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Insights

Reworking NEPA in the Age of Uncertainty

NEPA lacks a dispute resolution process

Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) over the years has produced a lot of paper, delays, and high costs to make sure that projects consider the environment and adequately mitigate project impacts on proposed energy projects, including renewable energy. Current attempts by the President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to revise the NEPA regulations and procedures will fail unless a cooling-off period coupled with dispute resolution with state agencies is established. Read more about Reworking NEPA in the Age of Uncertainty

Overlooked Environmental Improvements from US Liquefied Natural Gas Exports

Landed Global LNG Prices May 2018

We often overlook or take for granted the environmental improvements that will occur in developing countries that import LNG or countries that choose not to develop their shale gas resources. LNG imports to China, India and Mexico are largely driven by environmental concerns and government mandates. However, LNG prices are very high compared to pipeline gas. Now that Beijing has decided to impose tariffs on US LNG, China may turn to other suppliers or even develop its own shale gas resources. I discuss the pros and cons of these alternatives in:

Russo, T. (2018, September). Overlooked environmental improvements from US liquefied natural gas exports.Natural Gas & Electricity 35/2. Read the article Read more about Overlooked Environmental Improvements from US Liquefied Natural Gas Exports

Atlantic Coast states obstruct offshore wind despite saying it's wanted

Wind turbine heights

One would think that renewables like wind projects would have an easy time in getting permitted. Think again. It took America's first offshore wind farm seven years to begin construction. Is this good for America? I don't think so. Nor is it good for coastal states and their rate payers who are relying on offshore wind to save the day instead of nuclear and gas fired power plants. Read more about Atlantic Coast states obstruct offshore wind despite saying it's wanted

FERC’s 1999 Pipeline Policy Could Face Environmental Headwinds

Sailing in rough seas
While FERC and the gas pipeline industry believe that the policy will be tweaked, I see some serious NEPA challenges ahead. The issues seem similar to what FERC's hydropower program faced when the Commission was asked to analyze cumultive impacts in the mid 1980s. 
 

Taking Stock of NEPA at 48

Get a decision in 2 years instead of 10

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) turned 48 with the new year. I thought it would be a good idea to sit back and ponder whether NEPA has resulted in “environmentally responsible projects” or is just a long-winded compliance exercise, and an expensive one at that. The bigger question is whether we can ever get to a final decision in 2 years instead of 10 years as President Trump is advocating. Read more about Taking Stock of NEPA at 48

Will NAFTA Renegotiation Stop Greening of Mexico’s Power Sector?

Mexico decouples CO2 emissions with electricity generation

Today trade representatives from Canada, Mexico and the United States are meeting in Washington DC to begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Everyone is focused on jobs, competitiveness and modernizing the agreement. Few people are tuned into the environmenal side of things at this time, but they should be because of the environmental benefits. Read more about Will NAFTA Renegotiation Stop Greening of Mexico’s Power Sector?

Use of Natural Gas Indices

How Natural Gas was priced in 2016

Recently the FERC held a technical conference on Natural Gas Indices. Back in March 2017, I was asked by the the Natural Gas & Electricity Journal to write about natural gas indices. I hope the article below will provide a good overview of the issues and stimulate discussion.

"Russo, T. (2017, August). Using natural gas price indices. Natural Gas & Electricity 34/1, ©2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., a Wiley company."  Read more about Use of Natural Gas Indices

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Tom is a very thoughtful, conscientious professional in the energy industry, knowledgeable on a wide variety of matters relating to the regulation of energy systems, including oil, petroleum products, natural gas, electricity and hydroeletricity. He has shown great leadership in understanding and using technology to improve regulation, and had expanded that competency to address issues related to cyber security. He is particularly aware of the impact of regulation on businesses, the economy, and consumers.

Vice President, Regulatory Affairs at American Gas Association

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