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Monday, 17 July 2017 09:17

This is how the Kochs’ anti-renewable agenda becomes White House policy

Written by  Mark Hand

President-elect Donald Trump raised eyebrows late last year when he named the head of an obscure right-wing think tank, with close ties to petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch, to lead his energy transition team.

Since then, officials from the Institute for Energy Research (IER) have been appointed to high-level positions at the Department of Energy where they are playing major roles in implementing pro-fossil fuel, anti-renewable energy policies.

Thomas Pyle, who serves as president of IER and its advocacy arm, the American Energy Alliance (AEA), set the tone by drafting a priority list for the new administration; at the top of the list was withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.

Soon after Trump took office, newly appointed officials across the federal government started a push to prop up the fossil fuel sector, particularly the coal industry. In the spring, Energy Secretary Rick Perry directed his staff to conduct a study of the U.S. electric grid to determine if renewables were harming traditional baseload generation sources, like coal and nuclear. A former IER official, Travis Fisher, was selected to oversee the study.

A draft of the study leaked last week concluded that renewables pose no threat to the grid. The leaked draft was completed by DOE career staff, and thus is subject to change by Perry and his team of Trump appointees.

Read more at ThinkProgress

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