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emfizz.com January 19, 2018


Federal commission kills Trump's plan to save coal plants

11 January 2018, 09:15 | Terri Saunders

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The energy reliability crisis that wasn’t

It directs operators of the regional wholesale power markets, also known in the U.S. as regional transmission organisations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs), to help FERC determine whether additional action on resilience of the bulk power system is in fact needed.

An independent energy agency on Monday rejected a Trump administration plan to bolster coal-fired and nuclear power plants, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump's efforts to boost the struggling coal industry.

"This proposal was a clear recognition that reliability, resiliency, and fuel diversity are vital to our economic and national security".

"This is really FERC saying that any change we make to the grid is going to be grounded in fact", Greg Wetstone, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, said in an interview.

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 correctly found that the Department of Energy's proposal violated the basic requirements of the Federal Power Act". Regional market operators have 60 days to submit the required information. The irony is that FERC is an independent agency comprised exclusively of political appointees - not longtime, career government workers - and four of FERC's five commissioners were appointed by Trump previous year and confirmed by the Senate.

"The bureaucrats appointed by Mr. Trump and the one already there have failed to carry out their obligations during this crisis", Murray said.

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The Commission said that while it had not used the term "resilience", it had pursued policies that would "ensure the uninterrupted supply of electricity in the face of fuel disruptions or extreme weather threats".

"Corey Lewandowski understands FERC and the rule of law like Rick Perry understands energy markets and fair competition: not at all", Mary Anne Hitt, director of Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, told ThinkProgress via email in response to Lewandowski's claim. Secretary Perry's proposal was nothing more than a massive bailout for the coal and nuclear industries. Rick Perry to require the use of electricity from coal and nuclear plants, even when cheaper sources are available-a move analysts said would drive up Americans' utility bills by billions of dollars a year. Once that documentation is processed, the panel will decide whether it'll implement new measures. DOE likewise didn't identify a relationship between its undefined resiliency goals and its desire to prop up uneconomic coal and nuclear plants at enormous expense to competitive markets, customers, and our environment.

Murray dismissed the research, claiming that Rhodium Group is "certainly biased" and "shills for the renewable energy industry".

The Perry directive, which he issued in September and which resulted in months of frenzied lobbying, did not demonstrate that existing market rules are "unjust, unreasonable, unduly discriminatory or preferential", FERC wrote in a ruling today. "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".

Three of those appointees are Republicans, including the commission's new Chairman, Kevin McIntyre, who worked for nearly 30 years as an attorney for the energy industry.



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