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US energy secretary urges incentives to keep coal, nuke power plants open

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U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has urged federal regulators to provide incentives to keep coal and nuclear power plants open, as a way to address “risks” to the resilience of the U.S. electrical grid, the Department of Energy said on Friday.

“The continued closure of traditional baseload power plants calls for a comprehensive strategy for long-term reliability and resilience,” Perry said in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). “States and regions are accepting increased risks that could affect the future reliability and resilience of electricity delivery.”

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The administration of President Donald Trump has previously said the retirement of hundreds of coal-fired power plants and some nuclear reactors in recent years has undermined the ability of the grid to stand up to peak demand periods, including during severe cold winter weather.

Perry had commissioned a study in April to evaluate whether “regulatory burdens” imposed by past administrations, including that of former President Barack Obama, had hurt the grid by forcing shutdowns of baseload plants. Obama had sought to reduce the use of fossil fuels through the regulation of carbon emissions in a bid to combat global climate change.

That energy department report, released last month, urged incentives to boost coal-fired and nuclear power plants following a slew of closures, mainly spurred by competition with cheaper natural gas and the growth of solar and wind power technologies.

Perry asked the Commission to issue a final rule within 60 days requiring its organized markets to develop and implement reforms that would allow such plants that provide nonstop power and maintain at least 90-days of fuel supply on site, to fully recover their costs through regulated pricing.

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(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum)


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Iran says seized British-flagged tanker ‘free’ to leave

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Iran said on Monday that a British-flagged oil tanker is "free" to leave more than two months after it was seized in the Gulf.

"The legal process has finished and based on that the conditions for letting the oil tanker go free have been fulfilled and the oil tanker can move," government spokesman Ali Rabiei told a news conference.

He did not specify when the Swedish-owned vessel would be allowed to set sail.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps surrounded the Stena Impero with attack boats before rappelling onto the deck of the tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19.

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MSNBC’s Morning Joe fact-checks Trump’s ‘slimy’ lies about Biden: ‘He’s rigging the election!’

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough threw cold water on President Donald Trump's accusations against Joe Biden, as the Ukraine scandal continues to widen.

The "Morning Joe" host ripped the president for pressuring Ukraine's president to dig up dirt on Biden and then leaning on states to cancel Republican primaries to snuff out three challengers' campaigns.

"You talk about an inside game, rigging the process, and we talked about how Donald Trump is rigging the process on the Republican side to make sure that as many states as possible cancel democratic elections for the primary," Scarborough said. "I mean, he's learning from Vladimir Putin the way you get 100 percent of the vote is you just cancel the elections, and that's what Donald Trump is getting Republican operatives to do across the country."

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Trump condemned for moving to ‘roll back the clock’ as letter exposes his attempt to form anti-abortion UN coalition

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"It's not just abortion that they care about, they care about women's ability to exercise autonomy over their bodies and about denying them critical access to the services they need."

Global women's rights advocates raised alarm Monday after a leaked letter showed the Trump administration is pressuring U.N. member nations to join an international anti-abortion coalition.

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