Social Media in Crisis Response: 4 Trends, 5 Opportunities, and a Framework
April 23, 2014
The emergence of social media has had a profound influence on the communications challenges facing energy utilities.
Social media has arguably transformed the relationship between power companies and their stakeholders, in particular residential consumers, by enabling real-time interactions around the clock, 365 days a year. In no context is this more of a critical leap than in the context of a crisis, but the conventional wisdom about the new threat posed by social media in a crisis is significantly off the mark. In fact, social media, when used to their fullest extent, represent the most significant enhancement to the crisis management tools available to producers and distributors of power since the invention of the telephone.
At first blush, the benefits of social media in a crisis seem heavily outweighed by the risks. Indeed, the number of significant corporate crises originating through social media platforms has exploded in the past decade. In 2001, there was only one such crisis. In 2011, there were 10, and experts have made the sobering determination that 76 percent of these crises could have been prevented if the organization under fire had understood how to train and prepare their people on how to handle such crises.
Will State Authority or Local Preference Regulate Colorado’s Fracking?
March 17, 2014
Colorado is ground zero for the debate over hydraulic fracturing.
In 2014, four local municipalities passed laws that imposed moratoriums on hydraulic fracturing. One of the moratoriums banned all oil and gas activities. Those municipalities, whose citizens have taken it upon themselves to regulate the oil and gas industry in Colorado, have found themselves embroiled in litigation.
As a result of this litigation, and given the well-developed body of law that gives the state the power to regulate the oil and gas industry in Colorado, a constitutional amendment has been proposed. If passed, the Community Rights Amendment would purport to give local municipalities the right to ban hydraulic fracturing. Even if the amendment were to pass, it remains far from certain if the amendment would in fact have the force and effect that its proponents believe it will.
This article discusses the citizen-initiated hydraulic fracturing bans that have passed in Colorado, the litigation that has resulted, the proposed Community Rights Amendment that will likely find its way onto the statewide Colorado ballot in November 2014, and the potential ramifications if the amendment is successful.
2014 Another Critical Year for Air-Quality Regulations
Decmber 19, 2013
In the world of air-quality regulations, each year seems more eventful than the last, and 2013 was no exception. From the many proposed and finalized regulations (and reconsiderations of new regulations) to several critical court decisions, 2013 was yet another transformative and controversial year. The year 2014 promises to be equally remarkable. In 2014, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will continue to be in active rulemaking mode, and the US Supreme Court will hear two high-profile Clear Air Act cases.
What follows is a short summary of what to watch as 2014 unfolds.