U.S. Plan to Aid Coal and Nuclear Plants Gets a Bipartisan Thumbs Down From Past Regulators

first_imgU.S. Plan to Aid Coal and Nuclear Plants Gets a Bipartisan Thumbs Down From Past Regulators FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Washington Post;Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s bid to change regulations to help coal and nuclear power plants has run into unusually blunt opposition from a group of former regulators from both parties.Eight former members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — including five former chairmen — have filed a letter with the commission opposing Perry’s proposal that would give coal and nuclear plants credit for resilience so that they would have a better chance of beating solar, wind and natural gas competitors.The former commissioners said that Perry was seeking to reverse a quarter century of FERC reforms that have created a marketplace for electric power generators and that many of the coal plants he is aiming to help have no advantage when it comes to reliability.“His focus is clearly coal and there are a lot of dirty coal plants that are not competitive in today’s energy markets,” Elizabeth Moler, a former FERC chairwoman, former deputy energy secretary and former Exelon executive, said in an interview. “To me he’s effectively proposing to subsidize them and put a tax on consumers in doing so. It’s a tax in different clothing. It’s going to cost customers more money to run dirty old coal plants.”In early October, Perry made his proposal to FERC and asked for a decision within 60 days. He proposed that credit be given to power plants with 90-day fuel supplies on site so that they could operate during an emergency including extreme weather or a natural or man-made disaster.FERC is an independent agency, however, and some current members have indicated that the commission would make its own decision. Even one of President Trump’s nominees has stressed FERC’s independence. Robert F. Powelson, who was confirmed in August, said in a speech at the National Press Club on Oct. 16 that “the moment we put our thumbs on the scale is the moment we bastardize the process.”  In an earlier speech on Oct. 4, Powelson said “we will not destroy the marketplace.”Over the past quarter century, FERC has helped create regional electricity grid operators with the ability to accept bids from power plants to supply electricity to the grid. The competition has attracted tens of billions of dollars of investment in natural gas and renewable power sources.The former commissioners’ letter to FERC said Perry’s proposal “would be a significant step backward from the Commission’s long and bipartisan evolution to transparent, open, competitive wholesale markets” and that it “would instead disrupt decades of substantial investment made in the modern electric power system, raise costs for customers, and do so in a  manner directly counter to the Commission’s long experience.”The group wrote that “subsidizing resources so they do not retire would fundamentally distort markets. The subsidized resources would inevitably drive out the unsubsidized resources, and the subsidies would inevitably raise prices to customers.”It said that “investor confidence would evaporate and markets would tend to collapse. This loss of faith in markets would thereby undermine reliability.”Pat Wood III, who was chairman of FERC under President George W. Bush, said that “I understand the politics. I’m sympathetic.”But he said that the reliability Perry said he wanted to favor had more to do with transmission and distribution than it did with they type of fuel used.The group’s letter acknowledged that there are federal tax subsidies for every kind of fuel, but it said that “one step the Commission has never taken is to create or authorize on its own the kind of subsidy proposed here.”Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said Thursday that FERC should shelve the Perry proposal.“Arbitrarily propping up a dying industry goes against what the GOP has long claimed is its goal – an all-of-the-above energy strategy,” Wyden said in a statement. “This rule clearly picks winners and losers in energy resources, which robs taxpayers of the benefits of competitive markets.”More: Bipartisan group of former FERC commissioners rejects energy secretary’s bid to help coal plantslast_img read more

Kuranda is growing in popularity as an area homeowners can get their hands on a chunk of land

first_img16 Warril Drive, KurandaWITHIN an easy commute to Cairns, Kuranda is growing in popularity as an area homeowners can get their hands on a chunk of land close to all the natural splendour of one of the world’s most pristine tropical rainforests.Large and affordable lifestyle properties are hidden out of sight from the town’s bustling tourist attractions such as the Kuranda Scenic Railway and a sprawling market full of local delights.Kuranda has been attracting tourists for more than a century to marvel at the Barron Falls while at the same time, artists attracted to the region’s natural beauty decided to call it home, building the region’s reputation as a creative hub.Kuranda Real Estate sales agent Michael Dominikovic said the suburb would not diminish in popularity any time in the future.“There is still demand for acreage and pretty much everything up here is on acreage,” he said.“It is mainly a lot of people coming to buy here who want more space for themselves and their kids. The climate is fantastic and it is still close to Cairns and Smithfield and the beaches. More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms3 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns3 days ago“The closeness to all the city amenities and the lifestyle is really what draws everyone here.”The localities of Koah and Speewah are just minutes away and also help sell the rural lifestyle so many are seeking.The rainforest around Kuranda has been home to the Djabugay people for more than 10,000 years. What is now known as Kuranda was first settled in 1885 by colonists. Construction of the railway from Cairns to Myola began in 1887 and the line reached Kuranda in 1891.Last year, a $650 million luxury resort and tourism facility near Kuranda, called KUR-World secured vital funding to start the first stage of construction.Hong Kong-based Sandalphon Privilege Financial Group backed the project which is to be set on 626ha of farmland at Myola.It will include a five-star 200-room resort, an 18-hole golf course, another three or four-star 270-room resort, retail and dining outlets, 380 residential villas, a tertiary education campus, and sports facilities.last_img read more

Lowry climbs up Danish Open leaderboard

first_imgThe Offaly man is 2 under after shooting a 65 today.Paul Dunne resumes from 3 under while Gary Hurley is 2 under.Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy will resume from level par and Graeme McDowell from 1-over par later this evening at The Barclays Championship in New York. Patrick Reed and Martin Laird lead by one on 5 under.last_img