Stories by Joshua Rhodes

Expert Voices

New EPA rule unlikely to stem the tide against coal

The Longview Power Plant, a coal-fired plant, stands on August 21, 2018 in Maidsville, West Virginia.
The coal-fired Longview Power Plant in Maidsville, West Virginia. Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty Images

This week the EPA released its long-awaited proposed revision to part of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan (CPP). The new Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule is less stringent than the current policy and could result in increased carbon emissions.

The big picture: The EPA is claiming to meet its mandate to regulate carbon emissions, while critics say ACE is yet another coal bailout scheme. Yet market forces might ultimately make the new rule moot.

Expert Voices

Texas meets grid challenge during record-breaking energy demand

A natural gas power plant outside Dallas. Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A natural gas power plant outside Dallas. Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

ERCOT, the electricity grid that serves most of Texas, delivered more power on Wednesday than it ever had, only to deliver even more on Thursday, setting a new system-wide peak demand record of 73,259 megawatts. Friday’s demand is forecasted to be even higher, but the worst might not come until Monday.

Why it matters: The Texas grid is an energy-only market, which, unlike capacity markets, pays power plants only when they produce energy. This summer has been seen as a make-or-break test for this market strategy, and so far it is passing.

Expert Voices

Intervention could save nuclear power, but coal is dead

A view of the inactive cooling towers at FirstEnergy Corporation's Bruce Mansfield coal-fired power plant October 27, 2017 in Shippingport, Pennsylvania.
A view of the inactive cooling towers at FirstEnergy Corporation's coal-fired power plant on October 27, 2017, in Shippingport, Pennsylvania. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg via Getty Images

President Trump is again trying to make good on his campaign promise to revive coal — this time by ordering Energy Secretary Rick Perry to “prepare immediate steps” to support economically struggling “fuel-secure” nuclear and coal plants.

Why it matters: The subsidies required for this bailout proposal would only mask the true underlying problem: Coal has simply lost out to other technologies and fuel sources.