Back before the recession, there was a major push in Washington State to adopt a state carbon cap-and-trade program as part of Washington’s membership in the Western Climate Initiative (WCI).  The argument was heated, and like most things these days tended to split on party lines with a gulf between the two.  Democrats generally argued

As I tried to describe in part one of this article, Washington has some structural challenges that impair its ability to develop distributed energy as a significant alternative to fossil fuel-powered electrical power generation. The regulatory system that has been built up over the last 100 years has powerful constituencies that it must protect.

In a two-part post, I’ll look first on what makes encouraging distributed energy such a conundrum, and then at the steps the WUTC is proposing to take. For part two, please click here.

The Early 20th Century Bargain With Investor-Owned Utilities

Electrical companies are natural monopolies within their service areas. It would make no

The Western Climate Initiative (WCI) is a collaboration of seven Western states (Arizona, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington) and four Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec), dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

Two years ago there was a major push in each