PSC CHAIR TED THOMAS: Parts company with Energy Secretary Rick Perry on special treatment for coal. Arkansas Business

Kyle Massey of Arkansas Business has coverage of Arkansas Public Service Commission Chair Ted Thomas‘ remarks on Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s idea to give an edge to coal and nuclear fuel in power plant ratemaking.

Thomas, a former Republican legislator, had little good to say about Perry’s idea. Coal has fallen out of favor for power generation because of cheaper natural gas, he said.

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Thomas, who was appointed to the PSC by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, described the DOE’s plan as a way of picking sides. “What we have is a proposal that takes … a fuel-neutral policy and turns it into one where we’re picking winners, even though yesterday the EPA administrator was quoted as saying we’re not going to pick winners,” Thomas told the AAEA, a trade group made of renewable energy and efficiency businesses and allies. “This program picks winners, but it also performs a shift, saying that it’s renewables that cause the problems for coal when the DOE study found that it was gas. What they’re doing is choosing coal and nuclear over gas and renewables.”

Of course Thomas is right. Favoritism to coal is a byproduct of that industry’s support for Donald Trump. It’s refreshing to have a Republican wade in.