Keynote’s promotion of coal leans heavily on unrealistic view of the Texas energy market
In a forum held last Thursday the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) unveiled a report that attempts to sway the debate about Texas energy policy off its current trajectory – namely ideas put forward by high-profile Republicans officials like Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Senator Troy Fraser to help transition the state’s electric supply away from coal and towards natural gas.
Unfortunately, the report wasn’t precisely accurate in its representation of the facts. Here’s perhaps the most important chart in the entire TPPF report (entitled Texas Energy and the Energy of Texas co-authored by Dr. Steven Hayward who was the forum’s keynote speaker) with a couple modifications to try and make it a little more accurate:
As you will note from my (clearly marked) changes, TPPF was not presenting the actual cost of electricity from different fuel sources, but the cost of the fuels themselves. That makes the chart inaccurate since the cost of electricity also depends on things like the cost of building a power plant. Of course that’s a minor expenditure of only several billion dollars in the case of most coal and nuclear plants and hundreds of millions of dollars for natural gas plants.
The TPPF chart was also misleading in three important ways, and one can only really conclude that it was intentionally so. (more…)