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

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. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

After substation shooting, federal regulator orders review of security standards

By: - January 3, 2023

Less than two weeks after gunfire damaged two Duke Energy substations in Moore County, N.C., knocking out power to about 45,000 people, federal regulators ordered a review of security standards at electric transmission facilities and control centers. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ordered the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), which sets and enforces […]

Executives at the Shell Chemical petroleum refinery in Norco, Louisiana, agreed to install $10 million in pollution monitoring and control equipment in 2018 to settle allegations it was violating the Clean Air Act. The Biden Administration was expected to increase EPA enforcement but that hasn’t happened says a national environmental group. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Environmental enforcement has fallen off under Biden, report says

By: - January 2, 2023

Federal environmental enforcement, as measured by Environmental Protection Agency civil cases closed against polluters, hit a two-decade low in 2022, per a report released at the end of December by a national environmental group that blames budget cuts, staff shortages and the U.S. Senate’s failure to confirm key leaders. The Environmental Integrity Project said the […]

Detroit snowstorm

As another winter storm strains the electric grid, it’s time to fix transmission, experts say

By: - January 1, 2023

The deadly winter storm, christened Elliott by the Weather Channel, that tore through much of the United States over the Christmas weekend placed a huge strain on the American electric grid, pushing it past the breaking point in some places. Frigid temperatures, in some places setting records, drove a surge in electric demand while also […]

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 13: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories Director Dr. Kim Budil speaks during a news conference with fellow administrators and scientists at the Department of Energy headquarters to announce a breakthrough in fusion research on December 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. The officials announced that experiments at the National Ignition Facility at the LLNL achieved 'ignition,' where the fusion energy generated equals the laser energy that started the reaction for the first time ever, a major advancement that may produce bountiful clean energy in the future. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Scientists announce a fusion breakthrough with big implications for clean energy 

By: - December 13, 2022

Scientists at a U.S. national laboratory announced Tuesday that they achieved fusion ignition, a breakthrough decades in the making that could have major implications for clean energy. Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory near San Francisco said that on Dec. 5, for the first time anywhere in the world, they managed to produce more […]

The regulatory body that sets and enforces reliability standards in parts of the U.S. power system warns that if certain regions experience extreme weather this winter they may not have sufficient energy supplies. (Photo by iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Reliability watchdog warns of potential electric shortfalls this winter

By: - December 5, 2022

The nonprofit regulator charged with helping ensure the reliability of the North American electric grid is warning of potential electric supply shortfalls during severe weather this winter in several regions of the country. Earlier this month, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, which sets and enforces reliability standards for the bulk power system in the […]

Utility companies are spending billions building out transmission and distribution lines around the country, leading some to call for an independent monitor to protect customers. Photo by Robert Zullo.

As utilities spend billions on transmission, support builds for independent monitoring  

By: - November 28, 2022

An aging electric grid, fossil fuel power plant retirements and a massive renewable electricity buildout are all contributing to a boom in transmission and distribution wire projects by electric utilities across the country.  In 2020, investor-owned electric utilities spent $25 billion on transmission, up from $23.7 billion in 2019, figures that the Edison Electric Institute, […]

A hydrogen powered zero emission ambulance is displayed on at the 2021 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

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

By: - October 24, 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 […]

offshore wind farm

For offshore wind aspirations to become reality, transmission hurdles must be cleared

By: - October 6, 2022

President Joe Biden’s administration laid out ambitious additional goals in September to boost offshore wind power generation, one of the American renewable energy industry’s emerging wide open frontiers. The federal announcements come as coastal states across the country are increasingly setting offshore wind energy targets, seeking to capture not just clean energy but the potentially […]

Solar panels

Report says many utilities are slow-walking clean energy goals

By: and - October 5, 2022

DENVER — A report released this week 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 […]

COMMENTARY
Protesters confronting riot-clad officers on the first day. Officers were blocking side streets. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

‘I was in a gang. It’s called the police.’

By: - June 11, 2020

At the time, I laughed. Nearly 13 years later, amid the protests convulsing American cities over police brutality and racism, it doesn’t seem like a joke. I was writing profiles of the candidates vying to replace a longtime south Louisiana sheriff and Godfrey “Doc” Buquet, a retired chief of detectives who looked more than a […]