President Trump admin considers plan to bail out coal, nuclear plants


"Impending retirements of fuel-secure power facilities are leading to a rapid depletion of a critical part of our nation's energy mix, and impacting the resilience of our power grid", the statement read.

According to the memo, the Energy Department would exercise emergency authority under a pair of federal laws to compel grid operators to purchase electricity from a list of designated power plants for two years. There have been meetings this week at the cabinet deputies' level and at the National Security Council. Coal-fired and nuclear power plants continue to do a lot of the heavy lifting when the bulk power system is put to the test. "Trump will clearly", Mary Anne Hitt, the director of the Sierra Club's campaign to close coal facilities, said in a statement.

While natural gas pipeline infrastructure is characterized as "indispensable", the draft memo still takes aim at gas-fired generation as "a major point of vulnerability in our critical energy infrastructure" as opposed to the fuel-secure capacity of coal, nuclear, hydro and dual-fuel units.

The agency also is making plans to establish a "Strategic Electric Generation Reserve" with the aim of promoting the national defense and maximizing domestic energy supplies. Last fall, they tried to prop up the industry by proposing a subsidy to the plants citing unfounded "grid resilience" concerns, which could have cost US consumers billions of dollars annually and contributed to harmful pollution.

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"President Trump believes in total energy independence and dominance, and that keeping America's energy grid and infrastructure strong and secure protects our national security, public safety and economy from intentional attacks and natural disasters", the White House said.

According to another energy association, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), the plan is "an exercise in crony capitalism taken exclusively for the benefit of a bankrupt power plant owner and its coal supplier", says Malcolm Woolf, AEE's senior vice president of policy. Abusing this authority to bail out uneconomic power plants for such an extended time makes no sense, especially when most regions of the country are awash with excess electricity.

The EIA additionally stories that just about all energy vegetation that retired between 2008 and 2017 have been fossil gasoline vegetation and that nearly all vegetation that plan to shut earlier than 2020 use coal or pure fuel.

President Donald Trump is preparing to issue a bailout for uneconomic coal and nuclear plants by forcing grid operators to buy their power, even though it is more expensive than alternatives.

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Robert Murray presented a proposal to Perry in March 2017, the month Perry took office.

The independent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected a similar request by Perry in January, saying in a unanimous decision that there's no evidence that past or planned retirements of coal-fired power plants pose a threat to grid reliability.

In a recent appearance at a Washington Post event, FERC chairman Kevin McIntyre said that using the emergency powers was "perhaps not the most obvious fit".

The Sierra Club explains that FirstEnergy Solutions, which recently filed for bankruptcy, had asked the DOE for its emergency powers to bail out plants "whose high costs have rendered them obsolete in an energy market in which modern clean energy resources like solar, wind and energy efficiency are more affordable", the group says.

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