Federal Regulators Reject Trump Power-Plants Plan

A federal commission on Monday rejected the Trump administration’s plan to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants, a move largely seen as a win for consumers and a setback for President Trump. Energy Secretary Rick Perry had touted the proposal as vital for reviving the country’s declining coal industry, warning in September that the “reliability and resilience of our nation’s grid” would be at stake if the plan was not approved. Perry had asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to guarantee financial returns for uncompetitive coal-burning plants, a move widely seen as altering the competitive balance against renewable energy or natural-gas plants. Critics said the plan would only help a handful of companies and ultimately end up raising rates for consumers. The independent five-member Federal Energy Regulatory Commission—consisting of four people appointed by Trump—sided with the critics Monday, saying the Trump administration had shown “no evidence” that the measures proposed by Perry were needed.