On Friday Rick Perry, the Secretary of Energy, urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to prop up harmful dirty old coal burning power plants and nuclear plants. As our colleagues at R Street, a conservative think tank, put it in their analysis:
“the proposal is an arbitrary backdoor subsidy to coal and nuclear plants that risks undermining electrical competition throughout the United States … while potentially imposing billions of dollars in unnecessary costs for consumers.”
Mr. Perry claims his proposal is to ensure the reliability of electricity. Yet as a CNBC article put it, the most important threat “comes from its aging transmission and distribution lines, not power plants.” Secretary Perry puts forward outages during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to justify his proposal, when the real reason was aging infrastructure in the form of knocked down utility poles and flooded substations.
Coal-burning power plants are the number one source of air pollution and climate pollution. Yet Secretary Perry offers not one word about how these dirty old plants harm our children’s health and their future.
When it comes to this proposal from Secretary Perry, FERC should take the advice of former First Lady Nancy Reagan in her campaign to get children off drugs: Just Say No.