Great and not at all unqualified energy secretary Rick Perry has apparently formally suggested a plan to pay coal plants “for their resilience,” despite the fact that they are, how do I say this, hemorrhaging money and growing more obsolete by the month.
This information comes courtesy of Bloomberg, which also reports that the Energy Department is mulling a plan to give “emergency compensation” to a group of coal plants run by FirstEnergy Solutions—the very same company that is currently at risk of defaulting on a $100 million bond payment, which could lose holders up to 70 percent of their money. Energy Undersecretary Mark Menezes also “emphasized” that the department is prepared to unilaterally act on the plan if the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can’t come up with one to save FirstEnergy on its own.
Here’s how Perry would do that, from Bloomberg:
Perry has the authority under Section 202 of the Federal Power Act to order a power plant online should he determine that it’s needed in an emergency to “serve the public interest.” Regulators may then prescribe a “reasonable” compensation to keep the plant in service. While the Energy Department is considering using a 202 order, it may still decide to pursue other options. It wasn’t immediately clear which FirstEnergy plants could benefit from the action.
It’s just another slam dunk from the man who claimed that fossil fuels could prevent sexual assault.