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With NOPR Decision, FERC Brings Coal and Nuclear Industries Back to Reality

WASHINGTON - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) terminated its consideration of Rick Perry’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) that would have bailed out uneconomic coal and nuclear plants that cannot compete against cleaner, cheaper energy sources like solar, wind, and energy efficiency. FERC also initiated a new proceeding to investigate issues of grid resilience in a more comprehensive and evidence-driven manner, requesting that grid operators submit comments in 60 days.

Despite his own staff’s findings that there was no economic or legal justification for propping up aging fossil and nuclear plants, Perry had asked FERC to create rules that would force electricity customers to pay billions of extra dollars to support uncompetitive coal and nuclear plants heading toward retirement. FERC’s decision today is a rejection of DOE’s request that it take precipitous action that would have imposed billions of dollars in costs to consumers.

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

“FERC’s announcement is a return to reality after months of billionaire coal and nuclear executives pressuring DOE and FERC to illegally setup bailouts for their uneconomic plants.

“This entire NOPR process has been a comically orchestrated ploy by unscrupulous coal and nuclear executives to handicap their competition because they were foolish enough to think that American electricity customers wanted their dirty, expensive power plants when cheaper, cleaner alternatives are available. We doubt that this will be their last attempt to bailout their failing plants, so we are preparing for their next round of dangerous proposals.”

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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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