Keeping Coal and Nuclear Power Plants Open for Two Additional Years has Good and Bad Effects States New Report

Jul 13, 2018

Earlier this summer, the Department of Energy (DOE) submitted a proposal to purchase electricity from several coal and nuclear power plants to strengthen the electric grid and prevent the “premature” retirement of these power-generating facilities. As previously reported in the June 8 edition of Capitol Update, the proposal asserts that resilience of the grid relies on a sturdy source of power and that “Recent and announced retirements of fuel-secure electric generation capacity across the continental United States are undermining the security of the electric power system because the system’s resilience depends on those resources.”

In response to this proposal, Washington-based independent, nonprofit research group Resources for the Future (RFF) examined what would happen should the retirement of these coal and nuclear power plants be delayed by two years. Their findings were recently published in the report, “Retirements and Funerals: The Emission, Mortality, and Coal-Mine Employment Effects of a Two-Year Delay in Coal and Nuclear Power Plant Retirements.” The report finds a mix of positive and negative consequences should the proposal go into effect. Among the positives, keeping the coal and nuclear power plants open two additional years would support 790 coal-mine jobs. Conversely, the report also finds that this delay would “be likely to reduce economy-wide employment.”

To read the DOE proposal, click here:

To read the RFF report, click here:

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