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Power companies ask Biden to end war on fossil fuel plants as EPA comment deadline looms

Both at home and on the road, Americans are being forced to grapple with higher energy costs, and the EPA will soon stop accepting public comment on new anti-fossil fuel rules

Published: August 6, 2023 6:56am

Electricity providers recently spoke out against the Biden administration’s attack on the fossil fuel industry, specifically power plants, warning that the speed at which officials are pursuing a "green energy transition" risks significant energy shortage.

According to a report from The Washington Times, Southwest Power Pool’s executive vice president, Lanny Nickell, recently said that, though he’s not advocating Biden “double down” on conventional energy sources, he does think the US needs to “slow down” with stripping “assets from our [energy] footprint.”

Lanny’s company oversees power grids across 14 states, including Kansas and Oklahoma, and portions of New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Iowa, Wyoming, and Nebraska,

Tri-State Generation and Transmission’s Barry Ingold gave a similar cautionary statement about the fossil phaseout, pleading for a “balanced portfolio.”

“As we’re taking coal plants offline, our challenge is going to be … can you build a gas plant that bridges that gap?”

In May, Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule that would require coal fired plants across the country to eliminate or ‘capture’ nearly all carbon emissions released by 2038, or be subject to mandatory closure. The preliminary list of public speakers at a June public hearing showed no energy producers listed. The EPA will no longer accept public comment on the rule after on August 8, 2023.

Lawmakers and energy advocates alike have condemned the proposal, saying it would not only wipe out countless blue collar jobs, it would be yet another blow to the economy. As American increasingly moves off of cheap, reliable fossil fuels, it taps more expensive alternatives in renewables like wind and solar.

In March, energy costs for American families were at a ten-year high, with some seeing their expenses rise twice as fast as inflation, according to The Hill.

Meanwhile, energy costs are hitting peoples’ wallets even when they’re on the road; US gas prices are back on the rise, crossing $3.73 per gallon towards the end of July, which was the highest since November 2022.

As of Friday, that number already rose to 3.831/gal according to AAA—up more than 30 cents from a month ago.

Just the News spoke with U.S. Oil and Gas Association President Tim Stewart, who invoked Germany’s “de-industrialization” as an example of high energy costs’ consequences.

“Germany's slow deindustrialization process because of high energy costs, right, is really, really sort of sending shockwaves and a clear signal to other countries saying, ‘maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all.’”

Germany, despite enduring a serious energy crisis, has remained adamant about green energy. Earlier this year, the country shut down its last nuclear power plants, but Stewart says nuclear power is the best option for those who want to phase out fossil fuels.

“If you really want to electrify everything, like the left claims they want to do, you're not going to do it with renewables, you've got to do it with nuclear,” he said. “And you [have] got to have natural gas, be that bridge fuel to that point, because… those are two reliable base load generators.”

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