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Biden urged to soon release his energy plans

Biden urged to soon release his energy plansJoe Biden is not yet president-elect officially, but it seems clear he will be the nation’s next chief executive. The sooner he clarifies his agenda — especially regarding energy — the better.

It is probably no coincidence that within days of the election, some energy companies began revealing their own plans.

Two major firms, American Electric Power and FirstEnergy, have revealed plans to reduce generation using fossil fuels. AEP says it will eliminate 1,633 megawatts of coal-fueled generation by the end of 2028. FirstEnergy plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent, by 2030.

That will affect electricity prices in areas served by the companies adversely. Many Americans already are paying more for power than we did just a few years ago, because of the move away from coal-fired generating stations.

How will Biden address electric generation? Will he use executive orders to make mining and use of coal even less attractive?

Also of concern in our area is Biden’s stance on natural gas and petroleum production. Will he, as critics warned, “ban fracking?”

Hydraulic fracturing of gas and oil wells has been the reason why Americans have become largely self-reliant for energy. It also has become a key facet of the economies in some states.

Banning — or even placing new limits on fracking — would inflict drastic harm on both Ohio and Pennsylvania. It also would force gas and gasoline prices up nationally.

Biden may not have formulated a detailed energy strategy. During the election campaign, he clearly wanted to appeal to his base voters, many of whom favor harsh steps against fossil fuels such as those suggested in the “New Green Deal.” At the same time, Biden disavowed warnings he would ban fracking, in order to persuade more conservative voters to back him.

What, however, are his post-election plans? We don’t know yet. We hope Biden will adopt a rational energy policy. One way or another, however, the sooner we know what he plans, the better.

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