DOE Posts Reports Supporting Coal, Nuclear Rulemaking

Via E&E Publishing:

The Department of Energy has posted several reports online highlighting coal as baseload power and emphasizing the risks of plant retirements.

The seven studies and presentations from the National Energy Technology Laboratory were completed in 2015, but were either removed from NETL’s website after publication or not published at all, according to DOE spokeswoman Jessica Szymanski.

“During a periodic review of Department reports, officials found a series of DOE-funded studies that were conducted by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL),” she said. “In the interest of transparency, the Department felt the need to make them available to the public.”

It was not immediately clear whether DOE would also repost reports on other topics. A DOE official said “these are the reports we are aware of that were funded and published, then subsequently redacted or not posted at all.”

The analyses largely fit into the Trump administration’s narrative for propping up imperiled coal plants. Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan, currently being reviewed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, would allow coal and nuclear units to fully recover their costs (Greenwire, Nov. 17).

The notice of proposed rulemaking makes the case that coal and nuclear power are necessary to maintain the integrity of the grid, earning a full-throated endorsement from those industries.

But oil, gas and renewable advocates have scorned DOE for “picking winners and losers” instead of allowing the market to determine the sources of American electricity.

The posted reports include:

“This expansion in natural gas’s role in power generation represents a transition which will require additional infrastructure and may present unanticipated challenges or costs,” says the report on PJM and natural gas.

Szymanski said two reports have never been released. They are:

See the article here.