The Trump administration has shelved a major effort to help the coal industry on the advice of the president’s advisors on the National Security Council and National Economic Council, according to four sources with knowledge of the discussions.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry proposed and promoted the plan, which would force power companies to keep unprofitable or barely profitable coal plants running for the sake of national security.
But “Perry’s proposals — which would also keep aging nuclear power plants operating — have riled up the oil and gas industry, which has prospered as inexpensive natural gas has increasingly eaten away at coal’s share of U.S. power markets,” Eric Wolff and Darius Dixon report for Politico. “Other critics include consumer groups worried about rising power bills for customers, environmental organizations concerned about the threat to wind and solar power….”
President Trump has argued that coal and nuclear power store their fuel on-site, making them less vulnerable to attack than oil and gas, which must use pipelines that are more easily attacked. But an Energy Department-ordered study that disagreed with that assessment was kept under wraps for the past six months after its submission.
Source: The University of Kentucky Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues