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    Rick Perry defends controversial proposal, says coal and nuclear should be ‘part of future’


    Energy Secretary Rick Perry argued Friday morning that “there is no free market in energy” because he said the Obama administration unfairly boosted renewables, as he defended his much-criticized proposal to prop up coal and nuclear plants.

    “It’s really important to understand in general terms there is no free market in the energy industry and anyone who stands up and says you are affecting the free market, well, there is no free market,” Perry told the audience at the Veterans in Energy Forum outside Washington, hosted by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. “Anyone who comes up and says that is not educated to what the reality of the market is.”

    Perry barely made news in his prepared speech to veterans. But during the question-and-answer session, he directly addressed critics of his proposal to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to create regulations that would change regional power market pricing to reward the “reliability and resilience attributes” of plants that have 90 days of fuel supply on site, meaning coal and nuclear.

    Perry suggested his support for coal and nuclear power is no different than the Obama administration’s interest in expanding renewable energy. He said “baseload” power sources such as coal and nuclear, which provide round-the-clock power, are essential to the “future security of this country.” – READ MORE

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