Biden’s Assault on Power Plants Threatens Energy Catastrophe, Experts Warn
The reliability of the nation’s electric grid has become a constant concern. This week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is addressing grid reliability, highlighting the impending catastrophe and the policy decisions driving it. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is at the center of the storm, with a regulatory agenda that poses a significant threat.
The EPA’s recent rules aimed at coal and gas power plants could dismantle 60% of the nation’s power supply rapidly. The coal fleet, crucial for grid reliability, faces six rules pushing for accelerated closures. The Clean Power Plan 2.0, a headline rule in this onslaught, mandates immediate decisions from plant owners, pushing for technologies not ready for commercial deployment. This aggressive agenda, if fully enacted, could push the nation’s grid over the edge.
FERC Chairman Willie Phillips and Jim Robb, CEO of North American Electric Reliability Corporation, have expressed deep concerns about the pace of power plant retirements, highlighting the potential reliability impacts. Phillips, who is a Biden appointee, stated, “I am extremely concerned about the pace of retirements we are seeing of generators which are needed for reliability” in his testimony before Congress.
The necessary interagency coordination, especially for evaluating the cumulative impact of EPA’s rulemakings on grid reliability, has been lacking.
EPA’s claim of consulting with FERC over the reliability impact was contradicted by Commissioner James Danly, who stated that FERC was not consulted. Despite a request from Danly that it extend its comment period for the Clean Power Plan 2.0, EPA closed the comment period showing a dangerous nonchalance about the impact of its rulemakings.
FERC now has the responsibility to hold EPA accountable for its plans. The cumulative impact of EPA’s rulemakings needs to be addressed by reliability regulators, making the Biden administration answer for the danger posed by this regulatory onslaught. The stakes are high, and it’s crucial that reliability experts have the final say over the nation’s electricity supply, not the EPA.
In summary, the EPA’s regulatory agenda, if unchecked, could lead to a catastrophic impact on the nation’s energy reliability. FERC, Congress, and the states must step in to ensure that the nation’s foremost reliability experts have the authority to safeguard the reliability and security of the electricity supply. The danger posed by EPA’s rulemakings requires urgent attention and a reevaluation of the current trajectory.