June 12, 2018

Manchin Questions FERC Commissioners About Securing Coal Plants to Ensure a Resilient and Reliable Electric Grid

Washington, D.C. – During today’s Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) questioned Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) commissioners about the disproportionate impact of rising energy costs on West Virginians, as well as the essential role that coal continues to play in producing electricity – especially during extreme weather events.

“Everyone has been talking about cost. I represent a state that has an 18% poverty level. We rank 46th in the nation …You are talking about all these costs rising if the President – which I support very robustly – uses the Defense Production Act and 202(c)…Let me tell you what’s happened to states like West Virginia. In 2009, the average price of a kilowatt hour was 7.84 cents, in 2017 it was 11.93 cents. In 2009, someone living in West Virginia –and we have an 18% poverty level - had an average monthly bill of $88.16.  Now it’s $120.16.  So, I don’t know how you all think you’ve kept these prices down and are helping poor people get through difficult times. How can you justify what you’ve already done to them?” Senator Manchin asked.

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s questioning, please click here.

Senator Manchin’s Actions on Defense Production Act

  • April 12, 2017 – In a letter, Senator Manchin urges President Trump and the Department of Energy (DOE) to examine the resilience and reliability of our electric grid as the nation faces ongoing retirements of coal-fired and nuclear power plants.
  • October 15, 2017 – Senator Manchin supports Department of Energy calls for a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) on resilience pricing at FERC in letter to all commissioners.
  • April 17, 2018 – Senator Manchin introduces the Energy Reliability Act of 2018 and a Senate resolution recognizing the need for compensating baseload power plants for resilience and essential reliability services.
  • April 26, 2018 – Senator Manchin signs on to bicameral letter urging Secretary of Energy to consider use of 202(c) emergency authority to save at-risk coal-fired and nuclear power plants.
  • April 6, 2018 – In a letter, Senator Manchin urged President Trump and the Department of Energy to use their statutory authority under Section 202(c) of the Federal Power Act to preserve critical power units.
  • April 18, 2018 – In a letter, Senator Manchin urged President Trump and his administration to invoke the Defense Production Act.
  • April 26, 2018 – In a letter, Senator Manchin urged Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Secretary of Defense James Mattis to examine the Defense Production Act.