Dan Boyce

Dan Boyce comes to the Inside Energy team after five years of television and radio reporting in his home state of Montana. In his most recent role as Montana Public Radio’s Capitol Bureau Chief, Dan produced daily stories on state politics and government.

Ways to Connect

Clean Power Plan Rollback: Five Things To Know

Oct 10, 2017
Stephanie Joyce / Inside Energey

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday signed a proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan  — President Obama’s signature climate change legislation. Here are five things you should know:

What is the Clean Power Plan anyway?

The 2015 rule aimed at reducing carbon emissions nationwide by moving the country’s electric grid away from coal and towards cleaner sources of energy. It was this nation’s most ambitious proposal to fight climate change.  Here’s an easy video explainer of the whole plan:

Dan Boyce / Inside Energy

At 11 p.m. on a recent Friday night, the West Elk Mine outside Somerset opened its gates. Cars and trucks started rolling out, signaling the end of a coal mining shift in this rural pocket of Colorado.

Workers had been opening up a new section of the mine four or five miles underground, a tough job made tougher considering that the current economics of the coal industry means fewer workers at the mine.

Wikimedia Commons

Before heading out for its August recess, the U.S. Senate confirmed two Trump administration nominees for open seats on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

For the first time in nearly six months, the commission has enough members to vote on permitting major energy infrastructure projects.

Dan Boyce / Inside Energy

Solar energy has had a great decade. One estimate puts the industry’s growth at 1,600-percent over the last eight years. However, this past year has not been so good, especially for rooftop solar companies. The market for residential solar systems has taken a hit, resulting in the bankruptcies of companies such as  SunEdison, Sungevity, Suniva and at least one company not starting with “sun” — SolarWorld.

YouTube channel Cataclysmic

On the afternoon of April 17th, 10-year-old Gillian Chapman and her little sister Kailey were on their front porch. Gillian had on her roller blades; Kailey had her scooter. They had just gotten permission to go visit their friend Jaelynn, across the street and two doors down.

Then, Jaelynn’s house exploded.

“The house just split open,” Gillian said. “You could see the upstairs.”

Jaelynn Martinez was not in her home at the time, but her father Mark and uncle Joey Irwin were in the basement and were killed in the blast. Her mother, Erin Martinez was injured.

Super Grid! Spanning Continents In A Single Bound!

Apr 21, 2017
Jordan Wirfs-Brock / Inside Energy

Somewhere in the world, the sun and wind are always shining and blowing, and people are always using electricity. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get renewable power from the windy and sunny places to the power hungry places?

That was presumably the thinking behind a question posed by an Inside Energy audience member:

Would transmission losses be too high to sustain an international green power electrical grid?

Dan Boyce / Inside Energy

  For the poorest amongst us, paying every bill can be a struggle, including the power bill. Solar power hasn’t really been a go-to option for those at the bottom, but that’s starting to change. Colorado’s largest utility - Xcel energy -  recently announced an expansion of a program to provide solar energy to low income residents. Its part of a proposed settlement agreement with the state’s public utility commission.

Courtesy of Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest power provider, wants to make $500 million to install smart meters and make other upgrades to its electricity system to improve reliability and give customers more information about their energy use.The utility filed information about its Advanced Grid Intelligence and Security proposal this week with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

Stephanie Paige Ogburn / KUNC

There are a lot of ways to gauge momentum in politics. If you look at the money both sides of Colorado's hydraulic fracturing debate have raised so far, it seems to be a case of David versus Goliath.

The state's oil and gas industry is preparing for a potential battle at the ballot box against a much less well-funded foe. Supporters of four different ballot measures that seek to restrict drilling are gathering signatures and have raised just tens of thousands of dollars, compared to the more than $6 million that one opposition group has amassed for the fight.

Andrew Cullen / Inside Energy

As Lea Anne Shellberg knows, spring can be a difficult time. It's when the winter power bills start piling up. A broken back and a recurring skin cancer battle ended her career as an interior designer. When I first tried arranging an interview, she was in trouble.

"This is gonna be fun," she said, "we're literally going to be sitting in the dark."

Despite Shellberg and her daughter taking extra care to keep lights off and appliances unplugged, the charges for the last two months at her modular home were unexpectedly high, $470. With a fixed and razor-thin budget, she couldn't pay the bill.

When it comes to covering utility costs, the poor are paying more than they can afford and energy assistance programs are struggling to keep pace.

Pages