COVERAGE AREA and macrothesis

The power sector continues to adjust to a shifting landscape as the Trump Administration’s deregulatory agenda conspires with weak electricity demand to exacerbate power supply competition. The Obama Administration relied upon a series of environmental regulations – especially the Clean Power Plan (CPP) – to drive new technologies into the U.S. power generation fuels portfolio. We believe the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is likely to rewrite the CPP rather than rescinding it outright, potentially deflecting stricter rules from future, greener White House without Congress acting to modify underlying environmental statutes.

In January 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission set aside a Department of Energy request to write a rulemaking that would incrementally compensate economically challenged coal and nuclear units, handing the coal sector its first substantive policy defeat. Bottom-up state and corporate initiatives continue to favor lower-emitting resources, including distributed and utility-scale renewables and, in some cases, nuclear. Federal tax policy also remains generally constructive for utilities.

Our coverage examines the regulation of generation, transmission and distribution as well as the environmental policies governing air and water emissions and solid waste streams. Clients receive as-needed research notes, reports and flash blasts regarding all of these topics. In addition, our monthly Regulated Energy Playbook for utility investors outlines key themes, examines recent legislative, regulatory and judicial developments and presents forward-looking assessments of coming events.

Updated: January 8, 2018.