Author

Robert Zullo

Robert Zullo

Robert Zullo is a national energy reporter based in Southern Illinois, focusing on renewable power and the electric grid. Robert joined States Newsroom in 2018 as the founding editor of the Virginia Mercury. Before that, he spent 13 years as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Louisiana.

EPA again proposes power plant carbon rules

By: - May 11, 2023

The Obama administration’s 2015 Clean Power Plan — intended to cut carbon emissions from power plants — was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Trump administration’s much-criticized replacement, the Affordable Clean Energy rule, derided as a “tortured series of misreadings” of the U.S. Clean Air Act, was also tossed by a federal court. […]

In the Southeast, where big utilities rule, calls for a real power market persist

By: - May 8, 2023

A recent report prepared for the South Carolina state legislature determined that a range of electric market and transmission reforms — including creating a new independent organization to run the electric grid or joining an existing one — would bring  “substantial benefits” for customers, potentially as much as $362 million a year.  The report by […]

With decarbonization, advocates see a bright future for nuclear after decades of dormancy 

By: - April 24, 2023

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — At the sprawling array of laboratories and test facilities in the southeastern Idaho desert where the U.S. nuclear power industry was born more than 70 years ago, past, present and future are converging. Not far from where the first reactor to ever produce usable electricity made history in 1951, Idaho National […]

After shootings, regulator doesn’t recommend additional substation security standards 

By: - April 21, 2023

The organization in charge of setting and enforcing reliability standards for the U.S. electric grid isn’t recommending new physical security requirements for thousands of electric substations following a rash of shooting attacks that have knocked out power in parts of several states. Jim Robb, CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, told the Federal […]

EPA sued over failure to set, update pollution limits

By: - April 12, 2023

More than a dozen environmental groups are suing the federal Environmental Protection Agency over its failure to set water pollution limits for some industrial contaminants as well as its reluctance to update decades-old standards for others, arguing that the agency’s inaction amounts to a “free pass to pollute” for hundreds of chemical and fertilizer plants, […]

Inside the battle over who gets to build the grid of the future

By: - April 6, 2023

The U.S. Department of Energy issued a draft report in February that found a “pressing need” for new electric transmission infrastructure across the country to improve reliability, connect a rapidly growing number of solar, wind and battery storage projects, supply increasing electric demand and alleviate scattered pockets of consistently high prices across the country. To […]

The nation’s biggest electric capacity market needs fixing, critics say

By: - March 15, 2023

The nation’s largest grid operator is warning that it might not have enough electric generation in the future to guarantee reliability.  And it comes as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission convenes a forum on the multibillion-dollar capacity market PJM operates to ensure there’s enough power to meet demand even during grid emergencies, such as during […]

After a series of winter storms, regulators approve new standards for power plants

By: - February 22, 2023

Two years after Winter Storm Uri, which caused a massive power failure in Texas that caused more than 200 deaths, and just two months after another storm, Elliott, forced blackouts in parts of the South, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved new extreme cold reliability standards for power plants. However, the vote last week […]

Federal-state task force grapples with grid protection

By: - February 16, 2023

A federal task force wrestled with the costs and benefits of better shielding the nation’s tens of thousands of electric substations from a growing number of attacks, like a neo-Nazi plot the FBI says it foiled earlier this month in Maryland, another that knocked out power to thousands in North Carolina in December and more […]

Across the country, a big backlash to new renewables is mounting 

By: - February 15, 2023

BUCYRUS, Ohio — In four terms as a county elected official in northern Ohio, it was the most contentious issue Doug Weisenauer had ever seen. The state legislature had newly empowered county governments to drastically restrict wind and solar power development, a process formerly overseen by the Ohio Power Siting Board, and the meetings of […]

How did renewables fare during Winter Storm Elliott? Better than natural gas and coal.

By: - January 28, 2023

A day after Christmas, as parts of the country were still digging out from Winter Storm Elliott, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, undeterred by the absence of much concrete data, already knew where to cast the blame for rolling blackouts implemented in parts of the South to keep the grid from collapsing.  “While there […]

Kentucky ranks 35th overall in national comparison of electric utility performance

By: - January 23, 2023

A nationwide comparison of electric utility performance by an Illinois consumer advocacy group found that customers in states that are heavily reliant on fuel oil and natural gas, as in the Northeast and South, tend to pay more than those with larger amounts of carbon-free generation, among other findings.  Kentucky, largely reliant on coal for […]