Trump orders Perry to stop coal, nuclear retirements
June 1, 2018
admin

This breaking news is reported by Utility Dive. It comes on the heels of a scoop by Bloomberg that "Trump Prepared Lifeline for Money-Losing Coal [and Nuclear] Power Plants."

Public Citizen's Energy Program director, Tyson Slocum, has issued a statement.

(Jessica Corbett at CommonDreams quoted not only Public Citizen, but also Sierra Club and Union of Concerned Scientists expressing strong objections to Trump's outrageous abuse of authority.)

If enacted, this bailout of some 80 coal and nuclear power plants in a 13-state region could cost the public $8 billion per year in dirty, dangerous, and expensive energy surcharges on their electric bills and/or income taxes.

AP reported on May 29th that energy lobbyist Jeff Miller is the carbon-breathing, radioactive swamp monster mutating U.S. energy markets for his client FirstEnergy, with his intimate access at the highest levels of the Trump administration. Miller is an old, close personal friend of Energy Secretary Rick Perry -- Miller served as Perry's campaign manager in his unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. And Miller sat down for a private dinner with Trump himself several weeks ago, with the president immediately stating publicly afterwards that this coal/nuclear bailout was a top priority for his administration.

Bloomberg also reported on May 29th:

Miller’s lobbying firm has already chalked up some wins.

Utility giant Southern Co., which hired Miller in March 2017 to lobby the Energy Department and others on nuclear energy issues, was awarded $3.7 billion in conditional loan guarantees for its troubled nuclear reactor project in Georgia.

Update on June 1, 2018 by Registered Commenteradmin

Brad Plumer at the New York Times has also reported on this story.

Update on June 1, 2018 by Registered Commenteradmin

This just reported by Bloomberg Government:

PJM Says `No Need' for Federal Action to Bail Out Coal, Nuclear

By Tim Loh | June 1, 2018 01:38PM ET | Bloomberg First Word

Largest U.S. power grid sees “any federal intervention” in markets that would force customers to buy electricity from specific power plants as “damaging” to markets and “costly to consumers”

Update on June 1, 2018 by Registered Commenteradmin

Steven Mufson in the Washington Post also reported on this story, in an article entitled "Trump orders Energy Secretary Perry to halt shutdown of coal and nuclear plants."

The Washington Post's Philip Bump has added a companion piece, "Trump's plan to use a Cold War-era law to bolster the coal [and nuclear] industry, explained."

Update on June 1, 2018 by Registered Commenteradmin

Ars Technica has also reported on this story.

Update on June 1, 2018 by Registered Commenteradmin

PowerMag also reported on this story.

Update on June 1, 2018 by Registered Commenteradmin

FirstEnergy Fact blog post by Dick Munson:

In an unprecedented move, President Trump today directed Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to take steps to bail out uneconomic coal and nuclear plants. 
 
You might recall FirstEnergy has spent years trying every possible avenue to prop up its uneconomic, unnecessary power plants, often relying on political contributions and high-powered lobbyists. Two arcane laws the utility giant has pointed to include the Defense Production Act and Section 202(c) of the Federal Power Act, both of which will likely form the basis of President Trump’s new directive.
 
We don’t know yet how today’s move will affect FirstEnergy, but it’s clear Washington’s new swamp has created a monster: A multi-billion dollar attack on American families, markets and the law. We look forward to forcefully opposing it every step of the way.

Update on June 1, 2018 by Registered Commenteradmin

Even Forbes columnists think Trump's move is a major mistake.

Update on June 2, 2018 by Registered Commenteradmin

If only the nuclear lemons in the PJM grid, such as Davis-Besse in Ohio, weren't so deadly dangerous, in addition to being financial black holes! They should be shut down, like San Onofre Units 2 & 3 were in June 2013! For the safe of health, safety, and the environment, as well as protecting public pocketbooks!Midwest Energy News's Kathiann Kowalski reports "FirstEnergy critics says PJM auction shows its nuclear plants aren't needed."

The article concludes:

“Grid experts have proven time and time again that FirstEnergy plants are not needed for reliability or resilience,” said Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund director for Midwest Clean Energy.

Learner, of the Environmental Law & Policy Center, said there is already a surplus of nuclear generation in the Midwest, which is why some didn’t clear the PJM auction. FirstEnergy’s poor business decisions in the past should not now let it get subsidies for uncompetitive coal and nuclear plants, he added.

“That’s like asking consumers to pay more to subsidize landline phones or camera film while cell phones and digital cameras are better products that are winning in the competitive markets,” Learner said.

In his view, “FES’s request for costly public subsidies amounts to ‘lemon socialism.’” (emphasis added)

Given that punch line, we HAVE to show the great art by J. deStefano, above left, which she put out in 2012-2013 in the successful campaign to shut down the nuclear lemons, a.k.a. San Onofre Units 2 & 3, in s. CA!

Update on June 2, 2018 by Registered Commenteradmin

Ashley Braun of DeSmogBlog (reprinted at Truthout) got the headline just about right:

Rick Perry Resorts to Subsidizing Coal [and Nuclear] With Measures Used in Wartime and Natural Disasters


Note that no such lifeline has been extended by the Trump administration to Puerto Rico. Harvard University just released a report that documents nearly 5,000 people perished -- a significant number due to the prolonged lack of electricity, as in the complication of pre-existing medical conditions -- in the aftermath of last summer's Hurricane Maria. Some there still lack electricity, as this year's Atlantic hurricane season just began. (But at least some Puerto Rican Trump supporters did receive free rolls of paper towel, jovially flung at them, basketball free throw style, by the Donald!)

Update on June 2, 2018 by Registered Commenteradmin

Tom Henry at the Toledo Blade has published a column entitled "FirstEnergy's request for Trump relief draws more critics."

Article originally appeared on Beyond Nuclear (http://www.beyondnuclear.org/).
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