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(Rich Nolan, Real Clear Wire) – The nation’s electric grid experts and operators now work in a constant state of emergency. There’s little if any respite in the change of seasons. Fears of soaring electricity demand overwhelming power supplies during searing summer heat are now matched by an equally unnerving fear millions will be left shivering in darkness during the coldest days of winter.
The question is no longer will there be rolling blackouts or grid emergencies but rather when or where.
This week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is taking up the issue of grid reliability at a technical conference, pulling together some of the nation’s key stakeholders on the issue. This is an extraordinarily important opportunity to shed light on a catastrophe in the making and the policy decisions driving it.
Warnings over the threat posed by the loss of dispatchable sources of generation – namely fuel-secure coal power – have reached a crescendo over the past few months. And while the experts charged with keeping the heat and lights on have begged for policy relief, they’re getting just the opposite.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory…