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WSJ (editorial): Rick Perry’s Obama Imitation: His intrusion to save coal and nuclear plants is as bad as renewable subsidies

Posted by WSJ Editorial Board on Jun 5, 2018

While neither AEE nor its allies are quoted, this is a notable opinion piece weighing in against market intervention to save uneconomic coal and nuclear plants. We encourage you to read the entire Wall Street Journal opinion here (subscription req.). Excerpts below:

"One Trump Administration achievement has been liberating U.S. energy producers of all kinds from federal shackles. Companies have responded with jobs and investment, but all of a sudden the Administration wants to do a Barack Obama imitation and play energy favorites.

"The National Security Council on Friday reviewed a 41-page internal memo, leaked to Bloomberg News, suggesting that President Trump invoke emergency authority to require grid operators to buy nuclear and coal power. But there’s no emergency, and the political intervention will do more harm than good..."

The piece goes on to explain economics of energy markets, how FERC declined to accept an earlier proposed DOE rule to subsidize coal, and and describes this latest rescue plan:

"None of this is necessary. Energy companies are already working with regulators to fortify their cyber firewalls. PJM, which manages wholesale power markets across 13 states in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest, says “there is no immediate threat to system reliability” and the region currently has a 25% energy capacity surplus...

"Mandating that grid operators buy more expensive coal and nuclear power would raise consumer prices and could reduce natural gas production that has been a boon to many states...

"As Governor of Texas, Mr. Perry often visited our offices to explain why the U.S. government shouldn’t pick energy winners and losers. He’s still right even if he has moved to Washington."

See the entire Wall Street Journal story here (subscription required).

Topics: AEE In The News