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Rabid Free Marketeers Reject Perry’s Attempt To Protect Coal and Nuclear

Jan. 9, 2018 (EIRNS)—The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), whose function is to protect "free market" traders, speculators, and crooks, has unanimously rejected Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s request for an order to protect threatened coal and nuclear plants. Secretary Perry had promulgated the recommended order for the FERC to endorse out of concern for the operating nuclear and coal power plants that are being shuttered, because they cannot "compete" with fracked natural gas or heavily-subsidized renewables. Even though four of the five commissioners were Trump appointees and three are Republicans, the vote is not surprising, since in the minds of the Commissioners, "the market" would not be "free" if the government made exceptions to the rules, in this case, recognizing the need for reliable baseload power plants, meaning coal and nuclear.

Unfortunately, Perry’s argument was based the fact that the plants are needed for the "resiliency" of the grid, and what makes coal and nuclear unique is that their fuel supplies are on site, so are largely non-interruptible, due to weather, natural disasters, and such. In fact, the emphasis should have been on the destructive leap into renewables as the proposed alternative to nuclear, and their threat to the resilience of the grid, as they cannot support a technologically-advancing society, or even the rotted out one that we have.

The anti-nukes, the renewables "industry," and the Wall Street institutions that finance them, screamed that Perry’s plan would "subsidize" "uneconomical" coal and nuclear. Nowhere did the Energy Secretary retort that billions of federal tax dollars have subsidized wind and solar.

The FERC decision is binding, but it has given regional transmission operators, who are responsible for the functioning of the electric grid, 60 days to submit information on the overall resilience of the grid. At that time, the FERC can issue another order.