Tue, 22 May 2012
As electric utility companies face new challenges -- outdated energy infrastructure, rising fossil fuel prices, incorporating renewable energy sources -- state utility regulators have a unique and important role to play in the future of energy generation in the U.S.
State utility commissions are responsible for overseeing the practices of investor-owned utility companies, which provide the majority of our country's energy services -- everything from setting energy rates to approving utility investments and enforcing renewable portfolio standards. The decisions regulators make over the next few years will determine the future of energy utilities for years to come.
To help understand our country's emerging energy crisis and sketch out a transition plan for the next generation of electric utilities, we spoke with Ron Binz, former chairman of the Colorado Public Utility Commission and principle of Public Policy Consulting. Binz authored a new Ceres report called "Practicing Risk-Aware Electricity Regulation: What Every State Regulator Needs to Know", which looks at the role of state regulators in shaping the future of our national energy system.
[Music DJ Click (ft. Estelle Goldfarb), "Hazara" from the album Delhi to Sevilla (2010, No Fridge); The Walkmen, "Victory" from the album Lisbon (2010, Fat Possum Records)]