Rural electric provider in Utah warns of ‘impending U.S. energy crisis’
Roosevelt-based Moon Lake Electric Association blames flawed federal energy policies
By Amy Joi O’Donoghue
A small, rural electric cooperative in eastern Utah approved a declaration of what it says is an “impending U.S. energy crisis,” fueled by the accelerated retirement of coal-fired power plants without ensuring an alternative base load energy supply can take their place.
In the action approved by board members of the Moon Lake Electric Association earlier this month, the nonprofit cooperative serving 24,121 connections that include the Ute Indian Tribe said current federal energy policies are untenable.
“There is a growing trend of decommissioning many of the existing dispatchable power generation resources across the country without viable replacements. Demand for energy continues to increase while the supply of reliable and affordable electricity follows a downward trajectory leaving the nation’s populace with an electricity deficiency,” the cooperative said in a letter.
“As the electricity deficiency progresses, it will result in higher cost of electricity to the ‘Average Joe’ domestically. In other words, those with greater financial means will be able to afford electricity while the less fortunate will have to go without — this crisis cannot be tolerated,” it said.
Yankton Johnson, chief executive officer and general manager of the Moon Lake Electric Association, said there were blackouts in nine states last December due to lack of capacity amid a grid experiencing vulnerabilities.
He said that is what drove them to issue the declaration, adding that the net zero and carbon free emissions goals set by the Biden administration are too much, too soon.
“It’s unrealistic and it’s too ambitious. They need to pull back on the throttle, pump the brake and think about what they’re going to do to individuals,” he said.
The fight over coal
The state of Utah earlier this month launched a legal fight over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ozone rule, which it asserts is another regulation designed to snuff out coal-fired power plants.
Johnson said rural electric generation is especially at risk because it falls on the whims of a market that is geared to how much the actual energy costs and who can pay the going price when demand is high.
The post Decommissioning of coal-fired power plants puts rural energy supplies at risk appeared first on RANGEfire!.
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