Trump orders Energy Department to help ailing coal, nuclear plants

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"Impending retirements of fuel-secure power facilities are leading to a rapid depletion of a critical part of our nation's energy mix, and impacting the resilience of our power grid", the statement read.

As part of the plan, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) could exercise emergency authority under national security laws to direct the operators to buy electricity from coal and nuclear facilities, according to a memo reviewed by Reuters.

The idea of declaring an emergency under the Defense Production Act of 1950 (used by President Harry Truman for the steel industry) and section 202 of the Federal Power Act has been promoted by the chief executives of the coal mining firm Murray Energy and OH utility First Energy, both of whom have contributed heavily to President Trump's political activities.

According to data from the Energy Information Administration, coal consumption has fallen about 20 percent compared to a year ago, from about 149,200,000 short tons in the first two months of 2017 to just under 119,600,000 short tons in the first two months of 2018. And, time and time again, he has failed to make good on that promise.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written a letter to the Prime Minister, seeking his intervention to ensure that CIL will offer additional railway rakes for the transportation of coal to thermal power plants in the Delhi region, as the Indian capital is facing acute shortage of power as a result of lower coal stock.


The plan cuts to the heart of a debate over the reliability and resiliency of a rapidly evolving USA electricity grid.

Perry beforehand stated the division was contemplating this method in a listening to with the Home Science Committee earlier this month.

"It's about the national security of our country".

President Donald Trump attends a Change of Command ceremony at the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Friday, June 1, 2018, in Washington.

However some teams that examine the USA electrical grid say that it is not susceptible to breaking down in the way in which the directive describes. The operator for much of the Mid-Atlantic, it says it has "secured reliable supplies through 2021/2022" and that this kind of federal intervention "would be damaging to the markets and therefore costly to consumers".


PJM Interconnection, for example, runs the Mid-Atlantic electric grid that serves 65 million people, the Times reported.

"There is no need for any such drastic action", the company said. Both the USA coal and nuclear power industries have been shrinking for years, under pressure from cheaper natural gas along with advances in solar and wind energy.

The proposal argues for action, stating that the decommissioning of coal-fired power plants must be managed, citing national security reasons.

As renewable energy and natural gas has become very affordable, some coal and nuclear plants can no longer compete economically and are retiring early unless heavy-handed intervention, such as what was just proposed by the Administration, comes to the "rescue".

"That is an outrageous ploy to drive American taxpayers to bail out coal and nuclear executives who've made unhealthy selections by investing in soiled and harmful power sources, and it will likely be soundly defeated each within the courts and within the court docket of public opinion".


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