Think of all the things that the discovery of fire meant for the caveman:

  • No more early bedtimes just because the sun went down!
  • No more raw meat!
  • No more cold caves in the wintertime!

But seriously, from the discovery of fire to the invention of the light bulb, turning energy into power has produced great things for the human race. In the last century and a half in particular, we have been able to harness energy in new and innovative ways.

In conversation about fighting global poverty, energy rarely comes up as part of the problem or the solution. The fact is, however, that half the world’s population has no access to modern energy, and 1.5 billion people (22 percent of the global population) do not have any electricity. Lack of access to electricity deprives impoverished people of the ability to meet their basic human needs, such as access to fresh foods, lighting, and heating / cooling at home.

Without electricity, you wouldn’t be reading this blog. Your computer or your mobile device, the Internet, and a broadband connection all wouldn’t be possible without electricity.

Yet electricity so much a part of our lives that – like the air we breathe -- we don’t even notice it’s everywhere.  And, like oxygen, we may only realize how much we need it when we don’t have enough.

By Jay Holmquist | New federal regulations will have far-reaching impacts on the electric industry, and consumers, in the years ahead. There will be at least five major rules that will have a significant impact on the cost of generating electricity with our nation’s coal resources.

By Kent Singer | Colorado’s electric cooperatives work hard every day to keep your electricity bill as low as possible. This is a daunting task given the ever-increasing array of regulations that apply to the electric power industry. One challenge we face as a co-op is building transmission lines that are necessary to provide you, our member-owners, with electricity.

By Shawn Taylor | As Executive Director of the Wyoming Rural Electric Association, I pay a lot of attention to politics and to elected officials’ positions are on those various issues. It’s important to know what is happening in the state and country that could impact our industry specifically and our membership as a whole.

By Perry Stambaugh | The cost of electricity hinges on several things — availability, prices of power plant fuels and materials and the amount of power consumers demand. Now a slew of volatile federal rulemaking has hit power producers.

By Jay Holmquist | As I mentioned in my earlier post titled, “Federal Regulations Threaten Reliable Electricity” there are several recent studies which highlight the negative impact federal regulations will have on reliable affordable energy.

One study notes that if it was unlikely there would be a price on carbon or climate regulations in the future, perhaps a small number of the coal plants slated for retirement by 2020 would keep operating.

Here's a quick recap of interesting electricity news from the week:

The first two sentences of an article published last week in the Chicago Tribune say it all:

“Consumers could see their electricity bills jump an estimated 40 to 60 percent in the next few years. The reason: Pending environmental regulations will make coal-fired generating plants, which produce about half the nation's electricity, more expensive to operate.”