President Trump's mandate would force the DOE to implement two emergency-only provisions-the Federal Power Act and the Defense Production Act-to once again attempt to bail out coal-fired and nuclear power plants.
As Bloomberg noted, there is no guarantee the president would sign off on the directive, but the White House did issue a statement on Friday saying it was weighing different options to keep America's energy grid "strong".
President Donald Trump ordered Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take immediate action to stem power plant closures in the name of national security, arguing that a decline in coal and nuclear electricity is putting the nation's grid at risk.
The Trump administration's claims of energy security for keeping coal and nuclear plants online is not supported by the facts, as multiple power networks, including PJM, one of the biggest USA independent systems, point to a recent extremely cold "bomb cyclone" weather event in the United States northeast that showed the regional grid operating efficiently despite coal power plant closures, cited by Ars Technica.
The administration has said it is concerned the retirement of old coal and nuclear plants could put USA power supplies at risk because - unlike solar, wind, and natural gas power facilities - coal and nuclear generators can store fuel on site.
Over the two years in question, DoE officials would ostensibly research U.S. power grid network vulnerabilities, using the study as a justification to keep unprofitable and polluting power plants running as a matter of national security, according to Bloomberg. Coal-fired and nuclear power plants continue to do a lot of the heavy lifting when the bulk power system is put to the test.
The plan cuts to the heart of a debate over the reliability and resiliency of a rapidly evolving US electricity grid.
Maria Korsnick, president and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute, applauded Friday the administration's effort to retain nuclear facilities as national security assets though she admitted to not having seen the details of the reported proposal.
Malaysia to penalize owners who don’t replace Takata airbags
The latest incident took place on Wednesday in a 2004 Honda City vehicle in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, Honda said. The cause of his death was due injuries inflicted by a faulty Takata airbag inflator that ruptured in the crash.
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The United States has long demanded that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons. Jim Mattis said the Pentagon will "compete vigorously " on the issue if needed.
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FILE PHOTO: A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva October 2, 2014. "We will continue to implement all UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea ".
A number of other trade groups representing energy efficiency, electric storage, natural gas, oil, solar, wind and electricity consumers also chimed in to criticize the draft memo and its proposed actions.
A major grid operator, PJM Interconnection, said in a statement that the power system is more reliable than ever and federal intervention isn't needed.
American power generators are expected to retire - or announce the retirements of - 16,200 megawatts of coal-fired and 550 megawatts of nuclear plant capacity this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Coal stockpiled at a power plant.
According to another energy association, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), the plan is "an exercise in crony capitalism taken exclusively for the benefit of a bankrupt power plant owner and its coal supplier", says Malcolm Woolf, AEE's senior vice president of policy. The owner of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant has said its plant has been unprofitable for six years. Ohio-based FirstEnergy is the largest customer for Murray's Ohio-based coal company and has joined with Murray to seek federal help. The federal government has a lot of assets in the Pacific Northwest.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, an independent agency, unanimously rejected an earlier proposal by the Energy Department that would have favored coal and nuclear plants. However, CIL's daily supplies of 1.4-million tons would enable power plants to increase stock, but they would have to make timely bookings as per their fuel supply agreements.
"There is no need for any such drastic action", the company said.