For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Brian Willis, 202.675.2386, Brian.Willis@sierraclub.org

PJM Study Repeats the Obvious: Coal Retirements are Not Impacting Grid Reliability

WASHINGTON - PJM Interconnection LLC, America’s largest regional transmission organization, released a study today that found there was “no imminent threat” to the reliability of their electricity marketplace. The study is considered by many to be a blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to justify a nationwide coal plant bailout that will force electricity customers and taxpayers to pay tens of billions of dollars to prop up dirty, uneconomic power plants. For the study, PJM did a stress test on its grid and found that even accounting for all the announced retirements of coal fired and nuclear power plants over the next five years, the system would remain reliable despite possible extreme winter weather conditions and disruptions of fracked gas pipeline supply.   

In response, Mary Anne Hitt, Senior Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, released the following statement:

“PJM’s stress test study is further evidence that the Trump administration’s efforts to force taxpayers and electricity customers to pay tens of billions of dollars to bail out old, uneconomic coal plants are nothing more than political graft for billionaire coal plant executives who helped elect him. Since Donald Trump was elected in 2016, more than 40 coal plants have retired and not one of them caused any major electricity disruptions.

“The Trump administration’s talk of reliability issues with coal plant retirements has nothing to do with keeping the market economic and resilient, and everything to do with pay-to-play politics.  Utilities and their regulators should instead be removing the barriers to development of low-cost, no-regrets measures that will actually improve the resilience of our electric system, such as improved transmission and distribution systems, fuel-free wind and solar, demand response, and distributed generation.”

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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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