President Trump directed Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to stop the closure of coal and nuclear plants, pushed offline by cheaper electricity from natural gas and renewables.
The president on Friday told Perry to “prepare immediate steps” to stop the plants from retiring, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, adding that “impending retirements of fuel-secure power facilities are leading a rapid depletion of a critical part of our nation’s energy mix, and impacting the resilience of our power grid.”
The announcement comes the same day as the release of a draft White House memo outlining a plan to bail out coal and nuclear plants using DOE’s emergency powers under the Federal Power Act and a Cold War-era law that permits it to nationalize parts of the power sector.
Taking those steps would constitute an unprecedented federal intervention in electricity markets. Coal and nuclear interests have asked the White House to save their plants, while attorneys general from nine states and a coalition of renewable energy and natural gas groups wrote to Perry last month urging him to not intervene.