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Polluter Shill Perry Asks Independent FERC to Prop Up Uneconomic Coal and Nuclear Plants

WASHINGTON - Donald Trump’s Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, today asked FERC - an independent agency - to bail out the declining coal and nuclear industries, amove that’sintended to placate corporate polluters that can’t compete with cleaner, cheaper energy sources like solar, wind, and energy efficiency.

Citing no immediate threat to the grid’s resilience or reliability, Perry brazenly requested that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) direct grid managers to prop up aging coal and nuclear plants, which will force electricity customers to pay billions upon billions of dollars to keep these old facilities open while newer, cleaner, and cheaper technologies are available. Perry’s directive, if acted upon by FERC, would completely disregard stakeholder processes. It is a clumsy attempt to drive the Trump administration’s efforts to force customers to pay more to bailout America’s remaining uneconomic coal and nuclear plants and help their billionaire polluter allies.

In response, Mary Anne Hitt, Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, released the following statement:


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“Make no mistake, Perry is shamelessly trying to force electricity customers to pay billions of dollars to prop up old, dangerous, and uneconomic coal and nuclear plants. With this action, he’s simply doing the bidding of the fossil fuel industry. Perry is ignoring the fact that FERC is an independent agency tasked with listening to stakeholders to fix actual problems with the grid, not imaginary ones that only benefit a few uncompetitive industries - namely coal and nuclear.

“The Federal Power Act clearly states that FERC cannot favor one energy source over others in its rulemakings, and Perry’s ask - without evidence or common sense - seeks to prop up dangerous coal and nuclear plants that can no longer compete in the wholesale market. We are prepared to take to court any illegal rule that props up dirty fossil fuel plants or weakens clean energy’s market access.”


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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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