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Trump administration is using an obscure law to save the coal and nuclear industries

An Obscure Statute Is Helping Trump Save U.S. Coal, Nuclear, Bloomberg ,By Catherine Traywick and Jim Polson 

  • Rule would allow certain plants to recover operating costs
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has 60 days to respond
  • The Trump administration is taking advantage of an obscure 30-year-old statute to make good on a promise to help America’s ailing coal industry

    Rick Perry is using an authority granted to him as U.S. energy secretary to call on the independent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to change its rules and help coal and nuclear plants compete in wholesale power markets. Perry said he’s seeking to ensure dependable power plants recover “a fair rate of return.” Those capable of storing 90 days of fuel supplies at their sites, such as coal and nuclear generators, would be eligible.

     The move underscores the Trump administration’s determination to aid fossil fuels and rescue money-losing coal and nuclear power plants that have seen their profits squeezed by cheaper natural gas and renewables. Federal Register filings show a U.S. energy secretary hasn’t used this authority to direct the energy commission’s work since at least 1994……..
    The energy commission, an independent agency under the Energy Department, has authority over power markets, though the energy secretary may propose rules to the commission. Perry is seeking final action within 60 days.

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman vowed on Friday to fight the proposal, saying it “puts the interests of special interests ahead of the health, safety, and wallets of New Yorkers.”

    The American Petroleum Institute said it was concerned that the Energy Department had “mischaracterized” the lessons learned from severe weather events that have taken down power resources in the U.S. in the past.

    “We need to be careful that government doesn’t put its thumb on the scale,” said Marty Durbin, executive vice president at the institute, which represents oil and gas producers. “It’s better to let markets choose.”

    — With assistance by Ari Natter, Joe Ryan, Naureen S Malik, and Tim Loh https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-29/perry-moves-to-aid-coal-nuclear-generators-with-pricing-rule

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October 2, 2017 - Posted by | politics, USA

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