FERC Was Right to Reject DOE Proposal to Bail Out Coal Plants

by Duane Nichols on January 9, 2018

Energy policy at US-DOE is disjointed

Statement by Mike Jacobs, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists.

From the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), Press Release, January 8, 2018

WASHINGTON – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) unanimously rejected the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposal to force energy markets to provide failing coal-fired power plants and nuclear plants guaranteed profits—at the cost of consumers. DOE Secretary Rick Perry asked FERC last September to essentially bailout these plants to counter the competitive wholesale electricity markets, in a move that would have benefited the owners of coal and nuclear power plants, rather than consumers, and jeopardized competitive wholesale electricity markets.

Below is a statement by Mike Jacobs, senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists:

“Federal regulators were right to reject a proposal that would have amounted to nothing more than giving coal and nuclear power plants billions of dollars in guaranteed profits at the expense of consumers. We don’t need to prop up plants that are closing due to market forces. Grid operators are having no problems keeping the lights on as more of the nation’s energy comes from clean, renewable sources.

“Energy regulators must follow the law and act on the best available science, and not pick winners and losers based on political alliances. Secretary Perry’s attempts to tip the scale in favor of uneconomic coal and nuclear power plants to provide a “resilience” benefit that doesn’t exist would have increased carbon emissions, raised costs to consumers, and distorted competitive markets.

“The question for FERC was: are you pro-markets and pro-solutions, or do you support old technology? It’s crucial to maintain market competition to generate solutions that fit unique energy demands. FERC’s decision is a step in the right direction in forward-looking improvements for a cleaner, more resilient and reliable electricity grid.

“If we’re going to adjust prices to value resilience, let’s be smart and get public benefits out of the changes. Rather than limiting contributions from certain energy sources, such as renewables, FERC must continue to consider what is best for consumers, drives private investment and protects the environment.”


The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.


FERC Rejects Perry’s Power Plan

From the Friends of the Earth, Press Release, January 8, 2018

WASHINGTON – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today rejected a Department of Energy proposal to change electricity market rules that would have bailed out failing nuclear and coal plants projects.

In response, Damon Moglen, Senior Strategic Advisor for Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement:

Tens of thousands of people wrote to FERC demanding the rejection of Secretary Perry’s ludicrous proposal to bailout failing nuclear and coal projects.

No matter how forceful industry lobbying, the market factors simply dictate that nuclear and coal power plants should be replaced by cheaper, cleaner, and safer solar and wind power.

This is a good day for the public and a good day for the cause of addressing catastrophic climate change.


Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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Matthew Daly January 9, 2018 at 6:19 pm

Coal CEO blasts federal agency’s decision on power grid

By Matthew Daly, Associated Press, January 9, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the nation’s largest privately owned coal company is blasting a decision by an independent energy agency to reject the Trump administration’s plan to bolster coal-fired power plants.

Robert Murray, CEO of Ohio-based Murray Energy Corp., says the action by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could lead to more closures of coal-fired power plants and the loss of thousands of jobs.

Murray said Tuesday that the Republican-controlled commission chose “a bureaucratic cop-out” that will raise the cost of electricity and jeopardize the reliability and security of the nation’s electric grid.

Murray says the recent cold snap that hit the East Coast showed coal’s value, as power users in the Southeast were asked to cut back on electricity usage because of a shortage of natural gas.

NOTE: On December 5, 2013, MURRAY purchased Consolidation Coal Company from CONSOL Energy, Inc. This was a transformative transaction for Murray Energy Corporation, in which they acquired: The Ohio County Coal Company’s Ohio County Mine (formerly Shoemaker Mine); The Marshall County Coal Company’s Marshall County Mine (formerly McElroy Mine); The Marion County Coal Company’s Marion County Mine (formerly Loveridge Mine); The Harrison County Coal Company’s Harrison County Mine (formerly Robinson Run Mine); and The Monongalia County Coal Company’s Monongalia County Mine (formerly Blacksville Mine). The Consolidation Coal Company name has been changed to Murray American Energy, Inc. (“Murray American”).

Source: http://www.wtrf.com/news/coal-ceo-blasts-federal-agencys-decision-on-power-grid/908040321


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