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Federal regulators reject Rick Perry's plan to subsidize coal and nuclear plants

The Republican-controlled Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday rejected a proposal put forward by Energy Secretary Rick Perry that would have subsidized coal and nuclear power plants.

The commission said the Trump administration was unable to provide any evidence that shutting down coal-fired power plants threatens the nation's electric grid; critics said the plan would have disrupted electricity markets and raised prices in certain areas of the country. FERC said it will review information submitted by the system operators in charge of the grid, and will decide within 60 days if additional action is necessary.

The unexpected decision thrilled critics of the plan. "Rick Perry's scheme to prop up aging nuclear and dirty coal plants was never about making sure the lights and heat stayed on," John Moore, energy policy expert at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told The Associated Press. "It was about protecting the bank accounts of plant owners at the expense of everyday Americans."