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

World Cup final win was bigger than cricket: Eoin Morgan

first_imgLONDON: On the first anniversary of England’s maiden ODI World Cup triumph, skipper Eoin Morgan recalled a fleeting moment when he felt that his team was ‘dead and buried’ against New Zealand on that evening at the Lord’s.Twelve months ago on this day, England had claimed the 50 over World Cup title after beating New Zealand by virtue of a contentious boundary count-back rule as scores were tied even after the super over. It was arguably one of the the greatest finals in the Cup history. “There’s only one (moment of doubt) for me and it probably came to me the second time I watched it. Jimmy Neesham’s bowling to Ben (Stokes) , he bowls a slower ball, Ben (Stokes) hits it down to long-on and I remember the ball being in the air …,” Morgan was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. “And it’s gone high and not quite as long as he’d liked and for a minute I just thought ‘That’s it, it’s over, Ben’s out, we still need 15 an over’ – that’s when I thought for a split second we were dead and buried.” In that marathon final, New Zealand had scored 241 for 8 after batting first. They then returned to bowl out England for exactly the same score, thus pushing the match into a super over. However, the Super Over also ended in a tie when New Zealand ended up scoring exactly 15 following Martin Guptill’s run out on the final ball. England (26) on the basis of a higher boundary count were declared winners against New Zealand (17). The 33-year-old Morgan, who has scored 7368 runs in 236 ODIs for England so far, said that World Cup final was ‘actually bigger than cricket’. “The final is actually, it’s bigger than cricket,” said Morgan, who managed to watch the final three times now during this coronavirus-forced lockdown. “It’s actually propelled up as one of the highlights of a sporting day ever in British history that will be around for a very long time so it was probably more satisfying that it will continue to be like that.” Morgan has now shifted his focus on topping this achievement by claiming the two T20 World Cups lined up in Australia and India. “There hasn’t been a team who have held T20 and 50-over World Cups so that would be a nice challenge,” he said. “But, realistically, probably out of the next two World Cups, winning one of them would be unbelievable. To win two would be a bigger achievement than winning the 50-over World Cup.” “Just because both of them are away from home and would favour Australia in Australia and India in India, so you would have to win both of them to top the 50-overs win.” New Zealand vice-captain Tom Latham, however, said it has been difficult to accept the defeat. “I don’t think so,” Latham told ‘Newshub’ when asked if he’ll ever get over the outcome. “You have so many conversations about. It will be a game that will be talked about for many years to come. “It was a great game to be involved in – all the twists and turns and amazing atmosphere – but the result was hard to take.” Kiwi pacer Matt Henry said it still hurts to end up on the losing side despite their best efforts. “It hurts a lot, not being able to cross the line and lift the trophy, but at the same time, you have to recognise how good a side England are and it was just their time to lift the trophy that day. “It just wasn’t meant to be our day, but as a Black Cap, it was certainly a time to be extremely proud of.”Agencies Also watch: Unable to Make Ends Meet, Uber Driver Turns Vegetable Vendorlast_img read more