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DOE Renewables Review Steered by Aides Tied to EEI, Koch Industries

Wind, solar subsidies threatened as Secretary Rick Perry seeks to buoy coal and nuclear generation.

A sweeping study of the future of renewables policies by new Energy Secretary Rick Perry is led by two former foes of green power incentives, the New York Times reported.

Brian McCormack, his chief of staff, initiated the study, and Travis Fisher is overseeing it, the newspaper reported.

“Mr. McCormack, as vice president for political and external affairs at the main trade group for the electric utility industry, the Edison Electric Institute, was part of an effort to diminish incentives for rooftop solar installations, according to the Energy and Policy Institute, which supports renewables.

“Mr. Fisher is a former economist at the Institute for Energy Research, a right-leaning policy organization connected to Charles G. Koch, the ultraconservative billionaire whose fortune is connected to oil and petrochemicals. Mr. Fisher has suggested that policies promoting renewable energy should be repealed or overhauled and has blamed the production tax credit for making the grid less reliable,” the  Times reported.

Perry wants to know if the production tax credit and other subsidies that boost wind and solar development threaten coal and nuclear power as well as grid stability.

“Under new leadership with ties to conventional energy interests, the Energy Department is scrambling to complete an internal study in the next month that could lead to an upending of the policies that fostered the rapid spread of solar and wind,” the report said.

 

TAGS: Solar
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