Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted July 25, 2019
With Ohio’s passage of a corporate bailout for nuclear and coal-burning power plants – a consumer-funded subsidy that could amount to more than $1 billion through 2027 – Columbus Dispatch metro columnist Ted Decker lamented: Why are ratepayers paying the price for one company’s ineptitude?
A great question that apparently didn’t register with a majority in the state legislature or Gov. Mike DeWine. Then again, they weren’t persuaded to back off the subsidy plan when confronted by Ohio public opinion, which overwhelmingly opposed docking the state’s ratepayers on a monthly basis to bail out two nuclear power plants.
Posted August 23, 2018
Domestic natural gas abundance – safely developed with modern hydraulic fracturing and high-tech horizontal drilling – has benefitted consumers and the economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping make our air cleaner.
Sustaining and growing those benefits largely depends on market growth for natural gas – to add production that production must have new and/or growing markets to supply. Policy can affect the potential for that market growth. The U.S. Energy Department’s (DOE) continued push to bail out failing coal and nuclear plants is a prime example.
Posted July 19, 2018
As it turns out, you can put a dollar figure on the cost to prop up failing coal and nuclear plants, and that figure could reach $35 billion a year — cost that could largely impact American consumers and/or taxpayers, for no discernible improvement to the nation's electric grid.
The Trump administration has used grid reliability, “resilience” and, more recently, national security as reasons for the government to bail out coal and nuclear plants – claims we’ve rebutted. Now we can add ‘exorbitant potential cost to the American people’ to the list of reasons why propping up coal and nuclear is a bad idea.
Posted June 25, 2018
The notion that failing coal and nuclear plants need to be propped up by Washington continues to be advanced by some in the administration and, of course, members of the industries that would benefit from bailouts – usually by attacking natural gas and its infrastructure. In recent months we’ve rebutted their claims that the nation’s electricity grid is at risk and that natural gas has reliability issues as a fuel for power generation, especially during extremely cold weather. We’ve also pushed back on their assertion that there’s a heightened risk of cyber attack for natural gas infrastructure.
Next up: A flawed report about an impending wave of nuclear plant retirements, apparently to stoke anxiety and build support for the cause.
Posted April 3, 2018
Ohio-based utility FirstEnergy’s efforts to land a bailout from consumers have crossed over from the problematic to the absurd.
With the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in January rejecting a bid to alter the electricity marketplace in ways that would favor some generating facilities over others, FirstEnergy last week launched an end-run around FERC, asking U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry to basically do what FERC wouldn’t do – bail out up to 85 generating units, all coal and nuclear – claiming there’s an emergency with the reliability of the electricity grid.To which the regional power grid operator, PJM Interconnection, quite accurately, responded: What emergency?
Posted September 26, 2017
We support all-of-the-above energy – the concept that America is strongest and its citizens are best served when all of our country’s energy sources play their part. We’re also for the important role markets play in determining energy sources, because markets reward innovation, spur efficiency, lower prices and work to benefit consumers. That said, a new study that basically argues market-distorting subsidies enjoyed by some energies should be followed by market-distorting subsidies for others makes little sense.
Posted September 19, 2017
Looking at the benefits of natural gas in a state such as New Jersey – lower consumer costs, jobs, environmental progress – it makes no sense to risk what works for New Jerseyans by handing state subsidies to nuclear plants. New Jersey voters agree: A strong, bipartisan majority opposes the idea in a new poll.
Posted May 10, 2017
Ohio lawmakers are discussing a proposal to establish zero-emission credits for nuclear plants, giving them an advantage against other energy sources. Instead of government picking winners and losers, the marketplace should determine an energy source’s viability – based on affordability, efficiency and other factors – letting the market work for consumers.
Posted April 11, 2017
A couple of months ago we had this post on Connecticut legislation that would subsidize nuclear power generation by guaranteeing markets for a state nuclear plant. We called it a bad idea and argued that the marketplace and consumers should determine an energy source’s viability based on affordability, efficiency and other factors, not government favoring one source over others. That argument still applies in Connecticut, where the subsidy bill remains before the legislature, and also Ohio, which is considering a nuclear subsidy of its own.
Posted February 10, 2017
A pillar of a sound energy policy, nationally and in the states, is letting markets work. Let the marketplace and consumers determine an energy source’s viability – based on affordability, efficiency, usefulness and other market factors. Unfortunately, Connecticut is considering legislation that would go the other direction, providing market-distorting government subsidies for nuclear power generation that could negatively impact consumers.