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The next phase of the new power market war

Energy Secretary Rick Perry will testify before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee next Thursday. Photo: Susan Walsh / AP

Energy secretary Rick Perry will testify before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee next Thursday, lawmakers announced yesterday. The hearing's focus is supposed to be broad, but expect lots of questions about Perry's instantly controversial proposal to shake up power market rules by ensuring coal and nuclear plants are compensated for their "reliability and resilience" attributes.

Why the stakes are high: Perry is catching lots of flak from critics who call the plan a naked attempt to prop up power sources that are increasingly on the losing end of competition from natural gas and renewables.