This past winter our gas and electric bills doubled from the previous year. Both companies confirmed that my usage was about the same year to year. Inflation has taken its toll and we simply can’t escape the spiraling costs of everything these days.

Power Lines

Why are our electricity costs increasing when we have nuclear, abundant coal, and gas to power the country? Obviously, more power plants are needed and it didn’t take long to find out why. With our abundant energy resources our utility bills should be much lower.

Empowering Our Grid

America is facing rolling brown outs during peak usage periods and we no longer have sufficient electric generation capacity. This wasn’t caused by climate change; the problem is manmade. Over 300 coal fired power plants were forced to close since 2010, mostly due to onerous new EPA regulations and cost considerations.

Coal Plants Forced to Close

A third of the closed coal plants were either converted to natural gas or replaced with new gas fired plants. A new EPA wastewater rule will cause 75 additional coal fired plants across the country to stop production if the rule isn’t rescinded.

India, China, and Japan are building hundreds of new high efficiency low emission (HELE), ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants. EPA regulations prohibit building HELE coal-fired power plants in the US even though these power plants have a Higher Heat Value (HHV) efficiency rating of 45% then our existing fleet of coal-fired power plants in the US that have an average efficiency of 33% HHV. The life expectancy of a HELE plant is 60 years compared to just 20 years for windmill and solar farms.

According to the Institute of Energy Research (IER), “1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries. If constructed, these new plants would increase global coal-fired capacity by 43 percent.” In many cases these plants will use our exported coal to fuel their power grid. We should be building low emission HELE plants where needed to utilize our vast coal resources and shore up our grid.

The State of Renewables

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced plans to deploy 21.5 GW of solar and 7.6 GW of wind in the U.S. in 2022 that would surpass the estimated 15.5 GW of solar additions in 2021.

Renewables are fairly unreliable and often require huge government loan guarantees and grants. Remember the wind-turbine failures that helped to shutdown the Texas power grid during freezing temperatures, California’s usage restrictions this year, and the bankrupt Crescent Dunes concentrated solar power company that shut down in 2020. This company was developed with $737 million in U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees!  Solyndra LLC was another solar panel manufacturer that received over $500 million in government funding that went bankrupt in 2011. 

We must have a ready reserve of sustainable carbon-based power sources that can be the mainstay of our grid for the foreseeable future.

Nuclear Plants Decommissioned

Six nuclear power plants closed since 2013. Europe is reopening mothballed coal fired and nuclear facilities to shore up their electric grid, it seems like a reasonable course of action for us here at home

To make matters worse, we currently have 93 nuclear reactors located at 55 nuclear power plants in 28 states that generate 20 percent of our power needs according to the US Energy Information Agency. Twenty-one reactors are scheduled for decommissioning!

In 2016, the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) Watts Bar Unit 2 in Tennessee became the first new U.S. reactor to come online since 1996, two others are under construction in Georgia.

One of the downsides to nuclear is waste disposal. It needs to be properly handled in new and existing plants. They currently store much of it on site in large steel containers. A catastrophe waiting to happen. Another reason to retain and expand our carbon-based energy production.


All sources should be explored and used to provide efficient and reliable power for residential and commercial use, one size doesn’t fit all. A push to fast track EVs is destined to fail if we don’t step back and adjust our expectations.

Many countries that joined the Paris Accord are going full steam ahead to provide their country’s power through any and all means possible. We should be doing the same and gradually phase in EVs and green energy as technology improves, generation costs moderate, and the infrastructure is available.

Special interests and their lobbyists have taken over Washington and are driving these initiatives before they are viable and ready for prime time.