Manchin Encourages Perry and Mattis to Consider Defense Production Act to Save Coal-Fired Power Plants and Further Secure our Nation's Security
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, encouraged U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis to examine the Defense Production Act to protect coal-fired power plants in West Virginia and further secure our nation’s security. The Defense Production Act was enacted on September 8, 1950 at the start of the Korean War and is designed to support U.S. civil defense and war mobilization efforts. On April 18, 2018, Senator Manchin urged President Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act.
Senator Manchin said in part: “The security of our homeland is inextricably tied to the security of our energy supply. Therefore, the ability to produce reliable electricity and to recover from disruptions to our grid are critical to ensuring our nation’s security against the various threats facing our nation today – whether those threats be extreme weather events or adversarial foreign actors.”
Read the full letter below or click here:
Dear Secretary Perry and Secretary Mattis,
As you may know, on April 18th, I wrote to the President encouraging him to consider using his authority as embodied in the Defense Production Act of 1950 to secure our nation’s electric grid by preventing the loss of additional coal-fired and nuclear electric generation units.
As recent extreme weather events show, the ongoing loss of additional coal-fired and nuclear power poses a significant risk to the electric grid because these units provide essential reliability services and resilience attributes that are indispensable to the delivery of electricity in our country. In other words, coal-fired and nuclear power plants continue to do a lot of the heavy lifting when the bulk power system is put to the test. In the case of coal specifically, the National Energy Technology Lab stated that, during the 2018 Bomb Cyclone at the height of peak demand on January 5, 2018, “had coal been removed, a 9-18 GW shortfall would have developed.” NETL went on to conclude that, “In the case of PJM, it can also be shown that the demand could not have been met without coal.”
The security of our homeland is inextricably tied to the security of our energy supply. Therefore, the ability to produce reliable electricity and to recover from disruptions to our grid are critical to ensuring our nation’s security against the various threats facing our nation today – whether those threats be extreme weather events or adversarial foreign actors.
As I noted in my letter to the President, “the Defense Production Act of 1950 grants the President the authority to ensure that the nation’s domestic industrial base is capable of providing the essential materials and resources needed to defend our nation and protect our sovereignty. It recognizes energy production and critical infrastructure as strategic and crucial to that goal.”
I encourage you and your agencies to examine the Defense Production Act as a possible means of securing at-risk baseload power plants in an effort to enhance the security of our energy delivery systems and, therefore, our nation.
I stand ready to help you in this effort and am happy to make myself available to discuss these matters further.
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