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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

August 24, 2017

Federal Electricity Study Hints at Future Support for Coal

By BRAD PLUMER, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2017-08-24 06:38:55

The Trump administration on Wednesday released a major report urging actions to protect the “reliability and resilience” of the nation’s electric grid, a move that could lay the groundwork for future support of America’s ailing coal and nuclear industries. The 187-page study, commissioned by Energy Secretary Rick Perry in April, recommends that federal regulators make changes to wholesale electricity markets that could potentially benefit existing coal and nuclear plants. Revenues for many of these facilities have slumped in recent years as electricity prices have declined, mostly because of cheap natural gas, the study said, but also as a result of low electricity demand growth and the rise of wind and solar power. [ read more … ]

DOE report blames natural gas for closures

Hannah Northey and Peter Behr, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2017-08-24 06:38:17

A long-awaited Energy Department staff report on electricity markets and reliability singles out natural gas — not renewables or environmental regulations — as the leading driver of coal plant closures in this decade, challenging the Trump administration’s case for saving coal. “The biggest contributor to coal and nuclear plant retirements has been the advantaged economics of natural gas-fired generation” fueled by the shale revolution, the report says. [ read more … ]

Energy Department’s recommendations would bolster coal, nuclear power plants

By Steven Mufson, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2017-08-24 06:39:21

“The National Mining Association applauds the department for its timely analysis of the nation’s power grid and the recommendations it proposes,” the association’s president, Hal Quinn, said in a statement. He praised the report’s finding that government regulations and mandates had “accelerated the closure of a substantial number” of power plants. Environmental and renewable industry groups slammed the report for failing to deal with climate change and the drive toward low carbon electricity, and noted that the final report differed from earlier drafts that had been leaked. [ read more … ]

U.S. to Say Power Markets Must ‘Evolve’ to Value Coal, Nuclear

By Tim Loh, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2017-08-24 06:39:51

The Energy Department will recommend in its report that FERC expedite efforts to improve “price formation” in wholesale power markets and look at valuing resources for their reliability, according to the document obtained by Bloomberg. The department is also recommending that federal agencies accelerate and cut the costs of permitting for nuclear, hydropower and coal plants. [ read more … ]

Energy Dept: Government Should Ease Rules on Power Plants

By David Koenig, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2017-08-24 06:40:10

Jim Marston, an official with the Environmental Defense Fund, said the Energy Department was “twisting facts to reach a predetermined conclusion in favor of coal.” He said the agency ignored evidence from California that solar energy is reliable. On the other side, the CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity praised the report. Paul Bailey said, “One of the biggest challenges is how to preserve the nation’s coal fleet so it can continue supporting a reliable and resilient electricity grid.” [ read more … ]

RGGI states agree to cut utility emissions by another 30%

Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-08-24 06:40:28

The governors of nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states have committed to cut carbon emissions from power plants by an additional 30 percent through an updated cap-and-trade program. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the first market-based regulatory program to reduce heat-trapping emissions, established a cap on the issuing and auctioning of tradeable allowances for carbon dioxide. Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont participate in the program. [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.