President Trump Orders Help For Coal And Nuclear Plants

04 June, 2018, 00:28 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • Trump administration planning to command grid operators to buy coal from sagging plants

The statement from the White House didn't detail how the government would work to keep plants open.

Over dozens of pages, the memo makes the case for action, arguing that the decommissioning of power plants must be managed for national security reasons and that federal intervention is necessary before the USA reaches a tipping point in the loss of essential, secure electric generation resources.

The Trump Administration is planning to support struggling coal-fired power plants by having grid operators purchase electricity from them.

President Trump's mandate would force the DOE to implement two emergency-only provisions-the Federal Power Act and the Defense Production Act-to once again attempt to bail out coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

According to data from the Energy Information Administration, coal consumption has fallen about 20 percent compared to previous year, from about 149,200,000 short tons in the first two months of 2017 to just under 119,600,000 short tons in the first two months of 2018. "We urge policymakers to again block this ill-advised effort to keep plants running that most electric utilities have already made a decision to abandon - and for good reason".

"Once a nuclear power plant closes, it begins decommissioning and will not be reopened".

"With coal and nuclear plants already closing at alarming rates, the reliability of America's electric grid is at risk", he said.

"We support all efforts to ensure the security of our nation's electric power supply, which is critical to the reliability of our electric power grids, to low-priced electricity and to our national defense", Murray said Friday in a statement. There have been meetings this week at the cabinet deputies' level and at the National Security Council.

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Colstrip's two oldest units, 1 and 2, are slated to shut down by 2022 as part of a settlement agreement between the plant's owners and utility regulators in Washington state, where Colstrip sells most of its power.

However some teams that examine the US electrical grid say that it is not susceptible to breaking down in the way in which the directive describes.

Earlier this year, east coast grid operator PJM, which serves 65 million customers, published an analysis of recently announced planned deactivations of certain nuclear plants and determined that there was no immediate threat to system reliability. "They feel that Colstrip is definitely an asset that needs to stay on line in order to provide reliable electricity to their assets in the Northwest", Ankney said.

A diverse group of energy industry groups - including oil, natural gas, solar and wind power - condemned the proposal, saying it would raise energy prices and distort markets.

"Arbitrary market interventions of this sort have no place in the electricity structure that has kept American electric power reliable and affordable", the group's President and CEO Gregory Wetstone said in a statement.

Twenty-five coal plants have closed since he took office, as they face competition from natural gas, wind and solar power, the Times reported.

"This is an outrageous ploy to force American taxpayers to bail out coal and nuclear executives who have made bad decisions by investing in dirty and unsafe energy resources, and it will be soundly defeated both in the courts and in the court of public opinion".


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