Federal regulator denies Rick Perry’s proposal to compensate coal, nuclear [updated]

Enlarge / Industry. (credit: Kym Farnik)

On Monday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied a rule proposed by Energy Secretary Rick Perry earlier this year (PDF) to compensate coal and nuclear generation facilities over and above the compensation they currently receive if they kept 90 days' worth of fuel on site.

Perry's rule was written to be fuel agnostic at face value, but its details would have bolstered coal and nuclear plants in the energy market because natural gas- and oil-fed generators generally can't keep 90 days' worth of fuel onsite (they receive their fuel via pipeline), and renewable energy generation is variable. One of President Trump's key campaign promises has been to revive the coal industry, which has suffered in the shadow of plentiful, cheap natural gas.

In Monday's notice, FERC wrote that the proposed rule never met the threshold requirement of showing that grid managers are currently offering "unjust and unreasonable" compensation to existing coal and nuclear plants.

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