Dumbest move yet- Saving coal plants in name of national security

President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

And the Energy Department would be tapping the 68-year-old Defense Production Act, a Cold War-era statute once invoked by President Harry Truman to help the steel industry.

In keeping with this request, last September, Perry called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to fast-track a multi-billion dollar proposed "grid resiliency" rule that would have required utility customers to buy above-market rate electricity from otherwise uncompetitive coal and nuclear plants for the stated goal of preserving grid reliability - despite his own agency's finding that preventing these retirements wouldn't really do much for the grid.

Sanders said Trump had ordered Energy Secretary Rick Perry to prepare "immediate steps to stop the loss of these resources".

A statement from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders did not say specifically what steps the administration would take but said that "keeping America's energy grid and infrastructure strong and secure protects our national security, public safety, and economy from intentional attacks and natural disasters".

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The draft memo laying out the directive would not give a certain quantity operators must spend however says it will likely be sufficient to maintain the services open for the following two years, saying that US nationwide safety "depends on a strong USA home industrial base, of which the coal, nuclear, and oil and pure fuel industries are vital strategic parts".

Trump's directive comes as administration officials search for ways to extend the life of coal and nuclear power plants they argue provide reliable, always-on power capable of snapping back after intense storms and emergencies. "This fuel security is an essential element of national security".

"Energy Secretary Perry is being forced to issue another unnecessary and unprecedented emergency order to favor coal and nuclear over more economic electricity suppliers, including renewables". Since then, the Trump administration has been studying other options. Shelley Capito, R-W.Va. And, time and time again, he has failed to make good on that promise.

"That is an outrageous ploy to drive American taxpayers to bail out coal and nuclear executives who've made unhealthy selections by investing in soiled and harmful power sources, and it will likely be soundly defeated each within the courts and within the court docket of public opinion".

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A draft memo urges federal action to "stop the further premature retirements of fuel-secure generation" from coal and nuclear plants that have struggled to compete with natural gas and renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.

A 40-page draft memo, first obtained by Bloomberg, was circulated ahead of that meeting. Today's news accurately recognizes that safeguarding the energy grid is a national security issue - not just a domestic energy issue - and that West Virginia coal plays a critical role. A diverse group of energy industry groups - including oil, natural gas, solar and wind power - condemned the proposal, saying it would raise energy prices and distort markets.

American power generators are expected to retire - or announce the retirements of - 16,200 megawatts of coal-fired and 550 megawatts of nuclear plant capacity this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Coal company CEO Robert Murray of Murray Energy [MUYEY.UL], also called for Perry to use emergency powers to save at-risk coal plants.

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Murray has been seeking emergency action to boost his industry since past year and has met with Trump to argue that federal help was needed to avert thousands of layoffs and maintain the reliability of the electric grid up and down the East Coast.

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