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Eight former federal energy regulators denounce Trump bid to boost coal

Ex-energy regulators denounce Trump bid to boost coal, By MATTHEW DALY,  WASHINGTON (AP), 24 Oct 17  — Eight former federal energy regulators — including five former commission chairs — oppose a Trump administration plan to bolster nuclear and coal-fired power plants, arguing it would raise prices and disrupt electricity markets.The former officials, who served under presidents from both parties, call the plan “a significant step backward.”

The plan by Energy Secretary Rick Perry would reward nuclear and coal-fired power plants for adding reliability to the nation’s power grid. Perry says the plan is needed to help prevent widespread outages such as those caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Mari

The plan aims to reverse a steady tide of retirements of coal and nuclear plants, which have lost market share as natural gas and renewable energy flourish. President Donald Trump has vowed to revive the struggling coal industry and expressed strong support for nuclear power, while casting a skeptical eye toward renewable energy such as wind and solar power.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is considering the plan and could decide by mid-December.

A letter signed by eight former energy commission members said “subsidizing resources” such as coal and nuclear plants “so they do not retire would fundamentally distort markets … and inevitably raise prices to customers.”

The plan could backfire as investors lose confidence in energy markets, the former officials said. “This loss of faith in markets would thereby undermine reliability,” they wrote.

The letter was signed by officials who served under every president since Ronald Reagan, including former FERC chairs Elizabeth Moler, James Hoecker, Pat Wood III, Joseph Kelliher and Jon Wellinghoff. Moler, Hoecker and Wellinghoff are Democrats, while Wood and Kelliher are Republicans.

The American Public Power Association also urged FERC to reject the plan, saying in a statement Monday it would “impose significant costs on customers without any justification.”…..https://www.apnews.com/9c2b530d60bd4b8fac4630ab05c0c614

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October 25, 2017 - Posted by | ENERGY, politics, USA

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