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A White House report yesterday hinted that one idea to help economically struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants stay open might still be alive.
Why it matters: President Trump has made helping the coal industry a signature goal. But policies thus far have not stopped the ongoing retirement of plants facing intense competition from cheap natural gas and other forces.
Between the lines: Page 282 of a wide-ranging White House economic report released yesterday revives the idea of a strategic electricity "generation reserve."
- It's a concept that surfaced publicly in June when Bloomberg obtained an internal White House memo of options under review.
- Here's part of the energy section of the 2019 "Economic Report of the President" prepared by the Council of Economic Advisers...
"The entire portfolio of generation assets in the United States could be eligible to be part of a reserve, with different strategic weights placed on various types of generation — for example, nuclear or coal-fired generation might provide greater resilience benefits and therefore be preferentially selected into the reserve."
The bottom line: It's hard to make heads or tails of what's in the report. The White House and the Energy Department did not provide comment yesterday.