In the first of a series of columns/podcasts featuring leaders of Northwest utilities and their responses to the coronavirus pandemic, I talked with Snohomish County PUD CEO/GM John Haarlow. He shared the utility's focus on health, safety and economic-mitigation measures, as well as insights on demand patterns and longer-term impacts of the pandemic on the electric industry and the PUD.

The COVID-19 pandemic casts a large shadow over the entire world, including our region. This column explores initial pandemic responses from the regional electric and natural gas industries, and outlines a preliminary and partial list of energy-related questions and challenges from this fast-moving crisis.

Useful, usable price-comparison data for electric utility service has long been hard to get. A proposal to expand and enhance a national database of electricity rates promises to change that, and if it does it will open up a lot of discussions between utilities and their residential and business customers.

SUMMARY: We are excited to welcome as a guest columnist Tom Karier, a former Washington member of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council for 20 years, and now an economics professor at Eastern Washington University. In his first column for Clearing Up, Karier explores the efficacy of spill along with the notion of federal court-ordered salmon-recovery measures, and finds limitations for both.

Exploring the past can help make sense of the present and chart the future, so we at Clearing Up asked eight regional officials in the energy world to briefly answer a question: What was the most impactful energy-related development in your state or in the Northwest in the decade from 2010 through 2019? Following are answers from four of them; the other four answers were published in our Feb. 21 issue (CU No. 1941 [10]). Thanks to all participants for sharing their thoughts.

On the premise that exploring the past can help make sense of the present and chart the future, we at Clearing Up asked numerous regional energy officials to briefly answer a question: What was the most impactful energy-related development in your state or in the Northwest in the decade from 2010 through 2019? Following are answers from four of them. The remainder will be published in our Feb. 28 issue. Thanks to all participants for sharing their thoughts.

Trying to prepare for the upcoming EIS on the Columbia River System Operations, this reporter took a deep dive into the science behind juvenile fish survival in the lower Snake and Columbia rivers, and came up for air with a little more knowledge and a lot more uncertainty.

Businesses line up behind a pair of proposed cap-and-trade bills in Washington and Oregon, NIPPC hires a new executive director just in time for RFP season in Oregon, and remembering that integrity matters.

Fourth Annual Northwest Wholesale Power Markets Conference: Transformation to Decarbonization, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, Seattle, WA. More Details to Come ...

Outages are signals of weaknesses in the electrical grid, whether they occur because of natural calamity or deliberate attack. The threat of massive and prolonged outages is growing. The consequences could be devastating.

Large-scale electrification and natural gas decarbonization were the featured topics at an Oct. 22, 2019 conference in Seattle co-hosted by NewsData and CJB Energy Economics. Last week's {https://www.newsdata.com/clearing_up/opinion_and_perspectives/electrification-gas-decarbonization-emerging-as-prime-energy-topics/article_1645d786-2e77-11ea-96a0-1b66b2f9f55d.html column} focused on two main takeaways from the event. This week's column explores four more.

Processes for large-scale electrification and natural gas decarbonization are already underway, but their paths forward are uncertain and present a host of considerations. That summary thought, presented here along with a half-dozen takeaway observations, comes from an Oct. 22, 2019, conference on those topics, co-hosted by NewsData and CJB Energy Economics. This is the first of a two-part series.

In the spirit of the season, we present our annual energy-themed carols for your holiday enjoyment. Our offices will be closed Dec. 23-27, reopening Dec. 30, and we will resume publishing on Friday, Jan. 3. From all of us at NewsData to all of you, best wishes for the holidays and for 2020!

Last week's column explored the recent surge in community choice aggregators (CCAs) in California, along with the appeal, nimbleness and diversity of this alternative to investor-owned utility electric service. This second part—as with the first, largely based on the Nov. 6-7 annual gatherin…

On the occasion of Thanksgiving Day, we at Clearing Up pause to give some energy-related thanks. We also offer our best wishes to all of you for the upcoming holiday season.

The Pacific Gas & Electric debacle is spotlighting a fundamental change in how investments in utility stocks are perceived and priced. They're no longer the safe haven of low volatility, low risk and stable if unremarkable returns, and investors in those stocks will expect to be compensated for that change.

Scientists don’t always agree about the complexities of salmon recovery. But no one is served when reporters get the facts wrong, or when they report opinion as fact.

The proposal from two Northwest tribes to remove three main-stem Columbia River dams launches a much more contentious, consequential and public confrontation in a long-running argument over this region's energy future. No one is getting out of this untouched.

"Electrification and Natural Gas Decarbonization: Opportunities and Challenges for the Northwest Utility Industry," an Oct. 22 conference in Seattle co-presented by CJB Energy Economics and NewsData, is designed to help attendees expand their understanding of those topics and become better informed and more prepared as they unfold. Please join us!

New technologies developed by Whooshh Technologies and Natel Energy hold many promises for both adult and juvenile fish passage at hydroelectric projects, while at the same time increasing the potential for more carbon-free generation. Are the wheels of change too slow to take advantage?

SUMMARY: "Electrification and Natural Gas Decarbonization: Opportunities and Challenges for the Northwest Utility Industry," co-presented by CJB Energy Economics and NewsData, is coming to Seattle Oct. 22. The event is intended provide timely, objective and useful information--from a diverse…

NewsData is excited to announce a new digital era for our company and its publications, featuring an engaging new website and delivery of online newsletters. This digital service is designed to benefit subscribers and enable us to build on our foundation as a trusted source of regional energy news/information.

In this second part of a two-part series, guest columnist Roger Gray, president/CEO of PNGC Power, offers suggestions to help the region address grid-reliability issues and transition to a 21st century power system. The first column focused on identifying and outlining his grid-reliability concerns.

"Electrification and Natural Gas Decarbonization: Opportunities and Challenges for the Northwest Utility Industry," co-presented by CJB Energy Economics and NewsData, is coming to Seattle Oct. 22. We invite you to attend and deepen your understanding of these topics, their implications and potential paths forward.

In this first of a two-part series, guest columnist Roger Gray, president and CEO of PNGC Power, writes that the Northwest faces a grid-reliability problem as the nature of resources shifts from largely controllable thermal plants and hydropower to variable renewables such as wind and solar. "Put simply, we need a 21st century set of grid and market tools to deliver a 21st century regional power portfolio reliably and cost-effectively," according to Gray.

We have important news to share about the future of our company; the news release below provides more details. And while much remains to be determined as to how this transition plays out, on behalf of Energy NewsData, I can say we look forward to joining Ruralite Services and the opportunity…

SUMMARY: California regulators passed on building a new gas line in Southern California, and that decision may lead to higher rates and less capacity. The situation flows from a California PUC decision in June 2018 to reject Southern California Gas Co. and sister company San Diego Gas & …

If land, sea, air and space are the four traditional theaters of warfare, then cyberspace is the fifth. As described by a new book with the title “The Fifth Domain,” and as detailed in intelligence reports, the U.S. electricity grid is a prime battlefield in that new theater of operations.

SUMMARY: El Paso Electric’s Mary Kipp is the designated successor to Kimberly Harris at Puget Sound Energy. She’ll be greeted at the Bellevue, Wash.-based utility with an abundance of issues and controversies—some universal in the industry, some specific to PSE—and no shortage of constituenc…

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For your convenience, NewsData has compiled a list of the acronyms we utilize throughout the Clearing Up Publication. Read more