Kumar Barve’s Plan to bring California’s Blackouts to Maryland
Delegate Kumar Barve has come up with yet another really bad idea. Barve wants to immediately close each of the remaining six coal-fired power plants across Maryland, reports the Post’s Erin Cox.
New: Md Environment Cmte Chair @KumarBarve says he is drafting legislation to shutter all six of the state’s remaining coal-fired power plants. The hook today: A new Sierra Club poll that says 70 percent of residents support it. Poll here: https://t.co/FIqjnQ6EPa
— Erin Cox (@ErinatThePost) November 19, 2019
Barve’s idea is buttressed by a new Sierra Club poll that shows 70% of Maryland residents support the idea. My guess, however, is that neither Barve nor the poll respondents really understand what such an immediate cessation of using coal-fired plants would mean.
The six remaining coal-fired power plants would take 4,665 MW of electricity generation offline. That’s a not-insignificant amount of the power generated across Maryland.
The chart below shows the total generating power of each of Maryland’s power plants.
|Brandon Shores Generating Station||Coal||1,370|
|Chalk Point Generating Station||Coal||728|
|Dickerson Generating Station||Coal||588|
|Herbert A. Wagner Generating Station||Coal||495|
|Morgantown Generating Station||Coal||1,252|
|Warrior Run Generating Station||Coal||229|
|Chalk Point Generating Station||Natural Gas||1,868|
|Dickerson Generating Station||Natural Gas||326|
|Gould Street Generating Station||Natural Gas||103|
|Herbert A. Wagner Generating Station||Natural Gas||133|
|Notch Cliff Generating Station||Natural Gas||144|
|Panda Brandywine Power Plant||Natural Gas||289|
|Perryman Generating Station||Natural Gas||333|
|Rock Springs Generation Facility||Natural Gas||772|
|St. Charles Energy Center||Natural Gas||746|
|Westport Generating Station||Natural Gas||121|
|Deep Creek Dam||Hydroelectric||20|
|Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant||Nuclear||1718|
|Chalk Point Generating Station||Oil||1318|
|Dickerson Generating Station||Oil||307|
|Easton Power Plant||Oil||69|
|Herbert A. Wagner Generating Station||Oil||548|
|Morgantown Generating Station||Oil||296|
|Perryman Generating Station||Oil||353|
|Philadelphia Road Generating Station||Oil||261|
|Vienna Generating Station||Oil||167|
|Montgomery County Resource Recovery Facility||Oil||182|
|Criterion Wind Project||Wind||70|
|Total Generating Power (in MW)||15418|
|Total Coal-Fired Generating Power (in MW)||4665|
|Percentage of Generating Power in Coal Plants||30.3%|
Barve’s proposal to immediately take these coal power plants offline would mean a 30% reduction in electricity generation across the state. And what would that ultimately mean to consumers and electric users? In a “best-case” scenario, customers would see their electric rates drastically increase. A “worst-case” scenario would look like California, with scheduled rolling blackouts due to the inability of the electric grid to meet consumer demand.
Nobody here is arguing that coal-fired power plants are the future or are great for the environment. But that has to be some sort of acknowledgment here that shuttering these plants as Barve wants would mean drastic consequences for Maryland; job losses and an unreliable electric grid among them. The economic effects of both would be devastating on our state economy and our quality of life.
We understand that Maryland Democrats are obsessed with importing the worst ideas from California. This one should be left there.