President TrumpDonald TrumpJudge rules Alaska governor unlawfully fired lawyer who criticized Trump Giuliani led fake electors plot: CNN Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE has ordered Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryTrump's relocation of the Bureau of Land Management was part of a familiar Republican playbook What we've learned from the Meadows documents Trump war with GOP seeps into midterms MORE to take "immediate steps" to prevent the further closures of coal and nuclear power plants around the U.S., the White House said Friday.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that the president had ordered the Department of Energy to take the measures due to a national security interest in securing the national power grid's resilience.
"President Trump has directed Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to prepare immediate steps to stop the loss of these resources, and looks forward to his recommendations," Sanders said Friday.
"President Trump believes in total energy independence and dominance, and that keeping America’s energy grid and infrastructure strong and secure protects our national security, public safety and economy from intentional attacks and natural disasters," Sanders added. "Unfortunately, impending retirements of fuel-secure power facilities are leading to a rapid depletion of a critical part of our nation's energy mix, and impacting the resilience of our power grid."
The statement from the White House comes hours after Bloomberg News obtained a draft memo detailing an Energy Department plan to order grid operators to buy electricity from coal and nuclear plants that are at risk of retiring due to cheaper energy available from renewable energy sources and natural gas.
"Too many of these fuel-secure plants have retired prematurely and many more have recently announced retirement," the 41-page memo reads.
The Energy Department measure would also create a “Strategic Electric Generation Reserve," which would shore up the U.S.'s domestic energy reserves in case of an emergency.
The agency's planned intervention into the energy market would last for two years, allowing for a federal study of vulnerabilities in the U.S. energy delivery and power grid, the memo says.