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New Report: Carbon Pricing Is Essential for Achieving a Clean, Reliable Energy Grid

Senator Hickenlooper (D-CO), former FERC Chair Neil Chatterjee, and Vistra Corp. CEO Curt Morgan Make the Case for Carbon Pricing

New Report: Carbon Pricing Is Essential for Achieving a Clean, Reliable Energy Grid

Senator Hickenlooper (D-CO), former FERC Chair Neil Chatterjee, and Vistra Corp. CEO Curt Morgan Make the Case for Carbon Pricing

Published 03-16-22

Submitted by Vistra

CLC Report Cover
CLC Report Cover

WASHINGTON, DC – An economy-wide carbon price is key to ensuring all Americans have access to affordable and reliable electricity as we transition to a low-carbon economy, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Climate Leadership Council at a virtual event. The report, co-authored by former FERC Chair Neil Chatterjee and Council CEO Greg Bertelsen, outlines why a carbon price and a more reliable energy grid are essential for meeting deep decarbonization goals by midcentury.

“In order to successfully decarbonize the U.S. economy, we will need to increase our reliance on the electric grid. As this transition takes place, the grid is coming under unprecedented strain from more frequent and prolonged extreme weather events,” Bertelsen said. “Thankfully, carbon pricing is naturally aligned with grid reliability. It works within our existing energy system to add capacity where it is needed and to reduce demand where possible, providing the maximum flexibility as we make the much-needed clean energy transition.”

Among its key findings, the report, “Achieving Grid Reliability and Decarbonization through Carbon Pricing,” highlights how a carbon price improves grid reliability:

  • Carbon pricing is technology- and location-neutral. Because carbon pricing does not pick which zero- and low-carbon options contribute to the resource mix, it efficiently moves the power sector toward the right set of resources to deliver emissions reductions and ensure sufficient energy supply and operating reliability to meet customer demand, all at least cost.
  • Carbon pricing sends a steady, predictable price signal. This provides investors, grid operators and power system planners with better data to forecast supply and demand trends and accommodate emerging and new technologies with a variety of attributes to build out the grid of the future.
  • Carbon pricing fosters economy-wide innovation. This allows the U.S. to decarbonize its entire economy rapidly while creating headroom for the power sector to decarbonize in a manner that supports reliability for consumers.

Curt Morgan, CEO of Vistra Corp., a leading integrated retail electricity and power generation company, says achieving grid reliability is foundational to addressing climate change.

“The push for lower carbon emissions will require greater electrification of the economy, which means a dramatic increase in demand for electricity,” Morgan said. “Electricity is the lifeblood of the American economy, so we must accomplish the transition to a carbon-free grid by balancing affordability, emissions, and reliability. Decarbonizing the electric sector and the broader economy with a price on carbon is the most efficient, equitable, and transparent way to incentivize investments in low- to no-carbon resources. In addition, coupling a carbon border adjustment fee with a price on carbon will ensure the competitiveness of U.S. companies and incentivize the international community to participate in decarbonization. This will provide the least disruptive transition to a carbon-free economy while ensuring Americans and American companies have a level playing field.”


The Climate Leadership Council works with a broad set of stakeholders to promote the most cost-effective, equitable, and politically-viable climate solutions.

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Vistra (NYSE: VST) is a leading, Fortune 275 integrated retail electricity and power generation company based in Irving, Texas, providing essential resources for customers, commerce, and communities. Vistra combines an innovative, customer-centric approach to retail with safe, reliable, diverse, and efficient power generation. The company brings its products and services to market in 20 states and the District of Columbia, including six of the seven competitive wholesale markets in the U.S. and markets in Canada and Japan, as well. Serving nearly 4.3 million residential, commercial, and industrial retail customers with electricity and natural gas, Vistra is one of the largest competitive residential electricity providers in the country and offers over 50 renewable energy plans. The company is also the largest competitive power generator in the U.S. with a capacity of approximately 39,000 megawatts powered by a diverse portfolio, including natural gas, nuclear, solar, and battery energy storage facilities. In addition, the company is a large purchaser of wind power. The company is currently constructing a 400-MW/1,600-MWh battery energy storage system in Moss Landing, California, the largest of its kind in the world. Vistra is guided by four core principles: we do business the right way, we work as a team, we compete to win, and we care about our stakeholders, including our customers, our communities where we work and live, our employees, and our investors. Learn more about our environmental, social, and governance efforts and read the company's sustainability report at

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