Trump orders Energy Department to help ailing coal, nuclear plants

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday directed Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take emergency steps to keep at-risk coal and nuclear plants running, the White House announced.

U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the U.S. Coast Guard Change-of-Command ceremony at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Under the directive, Perry would require grid operators to buy electricity from ailing nuclear and coal-fired power plants to keep them from being shuttered.

“Unfortunately, impending retirements of fuel-secure power facilities are leading to a rapid depletion of a critical part of our nation’s energy mix, and impacting the resilience of our power grid,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

Reporting By Valerie Volcovici, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

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