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. He has a bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. Reach Robert Zullo at [email protected].

Hydrogen tax rules draw fire from industry

By: - January 18, 2024

The October announcement that the U.S. Department of Energy had selected seven regional hub projects for billions in federal money to spur the production of clean hydrogen was met with considerable fanfare from the fledgling industry, seen as crucial to helping decarbonize the American economy. But when the Biden administration’s Treasury Department released proposed regulations last […]

Emissions from an oil refinery.

Reliability v. sustainability: Inside the debate over the EPA’s proposed carbon rules

By: - November 22, 2023

Electric reliability has been a hot topic lately — from congressional hearings to regulatory agencies and at the regional transmission organizations that run the electric grid in much of the country. The American electric grid is undergoing a major change, prodded by state and federal decarbonization policies, market forces pushing cheaper and cleaner forms of […]

‘So many ways hydrogen can go wrong’: Hub announcements viewed with caution

By: - October 16, 2023

The announcement Friday that seven projects had been selected to receive $7 billion in seed money to kickstart the production of clean hydrogen across the country was billed by President Joe Biden’s administration as a major step toward slashing carbon emissions, creating thousands of domestic jobs and positioning the U.S. as a clean energy leader. […]

Battery storage seen as ‘backbone’ of reliable electric grid but adoption uneven across US

By: - October 16, 2023

SEARCY, Ark. — In the decarbonized future envisioned by many states, utilities and the federal government, expect more power plants like Entergy Arkansas’ facility here, where thousands of gleaming panels and banks of batteries spread across 800 acres about 50 miles northeast of Little Rock. The Searcy Solar Energy Center, a 100-megawatt solar and storage […]

A fire large enough to be seen from space erupted at a crude oil refinery at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex on June 21, 2019, in Philadelphia. The refinery exceeded emission limits for benzene, a toxic pollutant, both before the explosion and for two years after it closed, but the EPA took no action against it, according to a report from the EPA’s inspector general office.

Report faults EPA for not enforcing limits on toxic benzene emissions at oil refineries

By: - September 25, 2023

The federal Environmental Protection Agency must do a better job ensuring that oil refineries that exceed emissions limits for benzene, a toxic, carcinogenic pollutant, cut those concentrations, the agency’s inspector general found. “Thirteen of the 118 refineries we reviewed had benzene concentrations above the action level in 20 or more weeks after the initial exceedance,” […]

Electricity lines

With summer coming fast, regulator issues electric reliability warning

By: - May 31, 2023

As much as two thirds of North America could face shortages of electricity this summer in the event of severe and protracted heat, according to the regulator in charge of setting and enforcing standards for the electric grid. “Increased, rapid deployment of wind, solar and batteries have made a positive impact,” said Mark Olson, manager […]

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week called for a review of the physical security of the utility’s power systems. The order comes after attacks on substations in North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon and Washington state.

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

By: - April 24, 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 […]

Farmland can be used for clean energy infrastructure.

Here’s where renewable power is increasing (and where it’s not)

By: - April 14, 2023

Despite supply-chain problems amid the lingering effects of the pandemic, 2022 saw major increases in solar and wind power in the United States, though that growth varied by state, according to a report by a nonprofit focused on climate change. Nationally, electricity generated from solar and wind grew 16% from 2021, with wind accounting for […]

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week called for a review of the physical security of the utility’s power systems. The order comes after attacks on substations in North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon and Washington state.

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 […]

Electricity lines

Affordable, reliable and sustainable: Report compares utility performance 

By: - January 27, 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.  The report by the Illinois-based Citizens […]

States are vying for money to start ‘hydrogen hubs.’ What are they?

By: - December 30, 2022

Across the country, states are inking agreements with neighbors or striking out on their own to pursue billions in federal funding to set up “hydrogen hubs,” clustered centers for production, storage and use of the gas that many see as a crucial piece of the puzzle for decarbonizing the U.S. economy. How broad a role […]

Report says many utilities are slow-walking clean energy goals

By: - December 28, 2022

A report released by the Sierra Club faults dozens of utilities that provide a major chunk of U.S. electric generation for failing to speed up their decarbonization efforts.  “For the sake of our communities and planet, we must do everything in our power to create a clean, renewable electric grid by 2030,” the Sierra’s Club’s […]