The power sector enters a new period of policy uncertainty as the Trump Administration’s deregulatory agenda replaces former President Obama’s climate-centered priorities. Even so, two things have not changed. First, electricity demand continues to lag economic growth during a “low energy” recovery from the Great Recession. Second, new energy technologies threaten to disrupt the prevailing utility business model. During the Obama Administration, the nation excised some of its least efficient and highest emitting resources from the power portfolio, but suspension of the Clean Power Plan could slow down this supply rationalization. Republican policymakers tend to preferentially allocate environmental policy decisions to the state level, but that trend may run counter to market-driven outcomes for economically efficient electricity procurement. Will bottom-up state initiatives or top-down, federal, market-shaping actions exert greater impact on the electric sector?
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 on 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.
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