US DOE Wants to Subsidize Coal Plants though Back Door

‘I don’t think the ham-handedness of this action is fully appreciated.’
Wolf here. This is what Bill Tilles, one of the authors of the article below, wrote in an email about the article. It should see the light of day:
As for the DOE action re subsidizing coal plants, there’s a real dog-bites-man aspect to the story, in addition to being extreme inside baseball. Conservative Republicans, eager to reward coal and nuclear interests, propose new regulations by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that aggressively favor coal and nuclear over natural gas to overcome the significant cost advantages that natural gas now has.
To me, the real story is in the 19-page document that the Department of Energy sent to FERC. It was a polemic.
In politics that’s permissible, even expected. But the unusual aspect is that DOE is directing FERC – the agency with real administrative expertise in the area – to make wide-ranging rate changes favorable to coal and nuclear interests based on no additional evidence other than a fake crisis!
You have to think about that for a minute. FERC dockets are voluminous with every imaginable interest group weighing in. And time consuming. These folks in the Trump administration are in effect saying to FERC, ‘We don’t need no stinkin’ records.’ It’s a ginned up crisis. With a predictable, cronyist solution: Hand over money to that special interest. And do it fast, they say, or we’ll all be freezing come winter.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Leonard Hyman and Willian Tilles ‘ Oct 5, 2017.

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