Cantwell, Colleagues To Perry: Renewable Energy Strengthens Grid Reliability, Improves Resiliency

DOE Inquiry Focuses on Less Competitive, Antiquated Power Sources

May 1, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Committee Democrats Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Martin Heinrich (D.-N.M.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) wrote to Energy Secretary, Rick Perry expressed concern about a Department of Energy study examining electricity markets and reliability.

The Senators noted that the study appears framed to promote less economic electric generation technologies, such as coal and nuclear energy, at the expense of cleaner, more cost-competitive, and faster growing alternatives such as wind and solar power.

“Mr. Secretary, the notion that a 60 day review conducted by ideologues associated with a Koch Brothers-affiliated think tank should supplant research and analysis conducted by the world’s foremost scientists and engineers would be a grave disservice to American taxpayers. It would constitute nothing short of an international embarrassment within a global research community that has long-relied on U.S. technical leadership.

If DOE is going to take 60 days to perform a Study that the CEO of the California ISO said can be completed in an hour because the research has already been conducted, at the very least it is important that you consider the ample evidence that already exists. We fear that the Department is instead embarking on an initiative aimed at bolstering the views of a group of special interests seeking to resurrect electric generation technologies that can no longer successfully compete on their own. You should not allow this to happen.

This exercise is especially mystifying in light of your own experiences as Governor. Under your leadership Texas demonstrated that renewable energy can enhance fuel diversity, reduce energy prices, and improve grid reliability and resilience. We had mistakenly hoped you would also pursue these same results for the nation.”

The full letter to Secretary Perry can be found here.