The recent extreme weather has reignited the debate about the administration’s move to impose regulations on coal-fired power plants.
Politico: “The coal industry and its supporters in Congress are sounding the alarm. They note that many of the older coal-fired power plants that have helped fill the gap this winter are due to shut down next year because of the Obama administration’s environmental rules.”
“Supporters of the environmental rules call the warnings of blackouts overblown, saying the nation is simply shedding dirty coal plants that can’t compete in the marketplace.”
“Much of the country has moved since the late 1990s away from a tightly regulated power supply toward a free-market approach … Operators of coal and nuclear plants say those markets don’t place enough value on stability and reliability, and instead base decisions on the lowest price, giving the advantage to natural gas.”
“At the same time, renewable power sources like wind and solar are increasing their share of the nation’s energy mix, aided by federal tax credits and Energy Department project financing.”
“Coal is feeling the markets’ squeeze.”
“But this winter has been anything but average. Weather is by far the largest factor driving electricity demand, and the cold spells are putting the changing grid to the test.”