Ambitious Regulations Could Jeopardize U.S. Power Grid

John Kerry announced at the recent COP28 climate summit that the administration will no longer allow the commission of new coal plants. This announcement comes without a clear plan from the administration to fill the energy gap. These actions following the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s power plant emission rules are only pushing our nation’s infrastructure, power grid, and energy supply to its breaking point, leaving Americans in the dust with crippling prices.

We’ve already seen the effects of strained coal production and the use of unreliable energy sources in states like California that declared a grid emergency back in August of last year. On top of this, the administration is attempting to rein in emissions by severely limiting coal’s operational capacity, obstructing the grid’s ability to function.

Not only has the administration made its ambitions clear with its attack on coal, but it also has made headways in its fight against natural gas-powered plants. Natural gas power plants contribute double the amount of energy as coal to the power grid but recent actions by the administration plan to dismantle that. In fact, the administration recently released new methane rules, the hydrocarbon that natural gas emits, in an effort to reduce emissions from the oil and gas industry. Like the coal emission rules, these actions will severely limit the capabilities of power plants, which poses grave threats to the future stability of our grid.

If successful, the Biden administration will shut down operations as we know it, causing a series of blackouts when power, during the winter months, is most needed. As the combination of coal and natural gas power plants account for over half of the energy supplied to the grid—with renewables unable to currently fill that gap—these rules are extremely concerning. The administration must rethink these rules and propose common sense policies that will ensure a strong grid, while reducing emissions.

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