Facing questions on Capitol Hill over his proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the notion of a free market in energy generation is a "fallacy."
The hearing before the House Energy Subcommittee contained some noteworthy moments, including when Perry was unable to answer a basic question about his controversial proposal and implied the regulators who are considering it do not take a long-term view of energy markets.
The proposal in question asks the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to consider, on an expedited timetable, a rule to compensate coal-fired plants and nuclear power stations for the reliability they bring to the nation's electricity supply. Perry's proposal has gotten pushback from power industry groups, environmentalists and even one of the FERC commissioners.
"We will not destroy the marketplace," FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson told an audience last week when asked about the proposal.