EPA regs force another plant to close
One more coal plant is closing thanks to extreme EPA regulations and green industry pressure.
What makes this closure even more troublesome is the fact that AEP — the utility that runs the plant — had initially planned to convert it to natural gas. However, “high regulatory costs and market conditions” forced them to shutter the plant instead (Apparently natural gas is even becoming a casualty of the green industry and EPA’s regulatory schemes.)
Not surprisingly, the green industry has to get its digs in on the company and its workers. Jodi Perras of the Indiana Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign gloats over the “progress” represented by lost jobs, lost revenues, and loss of affordable and cleaner energy that would have been provided by an upgraded power plant.
Environmental regulations, lawsuits brought by activist groups and low-priced natural (gas) have contributed to the shutdown or slated retirement of more than 15,000 megawatts of coal-fired power plants. Power companies expect to shut down more than 37,000 megawatts of coal-fired electrical generation in the next decade.
“Across the country, the coal industry faces unprecedented setbacks as its share of electricity generation plummets and the cost of coal continues to skyrocket,” said Jodi Perras, Indiana Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. “This agreement is only the latest sign of progress as our country continues to transition away from dirty, dangerous, and expensive coal-fired power plants.”
Equally unsurprising are the lies and outdated information that Perras attempts to spread about coal. Perras is outdated, because 2013 numbers show coal generation levels back up sharply in early to mid-2013, as we reported in another Coalblog post.
Perras is lying because the EPA’s own data shows that despite the use of coal nearly tripling since 1970, “emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) have been reduced overall by 56.6 percent, nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 38.7 percent, and particulate matter by 93.1 percent.” Our air is cleaner today than it has been in decades and that is due to a working partnership between industry and government, relying on reasonable regulation, realistic timelines, and market forces to achieve the shared goals of cleaner, more efficient energy production. Extreme pressures have, unfortunately, attacked that working partnership and the spate of recent plant closures, thousands of lost jobs, rising energy prices, and decreased energy options are the outcome.
Perras is also lying because despite green industry pressure and the EPA’s war on coal, coal remains one of the least expensive energy generation options available to utilities around the world. Of course green industry representatives like Perras will pretend that wind and solar are “competitive” with coal, nuclear, and gas. However, one can only consider them as competitive if they ignore the fact that renewables are chronically addicted to gargantuan direct infusions of market-disrupting tax dollars to stay afloat.
Renewables actually only “compete” with coal, nuclear, and nat gas in the same way the boss’ son “competes” with people in an office for the Vice President’s position. They may appear to go through the hiring process, but the end result of the “competition” is well known and expected, and no one is surprised when the new VP just happens to share the same last name as the president.
Unfortunately the closures, the lost jobs, and lost revenues will continue to mount as this green pressure and government selection of winners and losers also continues. It’s not right, it’s not fair, and it’s not helping workers, our power generation system, or our environment. But it’s apparent that doing the right thing is no longer as important as caving to extremism and keeping green special interest groups happy.