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FERC Rejects Energy Secretary’s Plan To Subsidize Coal and Nuclear Plants

by Countable | 1.9.18

What’s the story?

On Monday regulators on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rejected a plan from Energy Secretary Rick Perry to subsidize nuclear and coal power plants, reports the New York Times. This represents a significant blow to the administration’s attempts to shore up the U.S. coal industry.

Perry argued for subsidizing coal and nuclear plants that stockpiled at least 90 days worth of fuel on site, but FERC argued against that plan, which would have helped plants struggling against lower-cost options like natural gas and renewables.

The commissioners maintained that free market competition is providing consumers with the lowest cost options while maintaining adequate supply, so there is no justification to shore up flagging industries. If there is any threat to the nation’s grid, they argued, it is due to transmission and distribution systems, not supply.

The Commission did agree to investigate threats to the power grid due to natural disasters and other disruptions. They have opened a 60-day comment period for grid operators.

Four out of the five FERC commissioners were nominated by President Trump, though the agency has historically operated independently of the executive branch.

What do you think?

Was FERC right to reject Sec. Perry’s proposal? How is your power supplied? Do you feel the existing system is providing you with the lowest cost option? What changes to the power grid would you like to see?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(24)
  • Nathan
    01/09/2018
    ···

    If we are going to spend money to subsidize energy sources, they should be clean, renewable sources. While I fully appreciate the role coal has played in our region, but it is simply not cost efficient to prop up a non renewable fuel industry that even has the potential to do irreversible environmental damage. As supplies of coal dwindle, and mining jobs become more and more automated, there will naturally be fewer and fewer coal jobs anyway. Coal still has a role to play, but it would be wiser to invest in economic revitalization programs, rather than wasting money on a naturally dying industry. If we invest in energy, it should be for the future of clean, renewable energy sources, not the dying fossil fuel industry.

    Like (18)
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  • Doug
    01/09/2018
    ···

    Like the FERC commissioners said, The free market is working fine and there is not a supply problem. No use spending money to prop up businesses that cannot compete.

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  • RadicalModerate
    01/09/2018
    ···

    More people work for Arby’s than the entire us coal industry. So why should we prop it up? Because they paid Trump? Or Katko? CORRUPTION.

    Like (8)
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  • C
    01/09/2018
    ···

    Yes they were correct. My energy is supplied, by my choice, from renewables and “cost” is a funny thing. Have you saved anything if you have a few extra dollars but your grandchildren have to live in a world of food shortages? “Behold the philistine, he knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing “

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  • Donna
    01/09/2018
    ···

    Finally! A regulatory agency in this government that understands its purpose and is willing to fulfill its responsibility to the American people. They should be applauded and recognized for this outstanding achievement in the days of DJT. Of course, now that they have proven their independence, they will probably all lose their jobs. One thing this administration hates is independence! At least they took a stand for the good of the country before they were shown the door, which I assume will happen very quickly after Perry complains to the boss.

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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    01/09/2018
    ···

    👍 Progress is made anytime we move toward ethical solutions and away from primitive, inhumane, unenvironmental, antiquated solutions, which start to become unethically harmful and dangerous to society, wildlife and the environment.

    Like (3)
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  • Neal
    01/09/2018
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    Fossil fuels do not need incentive plans ... but they should not be demonized either.

    Like (3)
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  • Judy
    01/09/2018
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    Good work! Renewable energy is the future! Take those subsidies and put them toward helping the Americans with disabilities. Care for the people rather than share excess dollars with the greed of businesses profiting from these subsidies.

    Like (2)
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  • Jeanne
    01/09/2018
    ···

    To quote Nathan: “If we are going to spend money to subsidize energy sources, they should be clean, renewable sources. While I fully appreciate the role coal has played in our region, but it is simply not cost efficient to prop up a non renewable fuel industry that even has the potential to do irreversible environmental damage. As supplies of coal dwindle, and mining jobs become more and more automated, there will naturally be fewer and fewer coal jobs anyway. Coal still has a role to play, but it would be wiser to invest in economic revitalization programs, rather than wasting money on a naturally dying industry. If we invest in energy, it should be for the future of clean, renewable energy sources, not the dying fossil fuel industry.”

    Like (1)
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  • Peter
    01/09/2018
    ···

    You shouldn’t subsidize coal and nuclear since they are old technologies that are already fully explored (apart from possibly new generation nuclear), and doing so will remove the cash incentive to develop other energy sources like solar and wind.

    Like (1)
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  • Jake-A-Rama
    01/10/2018
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    Is there a doubt in anybody’s mind that Rick Perry is deep in the pockets of the coal lobby? The guy needs to step down

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  • Karen
    01/10/2018
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    Exporting coal more now doesn’t help the owners of the mines? Let’s not subsidize the Koch Brothers as they amass enough money to burn for fuel instead of coal. Miners need to be retrained for clean energy jobs. They are certainly smart enough to fill those jobs.

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  • Claude
    01/09/2018
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    We do not need to support the coal industry

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  • Michael n angie
    01/10/2018
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    Whatever is in the best interests of the majority of Americans. I never heard of FERC until just now. Sounds like more bureaucracy. Isn’t bureaucracy an enemy to Republicanism and Democracy? We vote y’all in and then you appoint People who dont champion the best interest of the majority of American citizens. What could be done about this LEGALLY under the Constitution? Anything?

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  • GatewayJohn
    01/09/2018
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    Thank you FERC only this administration would seriously try to link fading cosl industry to developing nuke energy

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  • Sheryl
    01/10/2018
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    Things in the USA seem so regressive the past few years. Is this what a dying democracy looks like? How did innovation and doing things cheaper, cleaner and more efficiently go out of vogue? This is what happened to the Neanderthals; they failed to evolve.

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  • Dara
    01/11/2018
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    Finally a voice of reason. Coal is the past. Move into the 21st Century trump. We need clean energy AND re-training for our coal workers. Save our planet.

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  • Steve
    01/09/2018
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    It’s unfortunate but necessary.

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  • Jeanne
    01/10/2018
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    Finally a correct decision from a regulatory agency! We don’t need coal at all and stock holders need to pay for nuclear power plant upgrades, not the public.

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  • BeStrong
    01/10/2018
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    FERC has made an appropriate decision. Next ...

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