Coal tycoon Murray Energy blasted a handful of environmental groups Tuesday for suggesting the company played a crucial role in crafting a proposal helping the coal industry.
The company was explicitly referring to a report earlier this December showing photos of Murray head Bob Murray meeting with Energy Secretary Rick Perry earlier this year. Activists believe the photos are evidence the company was behind the proposal.
Murray gave Perry a document at the time asking the agency to “require organized power markets to value fuel security” and fuel diversity that only coal plants can provide. Activist groups Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club, among others, later sent a letter to regulators accusing Murray of unduly influencing DOE’s proposal.
Their “long-pursued agenda to attack Murray Energy” is the motivating factor behind these accusations, Murray Energy wrote in a comment to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, that is set to vote on the proposal in 2018.
“These Advocacy Groups are either motivated by a contemptuous (and unfailing) disregard of the truth, or by an absurd willingness to sacrifice American prosperity and economic dominance at the altar of a failed political philosophy,” the comment added.
Perry gave FERC a review of his plan in October to force grid operators to give higher payments to plants with three months of fuel storage, which would apply almost explicitly to coal and nuclear power. Green energy suppliers generate intermittent power.
Most of the coal and oil retirements from 2011 to 2015 happened because plant owners chose to shut down rather than invest in expensive instruments required to comply with Environmental Protection Agency’s final Clean Power Plan rule that was finalized during former President Barack Obama’s administration.
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