Executive Intelligence Review


Energy Secretary Perry Pledges Federal Help To Keep Coal and Nuclear Plants Running

April 17, 2018 (EIRNS)—Energy Secretary Rick Perry is trying to find a way to save threatened coal and nuclear plants, stressing that their demise could be an economic threat, and also a national security threat. This gives the issue urgency, and the Department of Energy has been considering invoking Section 202(C) of the Federal Power Act, which can order certain power plants to continue running in wartime and during natural disasters.

In an April 12 hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Perry said, “The more important issue is one of national security, of being able to know without a doubt, that the energy supply will be there when we need it.”

Perry took a very personal example of the threat to the grid, asking, “Why should anyone be put in the situation to choose turning the lights on and keeping my family warm?”

On the national security issue, Perry assured the Representatives that “President Trump understands that. He has had multiple conversations with me and others in his administration to find a solution.” There is opposition within the Department to the use of federal power to override state deregulation. That approach is still under consideration, but he said, “There may be other options which we need to look at.”

At the hearing, Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) called on Perry “to use whatever legal power you have so...we can have a reliable grid system.” Perry responded, “I hope your remarks have been televised and we can put them up, because you have succinctly made the point of exactly what has to happen in this country.”