Trump readies new plan to aid coal and nuclear power

News you might have missed Afternoon links for Friday June 1

In what could be an important lifeline for Colstrip and its coal-fired power plants, President Donald Trump ordered Energy Secretary Rick Perry Friday to "take immediate steps" to prevent the future closures of coal and nuclear power plants around the nation.

But a draft memo circulated earlier this week indicates the administration might order electric grid operators to buy their energy from struggling coal and nuclear plants. There have been meetings this week at the cabinet deputies' level and at the National Security Council. "Trump will clearly", Mary Anne Hitt, the director of the Sierra Club's campaign to close coal facilities, said in a statement.

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 US reaches a tipping point in the loss of essential, secure electric generation resources.

The Energy Department would also establish a "Strategic Electric Generation Reserve".

The Trump Administration has determined coal-fired are vital to the protection of the nation's energy grid, according to a statement released Friday by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Under a state law passed in 2016, utilities in OR are not allowed to bring coal-fired power into their customers' energy mix past 2035. "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".

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.

While many of President Trump's top donors advocate for the support of struggling coal-fired power plants, it is unclear as to whether or not Trump has signed off on the plan.

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

"No law gives the Administration the power to set energy prices". Fortunately, the last bailout attempt was rejected unanimously by federal regulators, comprised mostly of Trump appointees. Energy analysts say the measure is meant for short-term emergencies and it would be a bad fit to use it this way.

He said using that section of the Federal Power Act "tees off the concept of continuance of a war in which the United States is involved as being kind of the baseline circumstance that would justify a DOE order to certain types of facilities to either begin operating or continue operation".

A number of other trade groups representing energy efficiency, electric storage, natural gas, oil, solar, wind and electricity consumers also chimed in to criticize the draft memo and its proposed actions.

Environmental groups like the Sierra Club have been pushing campaigns to phase out coal as part of the US energy grid and they say that even a "bailout" will not keep coal and nuclear plants open as the global market focuses more on natural gas and renewable energy sources. Numerous plants have operated far longer than anticipated when they were built.

Likewise, on behalf of the Solar Energy Industries Association, Christopher Mansour, the group's vice president for federal affairs, says, "A policy to spend billions of dollars keeping uneconomic power plants afloat - while trying to put clean and affordable solar on the sidelines - is not a recipe for economic success".

"Today's action will do nothing to make the American people safer".

The Energy Department would be relying partly on the Federal Power Act - the so-called Section 202 authority - that lets the administration order guaranteed profits for power plants that can store large amounts of fuel on site.

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