By Barry Eitel
President Donald Trump has ordered the Department of Energy to investigate policies aimed at halting the shutdown of coal and nuclear power plants, the White House confirmed Friday.
According to a memo circulated among leaders in the energy industry and leaked to multiple United States media outlets, Trump is looking into using executive powers to keep faltering coal and nuclear power plants open for purported national security reasons.
“President Donald J. Trump believes in total energy independence and dominance, and that keeping America’s energy grid and infrastructure strong and secure protects our national security, public safety, and economy from intentional attacks and natural disasters,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Friday.
“Unfortunately, impending retirements of fuel-secure power facilities are leading to a rapid depletion of a critical part of our Nation’s energy mix and impacting the resilience of our power grid.”
The move would be unprecedented because the plants in question are at risk of closing down due to increased competition from abundant natural gas and renewable energy sources. The policy would coerce the owners of power grids across the nation to purchase electricity from coal and nuclear plants.
The Trump administration confirmed Friday that it was looking into taking drastic actions to save the sputtering industry.
"President Trump has directed Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to prepare immediate steps to stop the loss of these resources and looks forward to his recommendations," Sanders added.
Shares of U.S.-based Peabody Energy, the largest private coal company in the world, rose nearly 5 percent Friday to close at $45.35.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.