FERC delays coal, nuclear decision, Davis-Besse, Perry have uncertain futures


At the same time, the commission said that it shared Perry's stated goal of strengthening the "resilience" of the electricity grid and directed regional transmission operators to provide information to help the commission examine the matter "holistically".

On Monday, all five members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted to shelve the so-called "Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule", which would have tipped the energy market's scales in favor of coal and nuclear power plants - and against their solar-, wind- and natural gas-based competitors - due to their ability to store fuel on-site.

Perry issued a statement saying that "as intended, my proposal initiated a national debate on the resiliency of our electric system".

The new plan is to develop a common understanding of what resilience of the bulk power system means and requires; to understand how each RTO and ISO assesses resilience in its geographic footprint; and to use this information to evaluate whether additional FERC action regarding resilience is appropriate.

"The Commission's endorsement of markets does not conflict with its oversight of reliability, and the Commission has been able to focus on both without compromising its commitment to either", the FERC said in an order.

There are five members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It is giving grid operators 60 days to submit comments on the new study.

Three of the five FERC commissioners are Republicans, including Chairman Kevin McIntyreKevin J. McIntyreRegulators to consider changing gas pipeline approval policy MORE.

"They're filled with West Virginia coal", Trump said. "He looks forward to working with the Commissioners to ensure that Americans will have a reliable, resilient and affordable supply of electricity in the years to come".

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Katie Niebaum, executive director of the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association, which has grown into a major promote of renewable energy and the Arkansas businesses that work in the field, called the ruling a victory for free markets. Dow Chemical, Koch Industries and U.S. Steel Corp. stood with environmentalists in opposing the plan to reward nuclear and coal-fired power plants for adding reliability to the nation's power grid.

Perry had argued that coal and nuclear power plants would fare better in extreme weather conditions such as the polar vortex that gripped large parts of the nation just four years ago.

FERC additionally and concurrently opened a new proceeding - one not tied to the flawed DOE proposal and instead creates a forum for an informed and evidence-driven process to take place.

Perry's plan had the backing of coal and nuclear interests.

The Perry directive, which he issued in September and which resulted in months of frenzied lobbying, did not demonstrate that existing market rules are "unjust, unreasonable, unduly discriminatory or preferential", FERC wrote in a ruling today. "I think it's a very important first step", he said.

Three of those appointees are Republicans, including the commission's new Chairman, Kevin McIntyre, who worked for nearly 30 years as an attorney for the energy industry.

"Mr. Trump's administration made some bad appointments to this commission", Murray told CNNMoney in an interview on Tuesday.