Records Sought on Trump Administration’s Attempt to Accommodate Polluters With Grid Study

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Howard Crystal, (202) 809-6926, hcrystal@biologicaldiversity.org

Records Sought on Trump Administration’s Attempt to Accommodate Polluters With Grid Study

WASHINGTON - The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a public-records request seeking emails and other documents that display the Trump administration’s collaboration with big polluters on a grid study that could hamper renewable power growth to benefit companies reliant on coal and other fossil fuels.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry ordered a study of the United States’ energy grid in an April 14 departmental memo, which spurred the Center’s action. Perry’s memo claims the 60-day study seeks to determine if policies enacted by President Obama and previous administrations to promote renewable energy are shutting down fossil fuel power plants.

The study is a part a broader effort by the Trump administration to replace science-backed programs with corporate and industry-supported policies.

“This grid study is a thinly veiled attempt by the Trump administration to keep dirty and dying power plants on life support by demonizing renewable energy,” said Howard Crystal, a Center senior attorney. “It’s very possible that big polluters had a direct hand in developing the study. We hope our request will shed light on the administration’s communications with the dirty companies that would benefit most from hampering wind and solar.”

Perry’s comments on the study indicate a desire to ensure grid reliability by protecting baseload power sources. But the secretary failed to note that renewable energy sources like solar enhance grid security and reliability by bringing energy supply closer to the load, diversifying the energy portfolio mix and enabling technological innovations necessary for the long-term sustainability of electric service.

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At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.

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