Perry invokes national security as an excuse to attack clean energy

Under the pretext of the national security issue of grid reliability, Energy Secretary Rick Perry is looking for ways to prop up coal and nuclear energy at the expense of other energy sources, like wind and solar. He’s asked his department to conduct a hurried 60-day review of how renewable energy could undermine the electric grid and power markets regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He then may seek to use federal authority to preempt state clean energy policies and energy markets. Grid reliability assessments are important, but that’s not what Perry is asking for here. A real reliability study, such as ones done by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, can take months or even years to complete. Besides, government agencies like National Renewable Energy Laboratory and large grid operators have already shown through studies and real world experience that electric grids can operate reliably with very high levels of wind and solar power. Meanwhile, Perry’s shown his hand in hiring a known fossil fuel ally to lead the review and in saying the “the shoe, or the boot, is on the other foot now.”

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