I was quoted in this E&E News story about Michigan's climate legislation. "'The durability of the policy is going to depend on the details,' said Basseches. As utilities make investment decisions to meet deadlines in the law, he said, the state Legislature will be less likely to unwind clean energy requirements."
I was quoted in this Axios story about Governor-elect Landry's plans to form a transition committee focused on New Orleans specifically. "Is this a genuine effort to involve New Orleans stakeholders in improving policy outcomes, which would be accompanied by significant resources and investment from the state budget? Or is this ... to hold them up as a rhetorical example?" I said.
I was quoted in this E&E News story about the implications of the Louisiana gubernatorial election for the clean energy transition. "Interest for the offshore wind [lease] sale may have been suppressed because of the lack of state level policies to incentivize or support it," I said.
I was quoted in this Vox story about how the U.S. power grid fared during the record-breaking heat of the past summer. "The idea that we need more coal and gas to supplement renewables I think is being shown to be a myth that is being propagated by certain fossil fuel interests and their political allies. I think it's starting to change, but it has a long way to go," I said.
Route Fifty published a story about my study published in Politics and Society, which found that investor-owned utilities' climate and renewable energy policy preferences varied by state, depending on the structure of the electricity sector, but that in all cases these companies were uniquely influential in achieving their preferences in law and regulation.
The Portland Press Herald published my Op-Ed arguing that the ballot question Maine voters face in November about whether to replace investor-owned utilities with a consumer-owned utility is more about utility monopolies, and grid ownership, than it is about climate change. "Ultimately, the vote on Question 3 is about whether you think government or private monopolies should hold the keys to the clean electricity future," I write.
I was quoted in this E&E News story about a recent Duke Energy earnings call. Specifically, I offered thoughts on Duke selling off its unregulated businesses to focus on its regulated ones. "Duke will be even more motivated than before to obtain favorable decisions from its regulators. The vigilance of ratepayer advocates ... will be even more important than before," I wrote in an email.
I was quoted in this CNET story about the pros and cons of so-called "energy deregulation" in the U.S. states. "What's often referred to as deregulation is the difference between what's known as vertically integrated utility monopoly enterprise -- where the utility company generates, transmits and distributes electricity -- and a deregulated or restructured environment, where various aspects of that supply chain are opened up to competition and only parts of the cost are regulated by the [public utility] commissions," I explained.
I was quoted in this Washington State Standard story about how the state will manage the influx of resources from the federal Inflation Reduction Act and the state's cap-and-trade program. "Do states, and does Washington, have the resources it needs — and it really comes down to the state budget and the size of the agencies, how many staff are in these agencies? Does it have the capacity to do both?” I said.
I was interviewed for this Colorado Public Radio story about Xcel Energy's high electricity rates and their relation to the utility business model and climate and renewable energy.
I was quoted in this Boston Globe story about how a report found that the largest renewable energy generation often occurs in Republican-led states. "Basseches said some Republican states have a forgotten history of pro-renewable policies ... 'In the late '90s and early 2000s, Texas had one of the most aggressive renewable portfolio standards in the country,' he said."
I was quoted in this Louisville Public Media story about the anti-ESG efforts of many Republican attorneys general, including Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Daniel Cameron. "Kentucky is a true outlier in terms of how far behind it is [on climate policy]," I said. "The state economy as a whole will lose out if there is foot-dragging by state policy makers."
I was interviewed by Possibly Podcast about how states can take advantage of the funds available from the Inflation Reduction Act.
I was interviewed by WWL-TV for a story about French President Macron's state visit and what was on the agenda for he and President Biden climate policy-wise. "The Inflation Reduction Act ... has certain provisions in it that have disappointed certain European allies, because they encourage domestic production. So Biden will want to hear specifically what Macron's concerns are," I said.
This story quoted my tweet: "Yesterday, ISO-NE, under pressure, opened up their meeting to the public and boy oh boy did the public show up! There's greater public interest than ever before in electricity policy," I tweeted.
I was interviewed for this Business Insider story on retail choice when it comes to gas and electricity provision. "It's almost analogous to the stock market," I explained. "It's putting a lot of these decisions into the hands of consumers, sort of betting on what's going to happen to these different prices of these different fuels."
