Energy Secretary Rick Perry has directed his department to conduct a wide-ranging study of the U.S. electric grid, with a particular emphasis on recent coal and nuclear plant closures and whether environmental policies may be driving them.
In a memo obtained by Bloomberg News, Perry outlines his concerns over the “erosion of resources providing “baseload power”. Perry asserts that coal and nuclear power provide “consistent, reliable electricity,” even when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.
Perry said in a memo obtained by Bloomberg, which was sent to his chief of staff, Brian McCormack, “We are blessed as a nation to have an abundance of domestic energy resources, such as coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric, all of which provide affordable baseload power and contribute to a stable, reliable and resilient grid,”
The staff will begin a 60-day review that will determine to what extent regulatory burdens, subsidies, and tax policies “are responsible for forcing the premature retirement of baseload power plants.” He also wants to know whether wholesale energy markets are adequately compensating coal and nuclear plants, such as taking into consideration on-site fuel supplies, strengthening grid resilience.