The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected a proposal from the Department of Energy that sought to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants with a 90-day supply of fuel on-site to stabilize the vulnerability of the electric grid.
The proposal caused a stir within industry leadership, who suspected political motivations and fear that the plan’s implementation could potentially distort electricity markets by scaring away investors. Industry estimates of additional costs are as high as $11.6 billion a year.
In a legal motion filed by 11 energy groups, including oil and gas, electricity consumers, and rural and electric cooperatives, companies urged the FERC to consider expert testimony before deciding the fate of the proposal.
“This is one of the most significant proposed rules in decades related to the energy industry and, if finalized, would unquestionably have significant ramifications for wholesale markets under [FERC’s] jurisdiction,” the statement reads. “[This rule would] … affect electricity prices paid by hundreds of millions of consumers and hundreds of thousands of businesses, as well as entire industries and their tens of thousands of workers.”