Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Trump administration taking steps to save coal plants; effect on Colstrip unclear

Report: Department of Energy recommends bail out of failing coal plants Trump orders Perry to take 'immediate steps' to stop coal plant closures | TheHill
Doris Mccormick | 04 June, 2018, 19:43

The White House-sponsored DoE memo reportedly states that "too many of these fuel-secure plants have retired prematurely and many more have recently announced retirement", while declaring that the replacement of coal and nuclear plants by natural gas and renewable power in the U.S. is not secure.

In a draft memo obtained by Bloomberg News, the Department of Energy may order grid operators to buy electricity from coal and nuclear plants that are at risk of shuttering due to the increased use of cheaper natural gas and renewable electricity sources.

The draft memo asserts that "federal action is necessary to stop the further premature retirements of fuel-secure generation capacity" while DOE and other entities embark on further study of "national security needs and additional measures to safeguard the nation's electric grid and natural gas pipeline infrastructure from current threats". Under a 2010 agreement, Portland General Electric plans to shut Oregon's only coal-fired power plant in Boardman in 2020.

According to Bloomberg, the move would signal an unprecedented intervention in the US energy industry. One impartial group that manages the electrical energy grid that serves greater than 65 million individuals stated that it might be unhealthy for shoppers if the federal authorities intervenes out there.

Solar power employs five times the workers as does coal, and does not pollute the environment.

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the ongoing closure of coal and nuclear plants is "leading to a rapid depletion of a critical part of our nation's energy mix, and impacting the resilience of our power grid". Coal and nuclear plants, on the other hand, keep fuel stored on site, eliminating a potential weak point that could be targeted by malicious hackers.

But on Friday, the White House said it was working on a new plan. And it is the biggest dumb move by this administration I have seen, at least since yesterday - when Trump effectively made all our allies angry with his ridiculous trade tariffs.

Manhunt over: Suspect captured in killing of Tennessee cop
According to the court papers, Castro-Miles fled the scene after the shooting and hid under a home until she was caught by police. There have been no confirmed sightings of Steven Wiggins, 31, since he allegedly killed Dickson County Sheriff's Sgt.


Brussels refuses to extend United Kingdom trade deals during Brexit transition
However, finding a practical solution for any customs checks needed after Brexit is proving elusive. A spokeswoman for the Department for Exiting the European Union declined to comment.


Kevin Durant takes ownership of his Game 1 shooting slump
If Cleveland Cavaliers fans needed another reason to hate Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green , they got it on Saturday. Kerr says Thompson "was doing better this morning when he checked in with the training staff, so I'm hopeful he will play".


The DoE memo suggests that USA energy grid operators could be compelled to purchase power from a pre-approved list over a two-year period, "to forestall any future actions toward retirement, decommissioning or deactivation", according to Ars Technica.

It says even though "intermittent resources", such as wind and solar power, do "provide value at various times during the day", it is "during times of peak demand when there is the greatest strain on the electricity grid" that "many major electricity markets are and will continue to be heavily dependent on fossil and nuclear electric generation resources".

Murray has been seeking emergency action to boost his industry since previous year and has met with Trump to argue that federal help was needed to avert thousands of layoffs and maintain the reliability of the electric grid up and down the East Coast.

The country's largest grid operator, PJM Interconnection, says in a statement, "There is no need for any such drastic action".

"This action is essential in order to protect the resiliency and reliability of our nation's electric power grids", Murray said Friday in an email.

Environmental groups, natural gas producers and Republicans and Democrats who have pushed for greater competition in electricity markets all condemned the latest signal that the administration might be moving closer to imposing the Energy Department's plan.

Coal company CEO Robert Murray of Murray Energy [MUYEY.UL], also called for Perry to use emergency powers to save at-risk coal plants.

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