and others in the OurEnergyLibrary.
Podcast Spotlight

In this podcast from Greentech Media, The Energy Gang discusses the complicat ed and frustrating world of carbon offsets--which are more popular than ever with the Amazon burning and extreme weather.

They also delve into new climate plans from Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang, as well as a bill from Ohio that bails out big utilities.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and U.S. Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA).

More than 40% of coal produced in the United States comes from 16 mines in the Powder River Basin (PRB), a mining region primarily located in northeast Wyoming and southeast Montana. Four companies collectively own more than half of those PRB mines, and those 10 mines produced 87% of the Basin’s coal in 2018.
Featured Events
This Week
New York City, NY
  • When: Wed, September 4, 6-8 p.m.
  • Where: Columbia University International Affairs Building, 420 W. 118 St., New York, NY 10027 or register to view a livestream of the event.

Washington, D.C.
  • When: Wed, September 4, 11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Where: Resources & Conservation Center, 1400 16th St. NW Washington, D.C. 20036

  • When: Thurs, September 5, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Where: United States Energy Association (USEA), 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW Suite 550, Washington, D.C. 20004
  • When: Thurs, September 12, 8:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
  • Where: Center for Strategic & International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

  • When: Sun-Wed, September 15-18
  • Where: Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs, CA 92262

To see more upcoming energy events across the country, visit the OEP Events Calendar .
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