Dems Reconciliation Bill Raises Electricity Bills, Reduces Grid Reliability – InsideSources

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Buried in the massive $ 3.5 trillion reconciliation bill is a plan to bury the U.S. coal industry and, along the way, bury homeowners and businesses under higher electricity bills. . And that’s assuming electricity continues to flow under a plan that calls for the drastic goal of phasing out almost all fossil-fuel-based electricity, including natural gas and coal, from by 2030.

If you don’t know what a brownout is, ask a Californian.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the $ 150 billion clean electricity performance program, along with billions of dollars in spending on electric vehicles and other Green New Deal proposals, as part of the plan. budget reconciliation.

Its future is uncertain in the US Senate, where members of energy-producing states like West Virginia are voicing concerns. This is hardly a surprise.

And given that the goal is to shut down the entire national coal industry, let alone phase out the gas industry, it is also not surprising that the United Mine Workers of America is there. also oppose.

“West Virginia depends on coal for 95% of its electricity,” wrote UMWA President Cecil Roberts in a letter to Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.). “These carbon cuts would eliminate virtually all of West Virginia’s coal production … All coal mining and utility jobs would be lost, with severe negative impacts on families, communities, and local and state tax revenues.” associated with mining, power generation and electricity. electricity exports.

But other stakeholders, representing utilities and small rural cooperatives, are also against this sweeping plan they fear will leave their taxpayers holding the bag, huddling in the dark – or both. This is especially true in the 44 states that depend on fossil fuels for 25% or more of their electricity. Collectively, these fossil fuels provided 60 percent of the country’s electricity generation last year.

The American Public Power Association (APPA), which calls itself “the voice of community-owned nonprofit electric utilities,” wrote to House leaders to warn that CEPP’s unrealistic goals could appear good at a cocktail party in Washington, but for the 50 million customers they serve, the outlook isn’t as bright.

“All costs incurred by our members are passed on to their customers,” noted APPA President Joy Ditto. “Preliminary analyzes conducted by our CEPP members show that meeting CEPP, whether by achieving the increase in the percentage of clean electricity by four percent per year (assuming it can even be done) or by paying to fail to do so would result in a substantial increase in costs. for the customers.”

Many organizations, such as the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), oppose this approach to the Green New Deal. They support a shift to zero-carbon power generation over time, but cite examples like California and Texas where the green grid has overtaken more reliable and cheaper traditional energy sources.

For example, despite all the talk about wind and solar, burning wood actually makes up a larger part of the energy matrix than solar. Wind is the majority, at 26%, but that’s inside a pie chart made up of all renewable energies, which only represent 12% of US energy consumption, according to the Energy Information Administration. (EIA) of the United States.

Meanwhile, coal has certainly declined from what it once was, currently close to 25% and still falling as further withdrawals force more power plants to go offline. America is on the right track to cleaner electricity without the costly and risky CEPP. The EIA predicts that the electricity supply will already be 50% clean by 2030.

“The clean energy standard wants to pay utilities billions of dollars to switch to clean energy, but they are already doing it,” Senator Manchin recently told Meet The Press. “It doesn’t make sense to me to pay a utility to do what they’re going to do anyway.”

The power grid reduces CO2 levels. Wind turbines are becoming ubiquitous. Right now, Vermont is the only state that has almost zero fossil fuels. Delaware is the most dependent. About 97% of its electricity comes from fossil fuels. In fact, 13 states depend on fossil fuels for 75% or more of their electricity.

Zeroing fossil fuels will not happen in 10 years.

Energy expert Ariel Cohen writes that Biden’s proposed target of 40% solar power by 2035 is unrealistic. “We lack storage to solve the intermittency problem, and our early 20th century grid is not smart enough to nimbly redirect energy from renewables. It would require a massive investment, ”Cohen said. “We are grappling with huge and growing debt. Voters must demand better as we seek solutions to our fiscal and budgetary problems while addressing security, infrastructure, social and climate challenges. “

Writing to congressional leaders, Michelle Bloodworth of the America’s Power coal lobby group echoed concerns about the cost of adding all this new wind and solar generation to replace existing fossil fuel production, saying that some a number of studies have estimated that the country would need to “add about 1 million megawatts (MW) of wind and solar power at a cost of more than $ 1 trillion (excluding transmission costs)” to make it without carbon.

China is not weighed down by these considerations. Between 2000 and 2020, China’s coal consumption increased by 14,642 terawatt-hours (TWh). That’s more than the rest of the world over the same time period combined.

At the same time, China controls most of the solar supply chain. It also has around 44 Xinjiang Goldwind wind turbines installed in the United States, most of which were installed last year. While they sell us wind turbines and wind turbines, they will dig for coal, burn it, power their factories making American clean energy products, and send their pollution to particles across the ocean, to Japan and to the Pacific coast. American.

The vast majority of the US energy industry supports the idea of ​​a transition to carbon neutral energy. They are already doing more to achieve this than any politician or government office.

What they don’t support is a policy that hurts American businesses, increases costs for owners, and makes the U.S. network less reliable, while making China richer.

You don’t have to work in a coal mine to oppose it.

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