Enviro Group Sues Trump’s DOE For Supposedly Hiding Results From Grid Study

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Chris White Tech Reporter

The Sierra Club filed a lawsuit Monday against the Department of Energy (DOE) for the agency’s supposed refusal to publicize the results from a study about the effects green energy has on the electrical grid.

The group claims that the Trump administration has failed to respond to open records requests seeking internal communications about the study, which sought to determine what, if any, effect solar and wind power have on America’s energy needs.

“We’ve repeatedly asked DOE for information to ensure reality and science are coming before polluter politics, but we have only been met with delays and secrecy,” Mary Anne Hitt, the director of the Sierra Club’s anti-coal campaign, wrote in a press statement announcing the suit.

DOE head Rick Perry ordered the study to examine the extent to which solar and wind power are hurting what the Trump administration considers reliable forms of coal power.

Perry, a former Texas senator, ordered the DOE to undergo a 60-day review of the energy grid to determine if green energy subsidies are hurting more reliable forms of energy like natural gas and coal. He ran for president in 2012 and was the butt of many jokes for not remembering during a debate that he wanted to eliminate the DOE.

“We are blessed as a nation to have an abundance of domestic energy resources, such as coal, natural gas,” Perry, a Texas Republican, wrote in a memo in April announcing the proposal. He was referring to sources of energy he and President Donald Trump believe should be included when discussing the country’s energy grid.

Perry’s review also seeks to evaluate to what extent regulatory burdens, subsidies, and tax policies “are responsible for forcing the premature retirement of baseload power plants.”

The grid study comes after Perry said he and international counterparts discussed the need for a diverse supply of electricity during a G-7 Energy Ministerial meeting in Rome.

The agency is “committed to being responsive to all FOIA requests and that is not different in this case,” an agency spokeswoman told reporters.

The Sierra Club objected to the DOE’s reaction to the lawsuit.

“If the Trump administration refuses to be transparent in accordance with the law and continues to raise suspicion that it will interfere with the process,” Hitt wrote, then “we have no choice but to take them to court.”

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