New plan may allow the Department of Energy to direct purchase of coal powered energy

WASHINGTON — President Donald J. Trump and the Department of Energy are considering a plan that involves directing grid operators to buy electricity from coal and nuclear plants. 

President Trump directed Energy Secretary Rick Perry to prepare to take action that would help keep coal and nuclear power plants open.

The Trump administration is considering giving the Department of Energy authority to direct operators to buy energy from struggling coal plants. 

Sarah Sanders, the White House Press Secretary,  said that President Trump believes "keeping America's energy grid and infrastructure strong and secure protects our national security, public safety and economy from intentional attacks and natural disasters." 

Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., was pleased with the announcement from the White House.

“I am very supportive of the administration’s decision to take action to preserve our coal-fired and nuclear power plants," Sen. Capito said. "Doing so will be vital to our state’s economy and to our nation’s viability, security, and independence.”

Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said in a press release that he was pleased that President Trump and the Department of Energy were considering the Defense Production Act.

“I am glad President Trump and his Administration are considering my idea to use the Defense Production Act to save coal-fired power plants with emissions controls and protect our national security,” Sen. Manchin said. “The security of our homeland is inextricably tied to the security of our energy supply.”

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey also made a statement regarding the Administration's move to recognize coal as a part of national security.

“I applaud President Trump’s administration for its serious consideration as to the national security implications of the energy grid crisis, particularly the importance of eastern coal. Today’s news accurately recognizes that safeguarding the energy grid is a national security issue – not just a domestic energy issue – and that West Virginia coal plays a critical role," Morrisey said.

Governor Jim Justice was pleased to hear the news from the White House Friday as well. 

“I have been in constant dialogue and discussions for months with President Trump and Secretary Perry about this and we embrace this good news from the White House and the fact that the justice plan is now moving forward,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re not across the finish line yet but we embrace this good news and this certainly indicates that it is on its way.”

The Defense Production Act was originally implemented in the 1950's during the Cold War, but has seen a number of changes through the years. could be modified to allow this action by the Department of Energy.

Such an action would save coal and nuclear plants from potentially failing, since they will not have to compete natural gas and green energies. 

By:  Staff Reporters
Source: WVNews