Yup, it’s Monday,
From time to time, a report comes out regarding the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that shows Delaware is benefiting from the program that essentially taxes power plants.
The latest report from the Analysis Group was highlighted last week by Delaware Public Media.
According to the report, Delaware spent $61 million in RGGI proceeds from 2015 to 2017, with more than half going to efforts to lower energy consumption.
The report indicates that savings from conservation efforts and alternative energy initiatives, financedthrough RGGI revenues, helpedlower consumption on the PJM gridduring peak periods.
At those times, usually during hot spells in the summer, utilities and customers pay high prices for peak power.
Not everyone buys the analysis.
The Caesar Rodney Institute released a reportin 2016 indicating that RGGI costs are passed on to utility customers in the form of higher rates, canceling out other benefits.
David Stevenson – who heads the Center for Energy Competitiveness for the Caesar Rodney Institute – co-authored the 2016 reportwith economist and occasional Delaware Business Now contributor John Stapleford.
Stevenson went on to serve on the EPA transition team for the Trump administration.
Stevenson’s views have their supporters in some segments of the Delaware business community. That includes some in Sussex County, who don’t buy climate change arguments.
Meanwhile, RGGI seems to be alive and well. Neighboring New Jersey is poised join the initiative after former Gov. Chris Christie bought the arguments of foes and pulled out.
Democratic governors in RGGI states – joined by moderate Republicans Larry Hogan in Maryland and Charlie Baker in Massachusetts – continued their involvement after the election of Trump and the confirmation of EPA Administrator and climate change skeptic Scott Pruitt.
Interestingly enough, Pruitt’sEnvironmental Protection Agency honored Delaware’s EnergyStar program that uses proceeds from the initiative for energy conservation work.
The award comes as market pressures are leading to plans by operators to close nuclear and coal-fired power plants.
Some within the Trump administration are forecasting a power catastrophe during a severe weather event if the closings continue.
Grid operator PJM, while seeing no problems in the short term, has asked federal regulators of the grid to step in and come up with options.
Meanwhile,New Castle County continues to earn low marks on is air quality, with Ds and F’s from the American Lung Association.
The prevailing view is that without RGGI, things would be much worse.
Here’s to a clear day with low ozone levels. This newsletter returns tomorrow. – Doug Rainey, Publisher.