President Joe Biden’s administration’s approach to energy policy ignores the significance of baseload electricity and coal demands.
Last year, in a speech, President Joe Biden revealed as much, announcing the United States will “be shutting these plants down all across America and having wind and solar.” Furthermore, John Kerry, Biden’s Climate Envoy, stated at the COP 28 U.N. climate conference, “We will be working to accelerate unabated coal phase-out across the world.”
Biden’s administration determined to eliminate coal-fired power plants under the banner of “environmental justice.” This is ill-advised.
The president is now following through on his plans by wielding the enormous power of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Biden’s EPA gave America’s coal industry an ultimatum: spend several billions or die.
In May, the EPA proposed regulations unexpectedly that would force power plants that are fired by coal to install capture systems (CCS) or significantly replace coal with natural gas by 2040.
Currently, only two American commercial coal plants have CCS capabilities, and universally installing capture system infrastructure will cost coal plants billions. Once installed, these plants will become 50% or more expensive to run. Resultingly, many coal plants will be permanently closed.
The EPA projects regulations will shut down enough coal plants to reduce energy powered by coal by 18 gigawatts yearly. The United States will close half its coal capacity by 2026. This loss of baseload generation poses significant threats to the U.S. economy.
President Biden is advancing the goals of transitioning to renewable energy, like solar and wind, and away from traditional baseload sources before we must maintain adequate generation for the economy. Renewables on their own aren’t yet available to meet the United States’ growing demand for energy.
Suppose the United States dispenses with fossil fuels, including coal, before developing the capacity to replace this energy generation. In that case, the American people should expect blackouts and brownouts, an economy unable to compete with our adversaries, and higher electricity bills.
Coal is much more reliable than renewables like solar and wind for baseload generation because it can continue production under challenging conditions, like days without wind or sun. Nonetheless, the president continues to press for renewables without acknowledging the need to preserve existing baseload capacity, even while experts sounded the alarm about the grid’s reliability.
For example, The North American Electric Reliability Corporation recently told Congress that most of the United States is now at risk of brownouts and blackouts during heat waves. President Biden is slowly leading us into disaster.
The existing coal infrastructure allows America to provide inexpensive electricity to millions of Americans. While demand increases, the United States must produce ample energy from numerous resources to guarantee the grid’s reliability and keep rates affordable. But energy rates are already rising, and the president’s EPA will only put a more significant financial burden on American households.
Additionally, the EPA regulations will only give the country’s adversaries an edge while they continue to grow their capacity to burn coal. China is rapidly building power plants fired by goal.
The country approved an amazing 106 gigawatts of new coal capacity in 2022, driven partly by widening concerns about the reliability of their grid.
America can’t afford to abandon coal when we have the greatest need for it, especially as we attempt to compete economically with China. Until technology and science provide a dependable alternative to fossil-based baseload generation, we’ll continue to depend on and need fossil fuels.
Biden’s EPA plans to enforce its new regulations at some point this year. We should all hope his EPA wakes up to reality before that happens.