AUSenergy News Update 12/09/2014
Dec 9, 2014

In today’s AUSenergy News Update: BP continues to cut jobs as oil prices drop,  PJM reviews EPA ruling on reducing CO2 emissions, IL  Senate approves electric rate hike.

BP intensifies job cuts in response to oil price drop

Summary:  Major cuts continue to be made in BP staffing, as a result of the recent fall in oil prices coupled with BP’s $40 billion in divestments per the fallout from the Macondo oil spill in 2010.

AUS Comment:  When a major energy company like BP faces massive layoffs, the need to regroup and rethink their business model makes the need for change all-too-apparent. Now is the time for BP to forge ahead and work to develop new energy efficiencies and spur the growth of alternative renewable sources for fuel.

PJM Indicates EPA Greenhouse Gas Rule Cheaper under Region-Wide Program

Summary:  The 13 states and the District of Columbia within PJM’s service territory requested that PJM analyze the impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Greenhouse Gas (carbon or CO2) rule 111(d), requiring the gradual reduction in emissions allowed to be emitted from existing generators, with a target goal of reaching 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.  PJM’s analysis indicates that compliance will be much cheaper under a region-wide CO2 program instead of individual state-by-state programs.

AUS Comment:   Agreement across the PJM territory will be difficult to attain, knowing that some states will experience savings while others will see actual price increases. The problem here is having everyone agree that saving the environment is more significant than lowering energy cost; not an easy battle.

More automatic electric rate hikes?

Summary: The IL Senate overwhelmingly passed a two-year extension of the smart grid law, permitting ComEd and Ameren Ill to hike electricity delivery rates annually via a formula. Ameren has been the primary force behind extending the smart-grid law, saying it needs two more years of formula-rate authority to secure financing for grid improvements and smart meter installation. ComEd supports the measure as well.

AUS Comment: Unfortunately, these rate increases will only encourage the continuation of fossil-fuel burning plants instead of promoting the creation of more renewable energy sources.

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