Trump admin floats idea to order purchase of energy from coal power plants

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration is considering a plan to order operators of the nation's power grid to buy electricity from struggling coal and nuclear plants to keep them open.

The action by the Energy Department would represent an unprecedented intervention into U.S. energy markets.

A draft memo urges federal action to "stop the further premature retirements of fuel-secure generation" from coal and nuclear plants that have struggled to compete with natural gas and renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the memo.

The plan would direct grid operators to buy power from coal and nuclear plants for two years to ensure grid reliability, "promote the national defense and maximize domestic energy supplies."

The memo was first reported by Bloomberg News.