Facing questions on Capitol Hill over his proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the notion of a free market in energy generation is a “fallacy.”
The hearing before the House Energy Subcommittee contained some noteworthy moments, including when Perry was unable to answer a basic question about his controversial proposal and implied the regulators who are considering it do not take a long-term view of energy markets.
The proposal in question asks the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to consider, on an expedited timetable, a rule to compensate coal-fired plants and nuclear power stations for the reliability they bring to the nation’s electricity supply. Perry’s proposal has gotten pushback from power industry groups , environmentalists and even one of the FERC commissioners.
“We will not destroy the marketplace,” FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson told an audience last week when asked about the proposal.