Michael Panfil, director of federal energy policy for the Environmental Defense Fund, called Trump's directive "an unprecedented, illegal government handout" to the coal and nuclear industries and vowed to fight the order in court.
The agency also is making plans to establish a "Strategic Electric Generation Reserve" with the aim of promoting the national defense and maximizing domestic energy supplies. The National Security Council was set to meet Friday to discuss the Energy Department's latest idea for shoring up the facilities.
In line with Energy Secretary Rick Perry's narrative that staving off further coal and nuclear retirements is a national security imperative, the draft memo contends that resources with secure on-site fuel supplies "are essential to support the nation's defense facilities, critical energy infrastructure and other critical infrastructure".
DOE did not respond to requests for comment.
It says even though "intermittent resources", such as wind and solar power, do "provide value at various times during the day", it is "during times of peak demand when there is the greatest strain on the electricity grid" that "many major electricity markets are and will continue to be heavily dependent on fossil and nuclear electric generation resources".
Joe Manchin (D-WV) urging the president to use federal emergency powers to prevent the closure of coal and nuclear power plants.
The drilling industry, renewable energy companies, and many grid operators reject the idea that coal and nuclear power plant closures are undermining US electricity reliability and resiliency, saying gas, solar and wind have proven dependable. "There is no need for any such drastic action", said a PJM spokesperson about the new idea. Nationwide, BNEF said, two dozen nuclear plants - representing almost 33 gigawatts - are either scheduled to close or probably won't make money through 2021.
Gas-fired power generators are more vulnerable to cyber attacks than coal plants and nukes because gas must be delivered from remote fields via pipelines, according a draft report by the department.
Based on knowledge from the Vitality Info Administration, coal consumption has fallen about 20 p.c in comparison with final 12 months, from about 149,200,000 quick tons within the first two months of 2017 to only beneath 119,600,000 quick tons within the first two months of 2018.
Perry, under the auspices of the Trump White House, then switched tactics by proposing a new rule to require energy buyers to pay extra fees to coal and nuclear plants as a means of supporting the declining industry, but that requirement was quickly shot down by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission who noted insufficient evidence to approve the extra fees. One independent group that manages the electricity grid that serves more than 65 million people said that it could be bad for consumers if the federal government intervenes in the market. Since then, the Trump administration has been studying other options.
Another coalition of energy industry groups representing the oil, natural gas, solar, and wind industries issued joint statements saying the administration's plan is "misguided", "unwarranted", and "an exercise in crony capitalism".