API Coalition Comments to DOE on Coal and Nuclear Plant Bailouts
(Washington, D.C.) – An unusual coalition representing natural gas, power, renewable energy and energy efficiency industry associations submitted a legal analysis to the Department of Energy (DOE) late Monday opposing federal use of emergency authority to provide a long-term subsidy for aging and uneconomic power plants that would otherwise retire. Such federal action is under consideration following a request from FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), an owner of power plants now in bankruptcy proceedings.
The industry groups’ legal analysis notes that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently rejected a similar proposal from DOE and initiated a broader review of electric power system “resilience” to determine whether any change in market rules is needed. FES has since petitioned DOE to use its emergency powers under Section 202(c) of the Federal Power Act to prevent the company’s power plants from closing, and others have pointed to even more obscure statutory provisions to seek similar action.
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