A Forbes contributor notes: The Trump administration may try to resuscitate the coal industry by using laws that, in effect, conclude that national security is at stake because the reliability of the electric grid is at risk. That is a hard case to make both to Congress and to the public, which is experiencing stable electricity prices and cleaner options.
The White House has two regulatory levers at its disposal: The first is one developed during the Truman era that was used to help the steel sector and the second is one that authorizes the U.S. Department of Energy to ensure stable electricity supplies under a 2015 highway measure. Both ideas are in response to a prior rejection by federal regulators that would have subsidized older coal and nuclear plants.
“Power plant retirements are a normal, healthy feature of electricity markets,” says a letter written to the Department of Energy by a far-ranging group of energy interest — from American Wind Energy Association to the Natural Gas Supply Association. “There is no emergency or threat to the national defense on which the Department could lawfully base the exercise of its emergency.”
Indeed, the group that also includes the Advanced Energy Economy, the American Petroleum Institute and the Electric Power Supply Association, goes on to say that the electricity market is healthy and undergoing a transformation — and the retirement of older and less efficient units is quite natural...
See the entire Forbes piece here.