It’s no secret that the coal industry has taken a major hit in recent years. The Obama War on Coal systematically attempted to decimate the industry, close plants, and usher in an era of alternative energy that has been heavy on the promises but light on the results.
The impact has been obvious on states like Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Thousands of workers have found themselves out of a job and entire communities supported by the coal industry have nearly shuttered.
What’s less obvious is the toll the anti-coal agenda has taken on the country as a whole, specifically our power grid. Without reliable energy sources like coal, we are at major risk of being unable to deliver electricity to people when then need it and at an affordable price – especially during a crisis like a severe weather event.
As the War on Coal waged on, the grid came to rely more and more on heavily subsidized alternative resources, like solar energy. Unlike coal, these alternative fuels can’t be stored or stockpiled for when they’re needed most. That poses a real problem during the times when these fuel sources can’t directly feed the power plants that rely on them. Like during a solar eclipse:
“A solar eclipse that will sweep across the country on Aug. 21 is expected to cause a noticeable dent in solar-energy collection, and utilities are concocting workarounds to meet power demands during the event.”
“‘We will see between 50 and 75 percent of solar production from our solar plants reduced,’ Greenlee said.”
“The state is expected to lose almost 4,200 megawatts during the eclipse…To put that in perspective, one megawatt powers about 1,000 typical homes.”
Alternative energy fuels like wind and solar can be part of the energy mix that fuels our grid, but we have to be realistic about the best way to provide affordable, reliable energy to people who need it, when they need it.
When next month’s solar eclipse takes a bite out of solar power across the country next month, coal-fired power plants will be at the ready with several weeks’ worth of fuel on site. It’s long past time to end the War on Coal and allow America’s most reliable fuel source to power our country once again.