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Cavanaugh: PSC decisions help avoid blackouts

During the record cold in Alabama and across the country at the end of December, many of the nation’s power companies, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, struggled to keep up with the demand for electricity.

On Dec. 23, the TVA had to implement rolling blackouts due to “unprecedented demand,” caused by the unusually cold temperatures.

Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) President Twinkle Cavanaugh warned the push toward more green energy will make the country’s electric grid more vulnerable during future weather events.

Friday, Cavanaugh discussed Alabama’s energy future during WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program.”

“(T)he reality is our country is not ready for this major transition that is going on to what they call green energy,” said Cavanaugh. “We’ve got to have a strong supply of coal and natural gas if we want to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

“And that’s what we’re used to and that’s what we should demand.”

While the TVA had issues keeping up with the energy demand, Cavanaugh said Alabama Power had no rolling blackouts, which she credits to decisions made by the PSC.

“I believe one of the reasons is here at the Public Service Commission we have fought hard to continue using fossil fuels,” she said. “And fossil fuels are a great baseload production for electricity, and I know nationally … the current administration has done everything possible to get rid of coal and to get rid of natural gas.”

Cavanaugh said that even though some of policies by the Biden administration are sold as better for the environment, they’re really worse for the planet in the long run.

Using the example of Biden cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline, she said, “if you put it on a truck and it takes thousands of trucks daily to carry this oil, not only do they have to go south, but they have to turn around and drive back north to pick it back and then a pipeline goes just one way. That is not more environmentally friendly to truck or putting it on a train a bunch of oil versus putting it on a pipeline.”

She believes one of the main effects of the anti-fossil fuel agenda by Biden will just be higher energy prices.

“That had nothing to do with a good sound environmental decision,” she said. “It had more to do to make sure that we were not easily able to use fossil fuels in our country and that it drove up the price of fossil fuels.

“The decisions being made don’t necessarily make sense right now.”

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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