Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Trump Administration Plans Costly Taxpayer Bailout of Unprofitable Energy Industries

Energy
Trump Administration Plans Costly Taxpayer Bailout of Unprofitable Energy Industries

The Trump administration is planning to bail out unprofitable coal and nuclear plants by mandating grid operators buy electricity from them in the name of national security, Bloomberg reported late Thursday.


A draft Department of Energy memo circulated before a National Security Council meeting Friday proposes invoking rarely-used emergency authorities under the Defense Production Act and Federal Power Act to force grid operators to purchase power from struggling plants. Per the memo, the move is meant as a "stop-gap measure" while the administration conducts a two-year study on "grid security challenges" facing the country.

The proposal is the latest overture by the Trump administration as it struggles to make good on a campaign promise to help the coal and nuclear industry—as well as some of the president's biggest donors.

As reported by Bloomberg:

"While administration officials are still deciding on their final strategy—and may yet decide against aggressive action—the memo represents the Energy Department's latest, most fully developed plan to intervene on behalf of coal and nuclear power plants, pitched to the president's top security advisers.

...

Opponents of the new plan contend bailouts are a solution in search of a problem. They argue there are many ways to back up the grid that won't cost ratepayers billions of dollars. A coalition of natural gas and renewable power advocates told [Energy Secretary Rick] Perry that 'power plant retirements are a normal, healthy feature of electricity markets,' and therefore there is no emergency that would justify Energy Department action."

For a deeper dive:

Bloomberg

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth on April 2, 2012 in Western Australia. James D. Morgan / Getty Images News

By Dana M Bergstrom, Euan Ritchie, Lesley Hughes and Michael Depledge

In 1992, 1,700 scientists warned that human beings and the natural world were "on a collision course." Seventeen years later, scientists described planetary boundaries within which humans and other life could have a "safe space to operate." These are environmental thresholds, such as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and changes in land use.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A 3-hour special film by EarthxTV calls for protection of the Amazon and its indigenous populations. EarthxTV.org

To save the planet, we must save the Amazon rainforest. To save the rainforest, we must save its indigenous peoples. And to do that, we must demarcate their land.

Read More Show Less

Trending

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivers a video speech at the high-level meeting of the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council UNHRC in Geneva, Switzerland on Feb. 22, 2021. Xinhua / Zhang Cheng via Getty Images

By Anke Rasper

"Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet," said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report, released Friday, looks at the national climate efforts of 75 states that have already submitted their updated "nationally determined contributions," or NDCs. The countries included in the report are responsible for about 30% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More Show Less
New Delhi's smog is particularly thick, increasing the risk of vehicle accidents. SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP via Getty Images

India's New Delhi has been called the "world air pollution capital" for its high concentrations of particulate matter that make it harder for its residents to breathe and see. But one thing has puzzled scientists, according to The Guardian. Why does New Delhi see more blinding smogs than other polluted Asian cities, such as Beijing?

Read More Show Less
A bridge over the Delaware river connects New Hope, Pennsylvania with Lambertville, New Jersey. Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

In a historic move, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted Thursday to ban hydraulic fracking in the region. The ban was supported by all four basin states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — putting a permanent end to hydraulic fracking for natural gas along the 13,539-square-mile basin, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Read More Show Less