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Energy Secretary Perry Sends a Stern Warning to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Dec. 12, 2017 (EIRNS)—Energy Secretary Rick Perry has sent a stern warning to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in a letter to Kevin McIntyre, the new chairman of the FERC, demanding "urgent action" to reform federal rules governing the transmission of electricity across large swaths of the Midwest and East. "I urge the Commission to act expeditiously," Perry wrote, Energywire reported on Dec. 11. Perry also set a deadline for FERC of Jan. 10.

Perry had earlier directed the FERC to consider compensating coal and nuclear power plants operating in regional markets by providing a guaranteed cost-recovery mechanism. The Energy Secretary argued that because those big, centralized plants stockpile coal and nuclear fuel, they improve the electric grid’s resilience during natural disasters or emergencies.

Perry had asked in September that the FERC act on his suggested notice of proposed rulemaking by Dec. 10, and McIntyre’s predecessor, Neil Chatterjee, had pledged that FERC would do so. But just hours after taking his oath of office on Dec. 7, McIntyre reneged and did not meet the deadline. During the next 30 days, Perry said he would examine all of his legal options for taking "remedial action as necessary to ensure the security of the nation’s electric grid," Energywire reported.