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October 25, 2014

Extreme Weather Reignites Coal Debate

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.”

  • jimbeau11

    No utility is seriously considering building their future on a foundation of new coal-fired power plants. The coal industry is whistling in the dark, and the GOP is happy to oblige because enough of them have coal plants and coal mines in their districts. They have no plan or ability to slow down these regs outside of the DC Appeals Court, which just got packed with Obama nominees who have a pretty expansive view of administrative law.

    Once Obama leaves office, they will be very hard to undo, because the Clean Air Act is hard to use, but once you do, it’s for life.

    Don’t take my word for it – take the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s:

    http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=15031

  • OhWelll

    Extreme weather should lead us away from carbon not to it. I don’t think anyone is shocked that Politico is printing headlines authored by coal lobbyists.

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