Pending Snowstorm; No In-Person Activities Sat, Jan. 29. Law Library will be closed. More info

Rejection of Trump's Coal Bailout Marks Win for State Attorneys General

11 attorneys general filed comments in October opposing the proposal that would have "damage[d] the country's competitive power markets"

January 8, 2018
Contact: stateimpactcenter@nyu.edu

Washington, D.C.— Today's decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) represents a win for eleven state attorneys general who opposed the Trump Administration's proposal to prop up coal and nuclear power plants.

"The Proposal is unsupported by law, lacks any reasoned basis or grounding in any supporting factual record, contains no analysis of its costs, and would damage the country's competitive power markets in a manner likely to impose unreasonable and unnecessary costs on electric customers and profoundly undermine state energy laws and policies. On behalf of our states and our residents, the State Commenters urge the Commission not to finalize the Proposal," wrote the attorneys general in comments filed with FERC.

Attorneys general from the following stats filed the comments: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Maryland Massachusetts; North Carolina; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; and Washington. 

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed separate comments and today applauded FERC's decision: “I applaud FERC for its full-throated rejection of the Trump administration’s bailout plan for coal-burning power plants. As we detailed in our comments opposing the plan, this unlawful, thinly-veiled corporate giveaway threatened to undermine New York’s progress in protecting the environment and securing a cleaner, more sustainable, and affordable energy future for our state. As long as the Trump administration continues to put polluters before the health and wellbeing of New Yorkers, I’ll continue to fight back.”

The Trump Administration's proposal to bail out coal and nuclear power plants was exhibit A in its false "deregulation" push. In an op-ed published in OctoberDavid J. Hayes, executive director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at NYU School of Law and former Interior deputy secretary in the Obama and Clinton Administrations, wrote that "the administration’s 'deregulatory' agenda directly advocates a suite of anti-competitive utility industry practices. At the same time, it seeks to bolster the competitive position of fossil fuel energy companies by eliminating some of their most fundamental economic and environmental obligations.

"Energy Secretary Perry’s proposal to artificially prop up coal prices, resulting in increased regulation and higher consumer costs, illustrates the point. Perry’s actions, if implemented, would blatantly torque the interstate bulk electricity market and artificially favor the coal industry over its clean energy competitors...Thankfully, progressive state attorneys general are exposing the Trump Administration’s false deregulatory narrative."

ABOUT THE STATE IMPACT CENTER: The State Energy & Environmental Impact Center is a non-partisan Center at the NYU School of Law that is dedicated to helping state attorneys general fight against regulatory rollbacks and advocate for clean energy, climate change, and environmental values and protections. It was launched in August 2017 with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies. For more information, visit http://www.law.nyu.edu/centers/state-impact.