Cynthia Mitchell CV

Writer. Energy Economist. Activist.

Education

B.A. Gerontology, 1978, University of Utah

M.S. Economics, 1980, University of Utah   

Cynthia Mitchell’s involvement in energy issues spans nearly 50 years and includes roles as diverse as community organizer on utility rate issues, chief economist for the Nevada Attorney General’s Consumer Advocate’s Office, and as expert witness to state public utility commissions and consumer advocate offices in over a dozen states and the District of Columbia, and employment and consulting with several public and private energy firms.

Cynthia’s expertise has embraced traditional utility rate making and regulatory matters with emphasis on cost allocation and rate design, to integrated resource planning (IRP), to economic analysis of utility industry competition, restructuring, deregulation, and alternative regulation.       

In the early 1990s Cynthia managed for the National State Consumer Advocates /Department of Energy an IRP Regulatory Intervention Project. She prepared an IRP training manual and conducted and/or participated in IRP workshops in around the country and in West Germany.  Her work was published and referenced by numerous organizations including U.S. Department of Energy, Edison Electric Institute, Lawrence Berkeley Labs, World Resources Institute and World Watch Institute.

2000-2020, Cynthia worked extensively for The Utility Reform Network in California on the design and implementation of utility and non-utility energy efficiency programs in a re-regulated industry, where electric and natural gas energy efficiency expenditures are about $1 billion annually.

Moving to the Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2020 Cynthia soon realized that she had gone from the frying pan into the fire with hydraulic fracking in the Permian Basin.  May 2021, she debated a representative from the American Gas Association (AGA) titling her talk “It’s the Methane…(Stupid!), or the “Bridge Fuel” is a Highway to Hell”.

The following is a summary client list and publications.

Client List

  • California, The Utility Reform Network. 2000–2020.
  • Washington state and local governments, non-profits. 2009, 2017–2020.
  • Southern California Edison. 2013.
  • Arkansas Attorney General’s Office. 2006–2013.
  • Northwest Independent Power Producers Coalition. 2009.
  • New Mexico. National AARP, Austin, Texas. 2009.
  • Nevada state and local governments, nonprofits, for-profit energy producers. 1989–2004.
  • Environmental Defense Fund of Texas. 1996–1997.
  • Texas Ratepayer’s Organization to Save Energy. 1993–1996.
  • Montana Public Service Commission. 1993–1996.
  • District of Columbia Office of People’s Counsel. 1990–1995.
  • Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs. 1991–1996.
  • Kansas Attorney General’s Citizens Utility Ratepayer Board. 1992–1994.
  • Colorado Land and Water Fund of the Rockies. 1992.
  • National State Consumer Advocates and the Department of Energy. 1990–
  • New Orleans Alliance for Affordable Energy. 1987–
  • Nevada Bureau of Consumer Protection. 1981–
  • Utah Energy Advocacy Project, Utah Community Action Association. 1979–

Publications

  • “Renewables yes, but at what cost?”, Santa Fe New Mexican, Dec 4, 2021.
  • “It’s the Methane Stupid”. June 2021. https://www.cleantechalliance.org/debates-at-kl-gates-series/.
  • “E3’s Finding that Gas Peakers are Least Cost and Needed for PNW Reliability is Outdated and Flawed”, Renewable Northwest, January 2021.
  • “Guest Juice: California Energy Efficiency Pickle”, California Current, February 12, 2016.
  • “Capitalizing Energy Efficiency”, California Current, Oct 9, 2015.
  • “An Efficiency Manifesto”, California Current, California Energy Circuit, Jan 16, 2015.
  • “Financing Efficiency at Issue as State Hikes Goal”, California Current, September 18, 2015.
  • “Why California Needs to Think Differently About How It Supports Energy Efficiency” Greentechmedia · Jan 9, 2015.
  • California Needs More Than Solar”, California Energy Markets, Energy NewsData Corp · Jan 2, 2015.
  • “The Risk Takers”, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqIaBhYwvns&t=139s
  • “A New Energy Efficiency Manifesto: California Needs a More Integrated, Cost-Effective Approach”. ElectricityPolicy.com. November 2014.
  • “Stabilizing California’s Demand: The Real Reasons Behind the State’s Energy Savings”, Public Utilities Fortnightly, Cynthia Mitchell, March 2009.
  • “Water authority bid a win-win for all”, Las Vegas Review Journal, October 10, 2002.
  • “Solution to utility rate hikes: public power”, Reno Gazette-Journal, May 31, 2002.
  • “Don’t blame environmentalists for shortage”, Reno Gazette-Journal, February 6, 2001.
  • “New intertie route just shifts problem to different region”, Reno-Gazette-Journal, December 15, 1996.
  • “Integrated Resource Planning Survey: Where the States Stand”, The Electricity Journal, May 1992.
  • “Lagging in IRP–Not As Far Along As We Thought”, The Electricity Journal, December 1989.
  • “Say no to stamp mill, ride at Rancho San Rafael”, Reno Gazette Journal, December 8, 1988.
  • Regional newsletter on community impact issues from energy resource development, Western Action Training Institute, Denver, Colorado, October-December 1978.

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