Screenshot of the U.S. Department of Energy's proposed Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule. Graphic: Department of Energy

By Ed Crooks
26 October 2017

NEW YORK (Financial Times) – Companies from the technology and oil and gas industries have stepped into the debate over the future of the US electricity system, raising objections to the Trump administration's plans for new rules to support coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

Microsoft, Walmart, ExxonMobil, General Electric, and Apple are among the leading US companies that argued — either directly or through industry groups — against the proposal from Rick Perry, the energy secretary, that coal and nuclear plants must be protected to make sure the lights stay on.

Mr Perry last month formally asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the independent body that regulates wholesale electricity markets that cross state lines, to draw up detailed plans to make payments to power plants that have 90 days of fuel on site.

He argues that such plants — which would probably include only coal, nuclear, and some hydro stations — make the grid resilient to shocks such as extreme cold weather, but are not properly rewarded for that in competitive electricity markets. […]

Mr Perry has asked FERC to come up with a response to his proposal by 11 December 2017. The commission opened a short consultation period to fit that timetable, and by its deadline on Tuesday had received more than 680 comments, many from businesses ranging from Etsy, the online crafts marketplace, to ExxonMobil. [more]

Big US corporate names object to Trump’s power plan

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