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Trump planning unprecedented intervention in electricity markets

Emissions spew from a large stack at the coal fired Brandon Shores Power Plant, on March 9, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland.
The coal-fired Brandon Shores Power Plant in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo: Mark Wilson via Getty Images

On Friday, President Trump reportedly directed the Department of Energy to order U.S. electricity markets to buy electricity from coal and nuclear generators at higher-than-market prices.

Why it matters: Trump's order would forever alter the established model of U.S. electric power markets, since investments based on market-clearing prices are predicated on the promise that governments will not intervene to reward particular constituents (e.g., coal-mine owners).