Trump Prepares Lifeline for Money-Losing Coal Power Plants

Share
Trump Prepares Lifeline for Money-Losing Coal Power Plants

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the ongoing closure of coal and nuclear plants is "leading to a rapid depletion of a critical part of our nation's energy mix, and impacting the resilience of our power grid". Nonetheless, supporting the flagging coal industry was one of Trump's campaign promises, although the president's current energy secretary, former Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, has made few inroads in his attempts to convince Capitol Hill and the energy industry that coal-burning power sources should be kept alive.

Perry will need to give his recommendations to Trump on how the US could keep its "fuel-secure power facilities" open.

The memo suggests that the Energy Department could force grid operators to buy power or electric generation capacity from a list of pre-determined power plants for two years, "to forestall any future actions toward retirement, decommissioning or deactivation".

"Too many of these fuel-secure plants have retired prematurely and many more have recently announced retirement", the 41-page memo reads.

The draft memo also states that U.S. Defense Department installations are nearly entirely dependent on the commercial grid, furthering the argument that a reliable electric system is critical, Bloomberg reported.

"This prudent stop-gap measure" will allow coal and nuclear plants to remain open while the department takes further steps to secure the grid, the memo said.

"Orderly power plant retirements do not constitute an emergency for our electric grid", said Amy Farrell, vice president of the American Wind Energy Association.

As Bloomberg noted, there is no guarantee the president would sign off on the directive, but the White House did issue a statement on Friday saying it was weighing different options to keep America's energy grid "strong".

Although controversial, President Trump's imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports could provide a much-needed boost to the coal industry. After the Energy Department conducted a study of grid reliability a year ago, Perry proposed a rule that would have compensated coal and nuclear plants for their ability to store months' worth of fuel on site.

That did not stop the coal industry from making new requests for help from the administration. "There is no need for any such drastic action", said a PJM spokesperson about the new idea.

The Trump administration's claims of energy security for keeping coal and nuclear plants online is not supported by the facts, as multiple power networks, including PJM, one of the biggest USA independent systems, point to a recent extremely cold "bomb cyclone" weather event in the United States northeast that showed the regional grid operating efficiently despite coal power plant closures, cited by Ars Technica.

Opponents of the new plan contend the intervention is a solution in search of a problem and argue there are other ways to back up the grid. "Any federal intervention in the market to order customers to buy electricity from specific power plants would be damaging to the markets and therefore costly to consumers".

Invoking national security concerns could bolster the Trump administration's case in any legal challenges over the intervention, said Ari Peskoe, director of the Electricity Law Initiative at Harvard University. The federal government has a lot of assets in the Pacific Northwest.

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

Apple to debut phone-to-phone augmented reality
One of the tools is created to help users monitor how much time they spend on their devices and inside of certain applications. The 2017 rollout of iOS 11 and ARKit also coincided with the launch of the iPhone X with FaceID facial recognition technology.

Donald Trump signs bill for terminal patients to try unproven drugs
The bill also offers some legal protections for pharmaceutical companies, doctors or others involved in providing the treatment. President Trump signed the "Right to Try" bill into law on Wednesday, calling it a measure that "will help a lot of people".

Mattis warns China over 'militarization' of South China Sea
The previous week the US had withdrawn an invitation for Beijing to participate in the exercise known as Rim of the Pacific. China claims the self-governing island as its own territory to be brought under its control by force if necessary.

Dembele gem caps France win over Italy
However, Atletico - players, staff and supporters - are pushing for him to stay at the Wanda Metropolitano. France continue their preparations for the 2018 World Cup with an impressive 3-1 win over Italy in Nice .

China rejects ‘ridiculous’ US accusation of South China Sea militarisation
That's a core competency of the United States military that we've done before. Washington also says Beijing could use the islands as military bases.

Jeep to launch 10 hybrid and 4 EV models by 2022
Citing IHS Markit, Fiat Chrysler believes that the SUV market in India is likely to double to 1.6 million units by 2022. Fiat is already working on the next-generation 4X4 Panda and it will serve as a ideal base for the upcoming baby Jeep.

Last gasp - and last hope - in the search for MH370
The search area deemed by experts to be the most likely crash site was 9,650 square miles, an area roughly 25% larger than Wales. The commitment that the new government in Malaysia has made to prioritising finding MH370 was very good to hear, added Plunkett.

Lottery retailers will be busy as record-breaking Lotto Max draws near
Six Canadian Tire co-workers in Elliot Lake split a Maxmillions prize with a ticket sold in another province in December 2013. Six Maxmillions prizes, worth $500,000 each, were sold in the Brampton area, Richmond Hill, the Thunder Bay area, Sault Ste.

Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk took oath as caretaker prime minister of Pakistan
At his office, the source said, there was no discussion on the cabinet of the interim set-up or who would be its members. It's only the third time in Pakistan's historical past that the Nationwide Meeting completed its five-year time period.

Evergreen Capital Management LLC Takes Position in Deutsche Bank AG (DB)
The WSJ report sent Deutsche's shares down 7% on Thursday to their lowest-ever closing level, valuing it at $22bn (£16.5bn). Up until today, S&P rated Deutsche Bank's long-term credit at A-, on negative credit watch.

© 2015 ExpressNewsline. All Rights reserved.