Nov 3 • 52M

Episode 5: Energy Since Enron

 
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Llewellyn Jones
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Investigative Economics
The States Where Electricity Prices Keep Climbing
Starting in 2005, electricity prices for utilities went from around $60 per megawatt-hour to $91 by 2011—a 52 percent increase. The change was unique as prices had barely budged since the early nineties. At the time, the spike in costs was attributed by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to growing costs for liquid natural gas (LNG), which wa…
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Investigative Economics
For Utilities, Natural Gas Responsible for Massive Price Spikes
Natural gas prices are at historic lows in the last few years as a glut of production has flooded the market. Prices at the Henry Hub are now regularly equal to coal in terms of dollars per megawatt-hour. As a result, natural gas has surpassed coal as the most common source of fuel in the South and Northeast…
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Investigative Economics
Natural Gas Reliance Driving Resiliency Concerns
Fuel-related electricity blackouts have risen in recent years, and reports from energy industry analysts and regulators highlight the growing reliance on natural gas as a culprit because of the potential for distribution disruptions. Power outages from fuel scarcity or supply disruptions are a relative rarity compared to weather disruptions of electricit…
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Investigative Economics
Electric Utilities Reap the Benefits of Natural Gas Prices
Utility fuel costs for producing electricity have collapsed in recent years as natural gas floods the market for electricity generation. The beneficiary of this collapse has largely been electric utilities whose revenue continues to climb over the same period of gas price decline based on U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. Total revenue …
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Investigative Economics
Attempt to Close Enron Loophole Didn't Stop Oil's Price Rise, But It Did Kill LNG Prices
In 2008, then-President Obama pushed to close the Enron Loophole—the exemption in commodities trading law of certain types of energy futures from oversight by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)—that he claimed was enabling oil speculation and driving up gasoline prices. Obama lamented how the unregulated market of the Over-the-Counter (OTC…
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Investigative Economics
Energy Study Highlights Potential for Nuclear
An Energy Department study of baseload energy could be an opportunity for federal subsidization of the nuclear power industry, according to Tyson Slocum, Public Citizen’s energy program director. But the nuclear industry’s response to the memo has been relatively mute as the Nuclear Energy Institute is biting its tongue until the actual study is complete…
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Investigative Economics
Average Cost of Electricity for PG&E Now Higher Than During California Energy Crisis
The average cost of purchased electricity for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is now more than what it was during the California electricity crisis of 2000-2001. According to annual reports, the average cost of purchased electricity for the utility was ¢16.8 per million kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2018. In 2000, it was ¢15.2. In the 18 years between then, the …
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