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Coal industry disappointed with FERC’s rejection of coal rescue proposal

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World Coal,

Yesterday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released its decision on Energy Secretary Perry’s recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. FERC terminated the rulemaking process and initiated a new docket, calling on the nation’s grid operators to submit comments containing additional review of the resilience of the bulk power system.

Paul Bailey, President and CEO of The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, said: “We are disappointed by FERC’s decision because the electricity grid could become less reliable and less resilient while more information is being collected.  Nonetheless we will continue working with FERC and ISO/RTOs to assure that wholesale electricity markets value the attributes of the coal fleet.  The recent bomb cyclone is a reminder why we need a healthy coal fleet.  Several grid operators relied on the coal fleet for more than 40% of the electricity this past week.”

Hal Quinn, National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO, echoed these comments, stating the decisions “follows a week in which the value of coal to Americans could not have been more clearly illustrated.”

“With a surge in demand, coal was the leading electricity supplier in many of the markets subjected to the deep freeze, providing a critical measure of reliability and resiliency to the nation’s grid operators. That coal-powered electricity came from many plants that will no longer be available if retirements continue at the pace expected,” Quinn continued.

Quinn concluded: “While FERC has agreed to conduct further examinations of the grid vulnerability to such events, vital coal and nuclear power plant retirements continue. It is now incumbent upon grid overseers to adopt significant measures to safeguard the American people and economy from serious disruptions in future power supply.”

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