Canadian energy firms take issue with Trump administration’s nod to coal, nuclear power – by Shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail – December 9, 2017)

Canadian energy companies have entered a battle over the U.S. electricity market in which natural gas, hydroelectric and renewable-energy providers are opposing Trump administration efforts to favour coal-fired and nuclear generators with premium payments for “reliability.”

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has formally proposed that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) impose rules creating new rate structures under which coal-fired and nuclear electricity generators could recover additional costs from consumers based on their contribution to system reliability.

That’s because those generating stations provide base-load power and maintain a 90-day source of fuel on site, unlike those providing electricity from other sources.

This week, recently installed FERC chairman Kevin McIntyre wrote to Mr. Perry, requesting a 30-day extension to consider the proposal, extending a process that was supposed to conclude on Friday.

The energy commission – which can accept or reject the administration’s proposal – has received more than 1,500 submissions on it.

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