Washington, D.C. — Desperate to prop up the declining coal industry, the Trump administration has inflated claims of national security threats to the electric grid to bail out unprofitable power plants.
A new column from the Center for American Progress and National Security Action argues that this unprecedented use of defense and emergency powers to favor certain electricity resources—coal and nuclear—over others, such as natural gas and renewables, defies the rules of competitive energy markets. More importantly, it distorts the intent of national security tools and undermines the ability of future administrations to respond to real threats to the energy system, the column says.
“Make no mistake: This is a bailout for the Trump administration’s coal company supporters,” said Luke Bassett, associate director of Domestic Energy and Environment Policy at CAP and co-author of the column.
This plan manufactures a threat and makes an argument to support coal generation, passing the costs along to consumers by forcing grid operators to buy power from the least efficient, most expensive, and highest-polluting power plants. The independent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has already rejected the idea of subsidizing coal and nuclear power plants, with experts saying it “would blow the market up.”
Read the column: “Abuse of Power: Debunking the Trump Administration’s National Security Argument for Coal” by Luke Bassett and Ned Price
For more information or to speak to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at email@example.com or 202-478-6327.