The WSJ Editors are taking Rick Perry and The Donald to task for proposing grid operators to buy coal and nuclear power. Their recommendation is:
A better way to make coal and nuclear more competitive is to keep chipping away at renewable subsidies and cutting regulation.
We are in 100% agreement that we should reduce or eliminate renewable subsidies and cut regulation. The Donald, Rick, and the rest of the administration are making admirable progress on the latter but the former need legislation and the probability of that seems extraordinarily remote.
We are not entirely convinced that the regulators cited by the WSJ are unbiased and having relatives in New England we are sure that the gas pipeline will face tough sledding even though there has been a positive court decision. Heaven help them if they try to go through our aunt’s back yard as one proposal has it. At best, the gas pipeline will be a long time coming. We are unconvinced that the market will solve the problem shortly because folks are choking the market with both hands.
The first best solution is not available. We are willing to support a short-term solution that is not market based because of existing subsidies. We are not excited about it but it might be the best option. The problem with being in charge is that you must make tough calls like this one.