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White House Reportedly Shelves Coal and Nuclear Bailout

by Axios | 10.16.18

The Trump administration's plans to directly intervene in power markets to prop up economically struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants have been "shelved" for now, Politico reported last night.

Why it matters: The story underscores the challenge of finding legally and politically viable policy levers to directly keep these plants afloat, even as the White House pushes ahead with efforts to aid the coal sector by scaling back Obama-era pollution rules.

Where it stands: An Energy Department-led effort has been seeking ways to use sweeping federal national security powers to aid plants facing severe market pressures from cheap natural gas, renewables and regulations.

  • "But the White House has shelved the plan amid opposition from the president’s own advisers on the National Security Council and National Economic Council," Politico reports, citing 4 sources with "knowledge of the discussions."

The intrigue: Politico reports that one of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s biggest problems is "figuring out who would pay the billions of dollars needed to keep money-losing power plants operating" and the prospect of the plan raising consumer costs.

The big picture: The administration — in an argument hotly disputed by numerous experts — says that it's essential to aid these coal and nuclear plants to ensure grid reliability, especially as officials review gas pipelines' vulnerability to cyber and physical attacks.

  • The White House did not comment when contacted by Axios last night.

Separately in coal policy, the Associated Press reports:

"The Trump administration is considering using West Coast military bases or other federal properties as transit points for shipments of U.S. coal and natural gas to Asia, as officials seek to bolster the domestic energy industry and circumvent environmental opposition to fossil fuel exports."

Ben Geman

Photo: Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

Axios

Written by Axios

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(19)
  • Deirdre
    Voted Happy
    10/16/2018
    ···

    Renewable energy is the way to go not old fossil fuel.

    Like (5)
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  • Mancos
    Voted Apathetic
    10/16/2018
    ···

    Perhaps this is of little consequence given this diseased administration is still pulling back related environmental protections. I’m disgusted, depressed and horrified and can’t wait to vote.

    Like (3)
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  • SaraP
    10/17/2018
    ···

    We should be looking at alternative energy, clean, safe and cheap. It’s good for the environment, it’s good for our health and it’s good for our pockets. The only reason we are so slow to turn to reusable energy is due to corporate and government greed. And if we pay less for energy then we would have more to spend on other goods and that is something that is overlooked by the people in office.

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  • Tatiana
    Voted Sad
    10/17/2018
    ···

    Coal and oil industries should be suppressed to give way to environmentally clean industries.

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  • John
    Voted Happy
    10/16/2018
    ···

    Fossil fuels are a dying technology. Concentrate on renewables.

    Like (2)
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  • David
    Voted Apathetic
    10/16/2018
    ···

    The Republicans have already added over 2 trillion dollars to the national debt, why not some more?

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  • Lynea
    10/16/2018
    ···

    This means nothing. Trump has no money to spend because he gave it all to the rich. I’m sure more debt is coming after the election

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  • Curt
    Voted Happy
    10/16/2018
    ···

    What happened to allow the market to dictate an industries outcome? Why is this private industry being artificially supported over another? That sounds like anti-free trade. This reeks of corruption. I pray it stays shelved.

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  • PGreenberger
    Voted Happy
    10/16/2018
    ···

    Subsidizing a dying industry (that literally kills the few people still employed doing it) is bad policy. Better to support new forms of sustainable energy to create jobs.

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  • Steve
    Voted Happy
    10/16/2018
    ···

    Impeach the liar.

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  • Hulagurl1
    Voted Happy
    10/16/2018
    ···

    They need to find to stop this and look for other alternative to energy sources.

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  • Ronda
    Voted Happy
    10/16/2018
    ···

    We need to focus hard on renewable energy sources, and Trump lied to coal miners. What a shocker.

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  • Jeffrey
    Voted Happy
    10/18/2018
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    Coal shouldn’t come back...

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  • Marylynn
    10/16/2018
    ···

    That's because with all the talk about climate change the Republicans don't want to rock the boat right before the election. GET OUT AND VOTE, MAKE SURE YOU VOTE EVERY REPUBLICAN OUT OF OFFICE. Lets put more women in office and shake stuff up. Perhaps if women held the majority of seats in the both houses (even all three in 2020) things would get done, not like the useless old boys network that has done nothing for the entire nation in more than 10 years!!!!

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  • Kodiwodi
    Voted Happy
    10/16/2018
    ···

    If the market won’t sustain them on their own, it’s time for them to die. I for one am sick of the term bailout. I think in all cases it should be illegal. It is way past time to move to renewables and far past time for trump and both parties to understand you cannot continue to circumvent the will of the people.

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  • Marc
    Voted Happy
    10/16/2018
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    Liar

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  • Ochoninja
    Voted Happy
    10/16/2018
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    Good. Trump only approved of letting them pollute water with coal production etc just for votes and is either ignorant as usual or just allowing harm to environment as he does and doesn’t tcare about environmental protection. only money making

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  • Christopher
    Voted Apathetic
    10/17/2018
    ···

    Alternative Fuels. Why are we still talking about this given the dire warnings about climate concerns?

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