Trump has ordered his Energy Department to help unprofitable coal, nuclear power plants

Trump has directed his energy secretary Rick Perry to take emergency steps to keep at-risk coal and nuclear plants running, the White House has announced.

He plans to intervene in U.S. electricity markets to support unprofitable generators.

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

“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.

Many power industry groups criticised the move, arguing that interference in the market was unnecessary and would raise prices for electricity consumers.

A leak of the proposal was first reported by Bloomberg.

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