May 10, 2018
In testimony before Congress, US Energy Secretary Rick Perry suggested on Wednesday that invoking national security may prompt state regulators to decide in favor of approving oil and gas pipeline projects.
Perry said the failure of pipelines to be built because of resistance from state officials is a national problem, and he said he’s concerned over whether states actually have the power to stop construction of pipelines.
“Do states have the right to block a pipeline across their state that will have a national security implication or an economic implication on individuals?” Perry said in testimony before the US House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
He said he’s looking “very closely” at using a Cold War-era law to save coal and nuclear plants.
“We are looking at a number of ways to approach this,” Perry said. “
I know the Defense Production Act is one of those ways to address that.
“Having resilience and reliability to our grid is as important to our national security as anything I can think of.”
The 1950 Defense Production Act can give the president to the ability to nationalize some industries to ensure American resources in the event of war or disaster.
It is meant to ensure supply of critical industrial materials for security, thus Perry’s national security statement.
Critics point out that Perry, as Texas governor, was a staunch supporter of state’s rights.
Perry said he’s now just looking for a solution to struggles by energy industries to renew infrastructure and for utilities to operate efficiently as more inconsistent power supplies such as wind and solar come online.