Natural Gas Is Next Target

Natural Gas Is Next Target

For those in the oil and gas industry, including the American Petroleum Institute, who are objecting to efforts to keep nuclear power plants in operation, you have a problem.

Natural gas is the next target for those who want to cut CO2 emissions. 

The war on coal has caused irreparable harm to the coal industry and has resulted in the closing of coal-fired power plants. The natural gas industry and natural gas power plants are the next in line to suffer the same fate as the coal industry if the AGW extremists have their way.

Natural Gas Power Plants. Photo by D. Dears

California, as is so often the case when it comes to forcing cuts in CO2 emissions, is already targeting natural gas power plants for closure.

Here is a summary of recent events in California as cited by Wilkinson, Barker, Knauer LLP in their white paper,  ‘Around Market,’ ‘In Market,’ and FERC at a Crossroads.

  • The Sutter and Moss Landing natural gas power plants were retired.
  • La Paloma Generating Company (La Paloma natural gas plant) filed for bankruptcy in 2016.
  • Calpine withdrew its application for its new 255 MW Mission Rock Energy Center.
  • The Glendale municipal utility is walking away from a gas generation project. 
  • NRG Energy announced it will close three NG power plants, Etiwanda, Ormond Beach and the Ellwood Generating Stations. 

To forestall more closures, CAISO is attempting to impose Reliability Must Run (RMR) cost of service contracts, but is being impeded in this effort by the California Public Utilities Commission and others.

California is well on its way to getting rid of its natural gas power plants.

Who will be next?

Texas?

ExGen Texas Power LLC and its affiliate ExGen Texas Power Holdings LLC filed for bankruptcy in November 2017, due to “historically low prices” and “challenging market conditions” in Texas’ ERCOT system.

Summary

The AGW crowd has its eyes on natural gas, and is starting to force the closure of natural gas power plants.

While the auction system used by RTO/ISOs benefits natural gas over nuclear power, nothing can compete with wind and solar in spot market auctions using marginal costs. See, The Market for Electricity is Rigged

The writing is on the wall, as AGW groups such as the Sierra Club and the Union of Concerned Scientists, campaign to force the closing of natural gas power plants and prevent the building of new ones.

Here is how the Sierra Club portrayed the issue:

“Fossil fuels have no part in America’s energy future — coal, oil and natural gas are literally poisoning us. The emergence of natural gas as a significant part of our energy mix is particularly frightening because it dangerously postpones investment in clean energy at a time when we should be doubling down on wind, solar and energy efficiency.”
Robin Mann, Sierra Club President, 2012

The war on natural gas is well underway.

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6 Replies to “Natural Gas Is Next Target”

  1. Great post.

    The possible plant closing that has caused ISO-NE to appeal to FERC for the equivalent of “RMR” (reliability must run) support is actually a natural gas plant, which may close. Also, 350.org considers natural gas pipelines to be creatures of the devil…except when 350 is busy marching against nuclear plants etc.

    The API should realize that an alliance with the anti-nuclear anti-coal people will not last. Oil and gas are next on the opponents’ agenda. They believe in only-renewables, and it truly is a belief system.

    • Thanks. Closing the Mystic natural gas plant could very possibly cause blackouts in New England.
      Thanks also for mentioning 350.org, another group targeting natural gas.

      • One of the reasons that my interest has shifted to the grid is that I fear the reliability of our electric supply is at risk.

        I did research work on NOx cleanup and sulfur cleanup for coal. In those days, we definitely wanted to run clean plants. But there was no question that electricity was basically a Good Thing and lack of reliability would be a very Bad Thing.

        Lack of reliability still would be a very bad thing, but people don’t seem to understand that.

  2. The natural as industry has pushed for coal and nuclear closure. Are they fool enough to see that they’re going to be the next target?

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