Sierra Club campaign targets DOE grid proposal

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017

The Sierra Club launched a video ad campaign decrying the Department of Energy’s proposal to boost coal and nuclear plants.

The spot, almost two minutes long, features remarks by Mary Anne Hitt, director of the group’s Beyond Coal campaign, and calls Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan a bailout for “dirty coal and nuclear plants that are expensive to operate and maintain.”

Perry’s directive, which is under review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, would change the rules in electricity markets to reward coal and nuclear plants for stockpiling 90 days’ worth of fuel on-site, which DOE says is a valuable contribution to grid resilience.

FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee has defended Perry’s action against criticism and said he is working on developing an “interim solution” to help save coal and nuclear plants from retiring while his agency studies the issue long-term (Greenwire, Nov. 16).

The ad does not mention Chatterjee by name, but the Sierra Club did take him to task in a statement today.

“Our ad campaign is a clear response to Chairman Chatterjee’s efforts to force millions of working families and businesses to bailout uneconomic coal and nuclear plants,” Hitt said in the statement. “The coal and nuclear industry have had their fingerprints all over this directive from day one, and it’s time for FERC to show some backbone and say no.”

The ads will run on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google Display in 11 states. “We are launching this ad campaign to let the rate paying public know just how appalling this bailout is,” Hitt said.