Today, Environment America delivered a message from 33,923 supporters in all 50 states urging Energy Secretary Rick Perry to back off on his proposals to get the federal government to intervene on behalf of old, dirty energy sources at the expense of cleaner, more affordable clean energy options.
“Americans want clean energy,” said Anna Hofmann, a Clean Energy Associate with Environment America. “Renewable energy is on the rise and is starting to meet our electricity needs with pollution-free energy that has no fuel costs. There’s no need to throw billions of dollars at outdated, polluting and unnecessary power plants.”
In April, citing concerns that renewable energy was undermining the reliability of the electric system, Secretary Perry announced that he would consider over-riding state clean energy policies and commissioned a study. When the study came out in August, it found that environmental regulations and dramatic increases in renewable energy have had no impact. Ignoring those findings, the Trump Administration and Secretary Perry have proposed rules at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that would subsidize more than 100 aging and unnecessary coal and nuclear plants.
“Secretary Perry’s proposed FERC rule is but another in a long list of actions by the Trump administration to defy the facts in order to carry the water for the polluter lobby,” said Rob Sargent, Energy Program Director for Environment America. “We should not tolerate actions like this that are designed to extend the life of polluting and risky power plants.”
Despite Secretary Perry’s call for the need for increased reliability, the US already has a high level of grid reliability. However, the recent hurricanes highlight danger that weather and other factors pose to the reliability of our grid. Not only are solar and wind technologies more reliable than coal and nuclear plants, which often have to go offline during severe storms, but they also help to mitigate climate change, which will only worsen these storms over time.
“Clean energy is making our communities cleaner and our children healthier,” said Hofmann. “Given our environmental challenges and the threats posed by climate change, we need to work together to accelerate the shift to clean energy.”