Utilities are Reluctant to Invest in Coal Plants, Even After Trump Tries to Save Them

Utilities are expressing little interest in the Trump administration’s bid to help keep their coal plants alive, remaining committed to providing energy from cleaner and cheaper sources such as natural gas, wind, and solar. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule Aug. 21 to replace President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan — his signature climate change initiative, targeting carbon pollution from coal plants — with a more modest measure designed to encourage plants to invest in efficiency upgrades that would allow them to burn less pollution, and exist longer. The article in the Washington Examiner quotes Kate Konschnik, director of the Climate and Energy Program at Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions: "ACE as a driver of energy policy pales in comparison to market forces. Cheap natural gas prices, falling costs for renewables, and corporate and consumer demand for clean energy will continue to put pressure on coal plants, with or without this rule.”