Too many vilified "dirty" coal plants have been closed too soon, without enough alternative sources coming on-line to meet electricity demand in peak load times.
American Spectator notes:
In a hell-bent campaign to rid itself of any form of dirty, messy “non-renewable” energy, New England has been closing down coal and oil plants for the last decade. In 2000, 18 percent of New England’s electricity came from coal and 22 percent from oil. Today it’s 3 percent coal and 1 percent oil. Meanwhile, natural gas — the fuel that everybody loves until you have to drill for it — has risen from 15 percent to a starkly vulnerable 52 percent, just behind California.
There’s only one problem. New England doesn’t have the pipelines to bring in the gas. Nor is anyone going to allowed to build it, either.Disaster was averted in the Northeast last winter because an old coal plant or two hadn't been closed as fast as environmental activists wanted. And costly back-up generators that burn jet fuel, designed to run a few a few hours a month, were pressed into extended service.
Electricity production is one area where robust capacity is vital, and using multiple fuel source production adds resiliency to the system. Choking supply alternatives for the sake of feel good environmentalism is a serious mistake that will eventually show devastating consequences.