I was interviewed for this Climate XChange "policy primer." I told Climate XChange, "The way that we've done things historically is not conducive to the types of changes we're going to need if we're going to have a renewable energy transition and electrify everything."
I was quoted in this Louisiana Illuminator story about how the state's voters are ahead of their politicians when it comes to the renewable energy transition: "Surveys like this are helpful in that they're the first step to calling someone out and showing how they're misrepresenting public opinion," I said.
I was quoted in this Bloomberg Law piece: "The law amplifies the advantages of electrification by making 'home and building heating from gas a lot less economically competitive compared to electrification. But at the end of the day, the states are still going to have the say.'"
I was interviewed on Louisiana Considered, a program of Louisiana Public Radio, about the Inflation Reduction Act and what it means for Louisiana.
I joined this Climate Social Science Network panel to discuss the tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act and how they can be expected to affect utility planning and state regulation.
I am quoted in this New England Climate Dispatch story: "Investor-owned utilities have, in the past, fought off efforts at municipalization because it undermines their traditional business model, but never, to my knowledge, has there been such a concerted effort to establish a statewide consumer-owned utility to literally replace them as is happening right now in the state of Maine."
I spoke with The Advocate's Sam Karlin about investor-owned utilities' resource planning process and how it is difficult to fundamentally change the state's resource mix even as fuel costs shift and gas is no longer the least-cost resource it once was. "It's certainly not impossible for the Southeast to become less reliant on gas," I told the paper. "But it's not going to happen overnight."
I commented about the oil-friendly provisions in the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act and how to balance them against the bill's pro-climate provisions. I told the Business Insider, "The provisions incentivizing green energy far outweigh the fossil fuel-friendly provisions."
In this Op-Ed published in The Advocate, I argue that, while the U.S. Senate's passage of a climate bill is historic, the states continue to be where the key regulatory action is when it comes to climate and renewable energy policy. I also note that even "red states" are doing more (quietly) than it may seem.
I am quoted in this story published in New England Climate Dispatch: "Investor-owned utilities (like Eversource and National Grid) are the single most influential type of business actor when it comes to state-level climate and energy policymaking,” stated Basseches. “Campaign contributions are one important tool in their toolkit (but far from the only one).”
I am quoted in this story published in E&E News. "Given the political leanings of [the Southeast region], I highly suspect that the utilities are going to win the day," I told E&E News.
I am quoted in this story published in Renewable Energy World. "Solar is no longer the experiment it once was in the not-too-distant past," I told Renewable Energy World. I explained that while Biden has been a friend to the renewable energy industry, he is not above being criticized.
I joined Monica Gattinger (University of Ottawa), Marcela Lopez-Vallejo (Universidad de Guadalajara) and Leigh Raymond (Purdue University) for a discussion of North American electricity policy and energy security. In my remarks, I discussed obstacles to expanding cross-border transmission to bring clean electricity from Canada into the United States.
I am quoted in this State and Hill Magazine story on public trust in government. Specifically, I was asked to comment on the Texas electricity crisis of the past winter. "Texas has an extremely deregulated electricity grid," I told the magazine. "Decision-making is driven by industry, which led to poor weatherization and poor preparedness."
In this op-ed published by Washington State Wire, I argue that, while the state legislature and governor are to be applauded for making Washington state only the second U.S. state to adopt an economy-wide cap-and-trade program, many of the toughest and most consequential decisions still lie ahead, in the regulatory process.
In this op-ed published by Grist, I argue that investor-owned utilities are extremely powerful political actors when it comes to shaping U.S. climate policy, and that federal policymakers should either accommodate their policy preferences or begin taking major steps to rein in their power.
2020-12-09 Whither American Climate Policy? Lessons from the Trump Presidency and State Policy Engagement
With Barry Rabe
Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan
On December 9, 2020, I joined Professor Barry Rabe for a discussion of the state of U.S. climate and energy policy as we transition from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration. The conversation centered on Barry's new book, Trump, the Administrative Presidency, and Federalism (Brookings 2020) as well as my dissertation research on economy-wide GHG policies and RPS policies in the American states.
2020-07-18 100% Renewable Is What's Needed for Massachusetts
Environment Massachusetts Blog
Environment Massachusetts, an affiliate of Environment America, a national environmental advocacy organization, referenced my research on the shortcomings of the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act in order to make the case for the Massachusetts legislature to adopt a target for the state to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2045.