Economic and environmental pressures on coal generation are causing a slew of earlier than planned retirements. The facilities are retiring before their planned retirement dates and before the costs of constructing and upgrading the facilities have been fully recovered. Many states have passed securitization laws that will allow utilities to recover the costs of their investments while taking the polluting facilities offline. Ensuring recovery of costs is only one element of the process. Securitization must consider the interests of ratepayers, particularly low- and moderate-income ratepayers. Securitization also offers an opportunity to invest in the communities that have been harmed by decades of pollution. This research project will study recently passed securitization laws through an energy justice lens to assess whether the laws are protecting ratepayers and if the laws fully address the past damages and future harms of coal-fired generation.
This project is led by Visiting Assistant Professor and Senior Energy Researcher, Mark James