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Trump admin weighing aid for some coal plants: report

Trump admin weighing aid for some coal plants: report
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The Trump administration is considering whether to take an obscure action to aid certain coal-fired power plants.

Bloomberg reported that officials at the Department of Energy are weighing whether Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryOvernight Energy: Political appointee taking over as Interior IG | Change comes amid Zinke probe | White Houses shelves coal, nuke bailout plan | Top Dem warns coal export proposal hurts military The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump, Stormy Daniels trade fire on Twitter | Three weeks to midterms | Pompeo meets Saudi king White House shelves rescue plan for coal, nuclear: report MORE should invoke emergency authority to stop FirstEnergy Solutions power plants from closing.

The authority, which is meant for major emergencies, war and similar situations, would let the company charge high enough rates for its coal plants to stay open and not close due to competition from cheaper sources.

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The administration rejected a call from FirstEnergy and from coal miner Murray Energy Corp. last year to use the authority.

But after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last month rejected Perry’s proposal to require many coal and nuclear plants to be paid higher rates, the Energy Department is again tinkering with the emergency aid order.

Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes denied the report.

"The Bloomberg reporting is based on false information. There is no application for a 202c order under consideration for First Energy at this time," she said, referring to the Federal Power Act section that gives Perry the authority.

FirstEnergy spokeswoman Jennifer Young told the Washington Examiner that the company was not aware of the reported discussions.

Perry and others at the Energy Department have repeatedly said since FERC’s rejection that they would consider what other possibly actions they could take to help out coal and nuclear plants.