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Secretary Rick Perry had ordered his Department of Energy to conduct a study on the United States’ electricity grid to determine whether renewable sources of energy have jeopardized baseload power.
Perry’s Monday morning memo said that the review would assess whether federal environmental policies have hurt the power grid’s ability to supply baseload power, which depends on fossil fuels, over the past few years.
Battery technology has not advanced enough for the economical storage of wind and solar power on windy and sunny days for future use. This makes direct use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy a more attractive option to guarantee power to the American public.
In the order, Perry wrote that the study should evaluate “the extent to which continued regulatory burdens, as well as mandates and tax and subsidy policies, are responsible for forcing the premature retirement of baseload power plants,” among other things, according to an article by The Hill. “The result of this analysis will help the federal government formulate sound policies to protect the nation’s electric grid.”
The order is a sign that Trump is continuing his efforts to reverse President Barack Obama’s environmental apparatus, as promised on the campaign trail. Trump aims to rebuild the U.S. coal sector to provide jobs in areas that heavily voted for him in the 2016 elections.
In the memo, Perry said Obama’s rules “have destroyed jobs and economic growth and they threaten to undercut the performance of the grid well into the future.”
According to the United States Department of Energy, the American power grid is made up of three smaller grids, known as interconnections, which transport energy all over the country. The Eastern Interconnection provides electricity to states to the east of the Rocky Mountains, while the Western interconnection serves the Rocky Mountain states and those that border the Pacific Ocean. The Texas Interconnected System is the smallest grid in the nation, and serves most of Texas, although small portions of the Lone Star state benefit from the other two grids.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…