White House shelves rescue plan for coal, nuclear: report

White House shelves rescue plan for coal, nuclear: report
© Greg Nash

The White House has shelved a proposed effort to prop up coal and nuclear power plants at risk of closure, Politico reported.

Some of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE’s advisers in the White House National Security Council and National Economic Council oppose Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryOvernight Energy: Wheeler weathers climate criticism at confirmation hearing | Dems want Interior to stop drilling work during shutdown | 2018 was hottest year for oceans Pompeo in Iraq for unannounced visit GOP commissioner on federal energy panel dies MORE’s plan, due largely to the likelihood that it would raise energy prices, Politico said, citing four people familiar with the matter.

The rescue plan was a key piece of the Trump administration’s energy agenda, and Trump’s promise to save the coal industry.

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Perry first pursued the policy last year, asking that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) write a rule to require higher electricity payments to coal and nuclear plants, in a bid to preserve the “resiliency” of the electric grid.

But FERC, an independent agency, rejected the proposal unanimously.

Earlier this year, Trump formally asked his administration to find a way to save uneconomic coal and nuclear plants from closing.

A White House memo leaked in May showed that officials were considering using legal authorities to force coal and nuclear plants to stay open for two years. During that time, the National Security Council would study the issue from a security perspective and determine if other interventions could be used.

The Energy Department and the White House didn’t return requests for comment.