Nuclear Power Must Remain an Option for Energy & Jobs

  Interviews with laid off coal miners in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s victory may be anecdotal, but they’re a reminder of the demise of just one industry that has provided generations of families with well-paying, blue collar jobs that have been lost to new environmental regulations. The Trump Administration inherited President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which will result in cleaner and more expensive power production – and energy-related job losses – well into Trump’s presidency. In this context, the U. S. Energy Information Administration projects a total of 92 gigawatts of coal-fueled capacity will retire by 2030 – about 30 percent more (32 GW) without Obama’s EPA Clean Power Plan requirement. That’s a lot of coal-fueled power plants and thousands, if not millions, of jobs that will continue to disappear on Trump’s watch – due to U. S. government regulations – not international competitors or unbridled immigration. Combined with lower natural gas prices and the extension of renewable tax credits, Obama’s plan will accelerate utilities’ shift toward less carbon-intensive generation. That’s good news for the environment – and bad news for American workers and the country’s energy future. The huge contributions that coal-fueled plants make to the electric energy grid are being replaced largely by natural-gas fueled generators. These plants emit significantly fewer pollutants than coal, and are capable of meeting large, base-load energy demands. And since most U.S. utilities have given up on nuclear, and already use natural gas to meet base load and peak needs, America is well on its way to becoming overly dependent on natural gas as a source of electricity. While we...

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