President Trump orders 'immediate steps' to boost coal, nuclear plants

Report: Department of Energy recommends bail out of failing coal plants

Report: Department of Energy recommends bail out of failing coal plants

"I am glad President Trump and his Administration are considering my idea to use the Defense Production Act to save coal-fired power plants with emissions controls and protect our national security", Manchin said.

"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", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in an emailed statement Friday.

"Uneconomic, dirty coal plants retiring does not represent a national security risk", Environmental Defense Fund director of federal energy policy and senior attorney Michael Panfil wrote on his blog.

The draft memo laying out the directive doesn't give a specific amount operators would have to spend but says it will be enough to keep the facilities open for the next two years, saying that USA national security "relies on a robust US domestic industrial base, of which the coal, nuclear, and oil and natural gas industries are critical strategic components".

McKinley said the closure of additional power plants will weaken America's national security.

The move to mandate the purchase of electricity from old, uneconomic sources and guarantee revenue to the power plant owners has been described as an unprecedented intervention into energy markets.

It says even though "intermittent resources", such as wind and solar power, do "provide value at various times during the day", it is "during times of peak demand when there is the greatest strain on the electricity grid" that "many major electricity markets are and will continue to be heavily dependent on fossil and nuclear electric generation resources".

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Under a state law passed in 2016, utilities in OR are not allowed to bring coal-fired power into their customers' energy mix past 2035.

A diverse group of energy industry groups - including oil, natural gas, solar and wind power - condemned the proposal, saying it would raise energy prices and distort markets. One independent group that manages the electricity grid that serves more than 65 million people said that it could be bad for consumers if the federal government intervenes in the market. Some of Trump's biggest donors - including coal executive and CEO of Murray Energy, Bob Murray - have also pushed for the move.

"The evolving risk associated with mitigating cyber and physical security challenges is one of the most pressing issues for the sector", the Energy Department said in the draft memo. The plan calls for Perry to use the Federal Power Act and the Defense Production Act to temporarily delay retirements of coal and nuclear plants.

American power generators are expected to retire - or announce the retirements of - 16,200 megawatts of coal-fired and 550 megawatts of nuclear plant capacity this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

First Energy's top lobbyist previous year was Jeff Miller, who was campaign manager for the presidential campaign of Perry, now energy secretary.

Miller, who also is close to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., dined with Trump in April along with McCarthy and GOP donors. Ohio-based FirstEnergy is the largest customer for Murray's Ohio-based coal company and has joined with Murray to seek federal help.

"As it has done time and time again over the years, coal proved to be exactly what we needed to power the country, demonstrating its importance in keeping the lights on when other resources were unavailable", she said.

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