November 8, 2017 Read More →

Editorial: The Trump Administration’s Fake Grid-Resiliency Plan

Scranton (Pa.) Times-Tribune:

Energy Secretary Rick Perry claims his plan to further subsidize the failing coal and nuclear power industries is crucial to improving the electrical power grid.

The grid itself disagrees.

PJM Interconnection, which operates the massive power grid covering 13 states, including Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, has told the Department of Energy that the subsidy plan is “unworkable.”

Perry wants to require utilities to compensate power generators that maintain 90-day stockpiles of coal or nuclear fuel, ostensibly to shore up the grid during protracted periods of cold or hot weather. It is a transparent payback to those industries for their political support last year of President Donald Trump.

Power generation isn’t the issue regarding the grid. More than 40 new gas-fueled power plants are planned or under construction in Pennsylvania alone. The supposedly free-market administration would skew the market in favor of coal by regulation.

According to PJM, doing so would drive up power costs throughout its region. And a large bipartisan group of former commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the ultimate grid regulator, told the DOE that the plan would not only increase power prices but dry up investment in new, cleaner, more efficient power plants.

The plan isn’t about shoring up the grid. It’s about shoring up Trump’s political base. The DOE should abandon it.

Perry refuted

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