Market analysts suggest Dominion Resources' decision last week to withdraw from the retail electricity business may signal a trend where larger companies yield to financial pressures and exit competitive electricity markets, E&E reports.
Lawmakers in Congress say they will call on federal regulators and utilities to do more to protect their facilities in response to what former FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff is calling a terrorist strike on a substation last year in California, The Wall Street Journal reports.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Utility crews aren't getting much relief from the weather as they work to restore electricity to hundreds of thousands of people in Pennsylvania and Maryland, two days after an ice storm downed power lines and trees.
Forecasters said the cold weather gripping the mid-Atlantic on Friday should remain in place through the weekend, and snow was possible.
About 440,000 customers are without power in Pennsylvania, along with about 50,000 in Maryland.
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of Americans spent a second chilly day without electricity Thursday as utility crews from as far away as Canada and Arkansas scrambled to restore power lost when a heavy coating of ice took down trees and limbs in the mid-Atlantic.
State officials likened the scope of the damage to a hurricane. Some who might not get power back for several days sought warmth — or at least somewhere to recharge their batteries — in shopping malls, public libraries and hastily established shelters.
Nearly a half-million customers were without electricity Thursday, the vast majority of them in Pennsylvania.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Jon Wellinghoff said Wednesday an April attack on Silicon Valley's phone lines and power grid was terrorism — despite repeated FBI statements that it had found no indications to back that up.
Wellinghoff, who was in office during the incident, said he reached his conclusion after consulting with Defense Department experts about the attack that involved snipping AT&T fiber-optic lines to knock out phone and 911 service, and firing shots into a PG&E substation, causing outages.
"This is the most sophisticated and extensive attack that's ever occurred on the grid to my knowledge," Wellinghoff told The Associated Press. Similar statements were published on Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Dave Dixon and his wife are bunking with friends after losing power in a snow-and-ice storm that caused more than a million U.S. outages — the vast majority of them in a single state, Pennsylvania.
The storm has long since cleared out, but its effects are expected to linger for days as utility crews work feverishly to restore power to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania residents left in the dark and cold. One official likened the damage to what you'd expect to see from a hurricane.
"People are going to have to have some patience at this point," Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday, warning that an overnight refreeze could cause more problems on the roads Thursday.
Winter-weary residents of the Northeast contended with another dose of snow, sleet and freezing rain Wednesday. The second winter storm of the week canceled classes, closed government and business offices, and caused more than 1 million power outages across the region after wreaking similar havoc in the Midwest on Tuesday. Around a foot of snow fell in some states. Combined with freezing rain and sleet, the snow made driving treacherous. The storm was the second go-round for the Northeast since a good coating of snow fell Monday.
A regional grid operator has backed off its prediction that EPA emissions regulations could cut the Midwest's electricity reserve by more than half by 2016. Midcontinent Independent System Operator said Wednesday it still expects there to be a shortfall, but it will be closer to 14 percent.
At issue is how much electricity MISO will be able to keep as an emergency cushion in the Midwest once the Environmental Protection Agency regulations on mercury and toxics emissions go into effect in 2016, forcing retirement of older coal-fired power plants.
In its latest survey of generators, the projected reserve shortfall in its central and north regions has come down from about 8,500 megawatts, or 57.8 percent of the target reserve, to about 2,000 megawatts, or 13.6 percent.
Less than 8 percent of the crude contracted to flow through the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would come from the U.S, according to another document from TransCanada to the State Department, made public Tuesday, E&E reports.
The crude supply at the Cushing hub dropped 8 percent to 32.1 million barrels at the end of last month, the lowest since Nov. 2011, according to the Energy Information Administration, which says the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline is draining it, FuelFix reports.
Union leaders joined the American Petroleum Institute in publicly renewing their demand that the Obama administration approve construction of the northern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline, unleashing a blast of anger at the president in the process, The Hill reports.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has just one hurdle left to overcome before reaching agreement on the language of a cyber security bill, regarding liability protection, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said at a hearing Tuesday, The Hill reports.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., facing a tough re-election battle this year, stayed away from her party's round-the-clock climate speeches overnight, but got a blast of criticism from the National Republican Senatorial Committee anyway, National Journal reports.
Key bondholder Fidelity Investments may be dragging its heels, but other players involved in trying to get bankruptcy proceedings underway for Energy Future Holdings Corp. are in agreement, and hoping to move quickly on the plans, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.
Industry and even backers of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell are getting frustrated with the slow pace of the rollout of her department's new master leasing plans, intended to balance the interests of companies seeking to mine the mineral wealth of federal land against those of hunters, anglers and wildlife supporters, E&E reports.
Activist investors, already successful at pushing Chesapeake Energy and other companies to cut their debt, are likely to keep up the pressure, and lobby firms to fight climate change as well, according to Moody's Investors Service, FuelFix reports.
The power could run out on the Energizing Indiana program at the end of the year, as the state's Senate has voted to join the house in approving a measure to shut it down, although Gov. Mike Pence hasn't yet decided if he'll go along, the Indianapolis Star reports.