The former Texas governor built his political career on the slogan, “Texas, open for business.” His conservative philosophy was simple: wipe away regulations, lower taxes and promote free enterprise.
Perry is struggling to find a plausible excuse to reward Trump’s coal-industry donors and supporters by blowing up the nation’s competitive electricity markets, which have made U.S. electricity bills the envy of the world.
The fact that Perry oversaw the groundbreaking privatization of the Texas electricity market makes his recent work especially galling. One might expect our former governor to cite his experience, defend free enterprise, encourage private sector solutions and denounce government interference. Not this time.
Trump ordered Perry to devise a scheme to force private electric companies to buy expensive electricity from privately-owned nuclear and coal-fired power plants.
Last fall, he proposed a rule to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requiring the use of coal-fired and nuclear power to guarantee resilience. The Republican majority rejected his reasoning, siding instead with the 95 percent of electric companies and grid operators who said it was unnecessary.
Perry’s plan will take $16.7 billion a year from consumers and redistribute it to Trump’s coal and nuclear industry allies, according to The Brattle Group, the energy industry’s foremost consultants.