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Washington Post: An American energy plan straight from coal country

Posted by Steven Mufson on Dec 8, 2017

This in-depth Washington Post article looks at the Dept. of Energy efforts to prop up uneconomical coal-fired power plants after meeting with Bob Murray of Murray Energy. AEE coordinated a coalition briefing with the energy reporter that resulted in coverage of the issue. Link to the full article here. Excerpts below:

Energy Secretary Rick Perry had been in office less than four weeks when he took a meeting from a coal magnate who had an urgent request.

Robert E. Murray, founder of Murray Energy and a major Trump supporter, presented a four-page "action plan" to rescue the coal industry. The plan said that commissioners at three independent regulatory agencies "must be replaced," Environmental Protection Agency staff slashed, and safety and pollution rules "overturn[ed]," according to photos and documents seen by The Washington Post.

The March 29 meeting was part of an aggressive lobbying campaign to make sure that President Trump would deliver on his campaign promise to prop up the coal industry and tear down its regulatory foes. And a central aim of Murray's lobbying was to get the new administration to change the rules of the electricity grid to help a floundering utility, FirstEnergy, that was one of the chief buyers of coal from Murray Energy's mines.

But the Perry plan has roused overwhelming bipartisan opposition because it would help a small number of firms at the expense of millions of consumers.

"You can wrap this Christmas present in whatever paper you want, but it's still cash for cronies," Nora Brownell, a consultant and former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member appointed by President George W. Bush.

Link to the full WP article here.

Topics: AEE In The News