This San Antonio Express-News editorial looks at the recently released The Brattle Group Report, which estimates the costs of the current administration's coal bailout at $34 billion. AEE with funding from a coalition commissioned the report. Link to the full article here. Link to the Brattle Group Report here. Excerpts below:
As governor of Texas, Rick Perry made his name privatizing the state’s electricity market, celebrating developments in fracking that fueled an oil and gas boom, expanding wind energy and minimizing regulations in the name of the free market.
As the nation’s energy secretary, Perry has chosen to promote the beleaguered coal and nuclear industries at the expense of ratepayers and also wind and natural gas power sources. First came a plan that would have required financial payments to coal and nuclear plants that maintain 90 days of fuel supplies. It was widely panned and rejected by the Federal Energy Regulation Commission.
Now comes an attempt to force power grid operators to purchase more expensive coal and nuclear power for two years as a matter of national security. This would keep certain coal and nuclear plants from retiring. The pretense is that much cheaper natural gas pipelines are vulnerable to cyberattacks, so these coal and nuclear plants must stay open. Experts disagree. Among these experts are Kevin J. McIntyre, who heads the Federal Energy Regulation Commission and is an appointee of President Donald Trump.
The Brattle Group, a Massachusetts-based research firm, has estimated running outdated coal and nuclear power plants could cost the public $34 billion over the next two years.
Link to the full SAEN article here.