The boom in natural gas production from shale has led to a widespread belief that the United States no longer needs nuclear and coal plants to meet the demand for electricity. That belief is wrong. For starters, consider the continued increase in the nation’s need for electricity, which the Energy Information Administration expects to grow about 20 percent by 2040. Producing enough electricity to meet this demand will be difficult if there is a further loss of nuclear and coal plants, leading to a decline in base-load electricity that’s essential for grid stability, reliability, and resiliency. Reliability is dependent on plant diversity, with a substantial portion being base-loaded plants. In Pennsylvania, a number of coal plants have closed and others are expected to be shuttered soon, replaced by low-cost natural gas and subsidized wind power. Also in jeopardy are several nuclear plants, including Three Mile Island, Beaver Valley, and Susquehanna. The same is true nationally, though at a much larger scale, with dozens of coal and nuclear plants at risk of being retired prematurely by 2020. If that happens, there could be a serious loss of electricity reliability, which could result in blackouts and brownouts, posing a threat to America’s industries and millions of jobs. But what I find most ominous is the wrongheaded belief that natural gas can replace coal and nuclear plants in the production of base-load electricity. Since the mid-1990s, more than 80 percent of new electricity-generating capacity has relied on natural gas, despite its history of price volatility. This is no time to let coal and nuclear plants close, since natural gas supplies could be stretched thin, as the use of gas for electricity and industrial production grows and exports of liquefied natural gas increase. Demands that the government take action to head off a crisis have been proliferating. Indeed, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is considering subsidies similar to wind and solar plants to keep financially distressed nuclear and coal plants in operation. FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee proposed that the commission make such subsidies immediately, while the