Analysis Group Senior Advisor Susan Tierney Analyzes Strategies for Saving Coal and Nuclear Power Plants
June 1, 2018
The Trump Administration has considered a series of initiatives to fulfill the president's campaign promises to save financially strained coal and nuclear power plants, mostly in the Midwest. These initiatives have included a rulemaking proposal by the Secretary of Energy to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and an appeal to Section 202(c) of the Federal Power Act. A more recent proposal, from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), asks the president to invoke the Defense Production Act of 1950, a Truman-era statute that allows the president unusual authority to intervene in resource markets in instances when doing so is critical to ensure national security.
In a two-part series of blog posts on the website of Resources for the Future (RFF), Analysis Group Senior Advisor Susan F. Tierney and RFF Senior Fellow Karen L. Palmer review these proposals, giving special scrutiny to the appeal to the Defense Production Act. They analyze the implications of reliance on this authority for issues involving the efficient performance of wholesale electricity markets, and ask whether such a disruption can plausibly be said to be in the interests of U.S. national security.