June 01, 2018

Wyden: Secretary Perry is Doubling Down on Padding Coal Executives’ Pockets at the Expense of American Families

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today slammed a proposal being circulated by the Department of Energy to issue an emergency order that would bail out coal companies, blowing up energy markets and raising utility rates for American families.

“It's bad enough gas prices have already risen under the Trump administration, but now the latest reports show Secretary Perry is doubling down on his absurd plan to blow up energy markets and raise utility rates to pad the wallets of his coal executive friends. This would be an egregious abuse of power.” Wyden said. “I fought this proposal before, and I will continue to fight this corrupt scheme to prop up the coal industry at the expense of American consumers.”

Last fall, Energy Secretary Rick Perry directed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to implement a similar proposal. Forcing grid operators to buy coal from old, uncompetitive coal plants would leave consumers with the increased costs of a less efficient energy market.

After Wyden and other lawmakers railed against the proposal, FERC rejected the proposal from the Department of Energy.

Wyden and many energy market experts have argued such a proposal would likely throw competitive electricity markets into disarray, meaning consumers would likely be forced to pay for the difference.

Read Wyden’s letter from October here