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.

Several feet of sand covers a road in the wake of Hurricane Ida on September 4, 2021, in Grand Isle.

Report ranks Louisiana low for electric utility reliability, environmental impact

By: - January 19, 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.  It also placed Louisiana at or […]

People cross a street in Detroit during the 2022 winter storm Elliott

After strain from another winter storm, experts say it’s time to fix the electric grid

By: - December 31, 2022

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 […]

A blowout control flares at the Shell Chemical LP petroleum refinery in Norco, Louisiana, on Aug. 21, 2019.

Environmental enforcement has fallen off under Biden, report says

By: - December 22, 2022

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 last week 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 72 civil enforcement […]

A fence surrounds an electrical substation

After substation shooting, federal regulator orders review of security standards

By: - December 20, 2022

Less than two weeks after gunfire damaged two Duke Energy substations in Moore County, North Carolina, 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 on Thursday ordered the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), which sets […]

The target chamber of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility, where 192 laser beams delivered more than 2 million joules of ultraviolet energy to a tiny fuel pellet to create fusion ignition

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 […]

Electrical substation in the snow in winter. High voltage wires.

Reliability watchdog warns of potential electric shortfalls this winter

By: - December 3, 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 Corp., which sets and enforces reliability standards for the bulk power system in the […]

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

By: - November 17, 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 fleet of Rivian Electric Delivery Vehicles (EDV) are seen connected to electric chargers

Amid major federal investment in electric cars, it’s time for states to step up, advocates say

By: - November 7, 2022

For years, electric vehicles posed something of a chicken-and-egg problem.  Mass adoption, seen as critical to cutting the largest single source of U.S. carbon emissions, couldn’t happen until the infrastructure to allow drivers to recharge wherever they were heading was in place. And those charging stations weren’t coming until more drivers switched to plug-in electric […]

The Refhyne hydrogen production plant at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland on July 02, 2021 in Wesseling, Germany.

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 […]

Transmission towers carry electricity in LaPlace

Report says many utilities are slow-walking clean energy goals

By: - October 9, 2022

DENVER – A report 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 […]

a view of a wind turbine in front of the sun

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

By: - October 4, 2022

President Joe Biden’s administration laid out ambitious additional goals last month 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 […]