Rick Perry tries—and fails—to rig the game in favor of dirty energy

Rick Perry's plan to rig the rules in favor of coal and nuclear power failed, but it shows what we're up against. 

Clean, renewable energy has been growing by leaps and bounds. But instead of embracing the future, Energy Secretary Rick Perry wants to prop up the outdated and polluting energy of the past.

Last fall, Perry directed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which oversees energy markets, to make a new rule requiring utility companies to cover the costs of unnecessary and dirty power plants that can’t stay in business on their own.

If that sounds extreme, it’s because it is. Perry was asking FERC to give dirty energy an unfair advantage in the market, essentially rigging the game in its favor.

Photo: Cathy via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0) 

The good news is, Perry didn’t get his way this time. Earlier this month, FERC came back with a unanimous answer to Perry’s directive: No

Perry’s plan was based on two claims: that renewable energy subsidies were driving dirty energy plants out of business, and that renewable energy was a threat to grid reliability.

Both are false, and a study commissioned by Perry himself proves it. FERC was right to reject his plan out of hand.

Facts and common sense might have won the day this time, but the fact that Perry was willing to try such extreme measures to undermine clean energy shows what we’re up against.

Environment America is pursuing a bold goal of 100 percent renewable energy. We’re working to get more colleges and universities to follow the lead of Cornell and Boston University by committing to getting 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources. We’ve convinced cities like Longmont, Colo. and Atlanta to make 100 percent renewable commitments, and we’re working to bring more cities on board. We’re even building momentum for state commitments to meeting their energy needs with 100 percent renewable energy.

Your support makes it all possible. Make a contribution to Environment America today to support our work on renewable energy and other vital environmental campaigns.

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