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Washington – Energy Secretary Rick Perry is defending President Donald Trump’s call to bolster struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants, saying a rash of plant retirements is “alarming” and poses a looming crisis for the nation’s power grid.

Experts disagree and say Trump is attempting to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

In a speech Monday in Austin, Texas, Perry said coal and nuclear plants “are retiring at an alarming rate that, if unchecked, will threaten our ability to recover from intentional attacks and natural disasters.”

A regional transmission organization that oversees the power grid in 13 eastern and Midwest states said there’s no immediate threat to system reliability. PJM Interconnection said Trump’s proposal to force electricity sales from coal and nuclear plants would damage markets and be “costly to consumers.

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