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Thread: Trump Prepares Lifeline for Money-Losing Coal Plants

  1. #1

    Trump Prepares Lifeline for Money-Losing Coal Plants

    Trump administration officials are making plans to order grid operators to buy electricity from struggling coal and nuclear plants in an effort to extend their life, a move that could represent an unprecedented intervention into U.S. energy markets.

    The Energy Department would exercise emergency authority under a pair of federal laws to direct the operators to purchase electricity or electric generation capacity from at-risk facilities, according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg News. 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.


    For two years, the Energy Department would direct the purchase of power or electric generation capacity from a designated list of facilities “to forestall any future actions toward retirement, decommissioning or deactivation,” according to the memo. The proposed Energy Department directive also would tell some of those facilities to continue generating and delivering electric power according to their existing or recent contracts with utilities.


    Opponents of the new plan contend bailouts are a solution in search of a problem. They argue there are many ways to back up the grid that won’t cost ratepayers billions of dollars. A coalition of natural gas and renewable power advocates told Perry that “power plant retirements are a normal, healthy feature of electricity markets,” and therefore there is no emergency that would justify Energy Department action.

    Representatives of FirstEnergy did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

    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.

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  3. #2
    That didn’t quell requests for help. A FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary requested immediate intervention from Perry’s agency in late March. That plea followed the Akron, Ohio-based company’s announcement to shut three nuclear power plants that feed the grid operated by PJM Interconnection LLC, the largest in the country. FirstEnergy Solutions filed for bankruptcy within days of its emergency request.
    I don't think it is a good idea to let nuclear power companies go out of business when they are responsible for maintaining and keeping safe nuclear fuel...

    I think the article has it all wrong. Its not about bailouts, its about the government designating small amounts of electrical fuel for use during an emergency, and compensating companies that agree to maintain this fuel for the government.
    I just want objectivity on this forum and will point out flawed sources or points of view at my leisure.

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  4. #3
    Make Bailouts Great Again
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    I'm going to need to be told the details before I accept the narrative about this.
    "The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety."
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