FERC Ruling Against Propping Up Coal Plants Draws Praise

FERC Ruling Against Propping Up Coal Plants Draws Praise

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for "serious case of amnesia" after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don't want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE " s former campaign manager slammed a five-member federal board - four of whom Trump nominated - as part of the "deep state" for rejecting Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryPerry pictured with falcon, sword during trek to Saudi Arabia Trump promised "best people' would run government - they upended it USA oil and gas boom will actually help spur energy revolution MORE's plan to boost coal and nuclear power.

"The goals of this proceeding are to develop a common understanding among the Commission, industry and others of what resilience of the bulk power system means and requires; to understand how each regional transmission organization and independent system operator assesses resilience in its geographic footprint; and to use this information to evaluate whether additional Commission action regarding resilience is appropriate".

The plan, however, was widely seen as an effort to alter the balance of competitive electricity markets that federal regulators have been cultivating since the late 1980s.

Katie Niebaum, executive director of the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association, which has grown into a major promote of renewable energy and the Arkansas businesses that work in the field, called the ruling a victory for free markets. Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power have far less storage capacity.

Murray says the recent cold snap that hit the East Coast showed coal's value, as power users in the Southeast were asked to cut back on electricity usage because of a shortage of natural gas.

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In arguing for federal support for coal power plants, Perry said continued retirements could endanger "the reliability and resilience of our nation's grid". "It was about protecting the bank accounts of plant owners at the expense of everyday Americans". "Secretary Perry's plan would have subsidized coal and nuclear plants with a 90-day fuel supply, yet Perry never explained why those plants were inherently more reliable or resilient".

Rather than driving up energy prices to support coal, the administration should ensure the flexibility of the grid to provide power based on the best current and future technology, at the best price for consumers.

In its decision, the five-member energy panel essentially agreed with critics who said there was no evidence of a threat to the grid's day-to-day reliability that would justify the action Perry was seeking. In August, Politico reported that Lewandowski had pushed Trump to issue emergency federal assistance for the coal industry, a move that the Department of Energy eventually declined to take. Only coal and nuclear plants can do that.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a United Nations special envoy on climate change, said the FERC decision was a "victory for consumers, the free market and clean air".

The FERC order issued Monday included three members' concurring comments that revealed some difference of opinion beneath the unanimous vote.

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