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USA Energy Secretary Rick faced tough questions from Congress over his plan to subsidize coal and nuclear power generation

Energy Secretary Rick Perry faces grilling over his proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear power generation, CNBC, 12 Oct 17  

  • U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry faced questions from Congress over his proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants.
  • Perry said the notion of a free market for power generation is a “fallacy.”
  • One Democrat accused the Trump administration of hypocrisy because the EPA chief criticized the Obama administration for picking winners and losers in power markets.
Tom DiChristopherFacing questions on Capitol Hill over his proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the notion of a free market in energy generation is a “fallacy.”

The hearing before the House Energy Subcommittee contained some noteworthy moments, including when Perry was unable to answer a basic question about his controversial proposal and implied the regulators who are considering it do not take a long-term view of energy markets.

The proposal in question asks the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to consider, on an expedited timetable, a rule to compensate coal-fired plants and nuclear power stations for the reliability they bring to the nation’s electricity supply. Perry’s proposal has gotten pushback from power industry groups, environmentalists and even one of the FERC commissioners.

 “We will not destroy the marketplace,” FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson told an audience last week when asked about the proposal.

The Energy Department’s request that FERC make a final decision within 60 days has drawn criticism in particular, given that the Energy Department and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation have both determined the nation’s power system remains reliable. Some contend the department is rushing the process to rescue distressed coal and nuclear plants.

The share of the nation’s power generated from coal and nuclear energy has slipped due to cheap, abundant natural gas and the rapid growth of solar and wind farms. President Donald Trump has vowed to revive the coal industry.

Accusation of hypocrisy

Perry faced an early grilling from Rep. Frank Pallone in his opening statement. The New Jersey Democrat accused the Trump administration of hypocrisy, noting Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt earlier this week criticized the Obama administration for favoring renewable energy in its bid to regulate carbon emissions from power plants…….

FERC is an independent federal agency that regulates electricity and natural gas transmission and wholesale retail across state lines. NERC is a not-for-profit international regulatory authority that assures the reliability and security of the bulk power system in North America. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/12/energy-sec-perry-coal-and-nuclear-subsidies.html

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October 14, 2017 - Posted by | politics, USA

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