We Need Coal to Support America’s Balanced Power Mix and Ensure Grid Reliability

We Need Coal to Support America’s Balanced Power Mix and Ensure Grid Reliability

June 18, 2020

The United States became the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas through innovation and research and went from a nation dependent on imported oil to a net exporter. America’s hard-won energy independence instilled every citizen with confidence in our nation’s security, thanks to the diplomatic influence the oil industry ensured for the U.S.

The recent war waged by the eco-left on the energy sector has led to the new radical proposal of moving our entire energy grid to renewable energy. This ill-informed progressive policy is detached from the idea of economic security, national security, and relief to Americans following the last few troubling months.

According to The Hill:

Even so, coal still accounts for 24 percent of America’s electricity. What is more, coal plants — along with nuclear and large natural gas facilities — constitute “base-load” power that is critical for maintaining grid stability and reliability. Unlike intermittent wind and solar, coal plants are “always on.” And unlike natural gas plants, they keep months of fuel on site, providing essential security and resiliency for a grid increasingly dependent on just-in-time fuel delivery. However, with more than half the states having partially or totally deregulated their power markets, often no mechanism exists to ensure the economic viability of base-load generation that must compete with cheap natural gas and subsidized renewables. 

Base-load power is especially important during weather extremes when the demand for electricity typically spikes.

In 2018, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), which oversees reliability of the North American electric grid, warned that “an accelerated retirement of coal-fired and nuclear power plants over the next several years could lead to power outages, temporary shortfalls in surplus generation, and transmission problems in several regions.”

Power the Future has previously written on the effects of poor eco-extreme policy; discussing the ill-informed, green-minded actions by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, which led to energy shortages around the state.

If anything these past few months has taught us, is that America’s balanced power mix provides fuel security and reliability. Thanks to the energy sector lights were kept on in hospitals and households across the country as we fought, and continue to fight, the invisible enemy.

The industry supports 10 million jobs nationally and has brought economic prosperity to the U.S. that reshaped geopolitics and positioned America as an energy independent nation with diplomatic influence and security. America’s domestic supply of reliable and affordable energy is vital to protect, any conflicting campaign is detached from energy and economic reality.