Radical Environmental Policies Making Nation’s Electricity Grid Less Dependable

Radical Environmental Policies Making Nation’s Electricity Grid Less Dependable

February 23, 2022

Access to reliable electricity is one of the most critical components of modern society. From an economic standpoint, electricity fuels factories and small businesses which help create jobs and ensure that household staples get to market. From a public health and safety standpoint, electricity keeps our hospitals and first responders running and keeps our homes warm or cool during extreme weather emergencies.

So, it should spark concern when we see our nation’s electricity grid becoming less reliable. Unfortunately, the Wall Street Journal reports that’s exactly what we’re seeing today:

The U.S. electrical system is becoming less dependable. The problem is likely to get worse before it gets better.

Large, sustained outages have occurred with increasing frequency in the U.S. over the past two decades, according to a Wall Street Journal review of federal data. In 2000, there were fewer than two dozen major disruptions, the data shows. In 2020, the number surpassed 180.

Utility customers on average experienced just over eight hours of power interruptions in 2020, more than double the amount in 2013, when the government began tracking outage lengths.

With technology improvements making natural gas more readily available as a domestic fuel source, why is electricity reliability going down? Not surprisingly, government policies attacking fossil fuels are one big reason.

Regulators in many parts of the country are attempting to further speed the build-out of renewable energy in response to concerns about climate change. A number of states have enacted mandates to eliminate carbon emissions from the grid in the coming decades, and the Biden administration has set a goal to do so by 2035.

The pace of change, hastened by market forces and long-term efforts to reduce carbon emissions, has raised concerns that power plants will retire more quickly than they can be replaced, creating new strain on the grid at a time when other factors are converging to weaken it.

This leads to one of the major contradictions of the radical environmentalist movement. While they espouse public policies that make electricity less reliable and affordable, they are simultaneously pushing to electrify everything.

Just this month, the Biden administration and environmental groups have been left howling that the U.S. Postal Service isn’t electrifying its fleet fast enough. But why should any organization rush to electrify when the policymakers in charge continue to make electricity less reliable and affordable? That’s the question for which these groups have no answer.