Perry on key electric grid study: ‘I haven’t seen it yet’

Perry on key electric grid study: ‘I haven’t seen it yet’
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryOvernight Defense: Trump hails D-Day veterans in Normandy | Trump, Macron downplay rift on Iran | Trump mourns West Point cadet's death in accident | Pentagon closes review of deadly Niger ambush Trump hails D-Day veterans in Normandy: 'You are the pride of our nation' Trump hails D-Day veterans in Normandy: 'You are the pride of our nation' MORE says he hasn’t seen a key department study into renewable energy and the electric grid, draft versions of which leaked to the public on Monday.

“There are lots of people breathlessly waiting to read that,” Perry said at a National Press Club event Tuesday.

“There are a lot of folks throwing jello at the wall, folks that say they may have some information that’s in the report. I haven’t seen it yet.”

A draft version of the study, posted Monday by various news outlets, concludes that the growth of renewable power and federal energy regulations have had minimal impacts on changes to the electric grid. 

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It instead blamed declining electricity demand and the plunging cost of natural gas for the early retirements of traditional coal and nuclear power plants.

The Energy Department has said the draft study is out of date and a new version could have different conclusions. But the draft report seems to assuage some of the warnings Perry and the Trump administration have issued about the state of the electric grid, which they say could be threatened by the decline of traditional baseload power sources.

Perry, appearing with Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency, also committed Tuesday to continue greening the American energy sector, even as the Trump administration has refocused on expanding fossil fuel production.

“We can have a cleaner environment and a strong, prosperous nation. We don’t need to sacrifice one for the other, nor will we follow the course of our allies to that end,” he said, noting an increase in greenhouse gas emissions in Germany.

“That is not the direction the United States plans to take under the the Trump administration.”