Ben Geman Nov 20
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Exclusive: Who's in the new group fighting Perry's FERC plan

Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Photo: Tony Gutierrez / AP

The Affordable Energy Coalition, which has been urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject a Department of Energy proposal that would mandate higher revenues for coal and nuclear power plants, is now making its members public.

Why it matters: The coalition's emergence underscores the breadth of the opposition from several industry sectors to Energy secretary Rick Perry's push to keep coal and nuclear plants at risk of retirement online by shaking up wholesale power market rules.

The coalition's members thus far are: Advanced Energy Economy, the American Wind Energy Association, BP, the Electricity Consumers Resource Council, Energy Storage Association, Industrial Energy Consumers of America, and the free-market R Street Institute.

  • The move is part of a broader, strange bedfellows alliance that spans renewable energy groups, the oil-and-gas industry and environmentalists — a mix that highlights the high-stakes of one of the most intense energy policy fight of the Trump era thus far.
  • The coalition announced its presence two weeks ago but has not previously disclosed its members.

In their words: "The DOE grid proposal would raise costs for millions of American families and make it harder for American businesses to compete," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for AEC.

  • Steel, a former senior House GOP aide now with the firm Hamilton Place Strategies, said the group will "educate consumers across the country and leaders in Washington on the consequences of the DOE grid proposal."

What's next: Interim FERC chairman Neil Chatterjee is pushing for FERC action in mid-December that would extend a "lifeline" to at-risk plants while the independent agency weighs Perry's request.

Steve LeVine 3 hours ago
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Self-driving lab head urges freeze after "nightmare" fatality

Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh. Photo: Jeff Swensen / Getty

Carmakers and technology companies should freeze their race to field autonomous vehicles because "clearly the technology is not where it needs to be," said Raj Rajkumar, head of Carnegie Mellon University's leading self-driving laboratory.

What he said: Speaking a few hours after a self-driven vehicle ran over and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, Rajkumar said, "This isn't like a bug with your phone. People can get killed. Companies need to take a deep breath. The technology is not there yet. We need to keep people in the loop."

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Palestinian president calls U.S. ambassador "son of a dog"

Abbas speaks in Ramallah. Photo: Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas personally attacked U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman today, calling him a "son of a dog" during a speech at his Fatah party meeting.

Why it matters: This is another escalation in Abbas's rhetoric against the U.S. since President Trump's Jerusalem announcement. In another speech two months ago, Abbas went on a personal attack against Trump himself and told him to "go to hell".