That’s really the goal, of course, of the Obama administrations incoming regulations. The hardcore eco-radicals will openly admit that, yes, a “war on coal” is precisely what’s needed to accomplish their goals, and that they do want to forcibly remove the coal industry from America’s (and someday, the world’s) energy scheme; but the Obama administration will deny the “war on coal” charge all day long, insisting that, why no, what we really want is just to nudge coal to become more clean and efficient, and eventually support a slow and steady shift in our energy scheme’s proportions as we begin to tackle this regrettably obstreperous problem of climate change.
That’s precisely why they made a point last week of very loudly announcing their plans to directly contribute $8 billion to an initiative to adapt these fossil-fuel “technologies to use them cleanly and more efficiently” as a crucial component of their supposed “all of the above” energy policy. Obama “expects fossil fuels, and coal specifically, to remain a significant contributor for some time,” his new Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz pointedly told reporters recently. Riiiiiight.
But in anticipation of his administration’s plans to regulate the heck of out both new and existing power plants, at least several coal plant have already announced forthcoming shutdowns. Here’s one instance:
FirstEnergy Corp will shut two coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania by Oct. 9 due to weak power prices and the high cost of complying with stricter environmental rules, the company said on Tuesday.
In a federal filing, FirstEnergy said it would recognize an impairment charge of about $488 million ($321 million after tax) in the second quarter of 2013 for the shutdowns.
The plants are Hatfields Ferry in Masontown and Mitchell in Courtney, FirstEnergy said in a release. It expects the shutdown of the two plants to affect about 380 employees.
Together, the company said the plants could generate 2,080 megawatts, about 10 percent of its total capacity. One megawatt can power about 1,000 homes.
FirstEnergy said it would cost about $275 million to install the equipment at the two plants to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.
And, oh look, here’s another:
COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 11, 2013 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) announced today that it expects to retire its 585-megawatt (MW) coal-fueled Muskingum River Plant Unit 5 in Beverly, Ohio, in 2015.
AEP reached an agreement with other parties in February to modify the company’s 2007 New Source Review Consent Decree and give AEP the option to retire Muskingum River Unit 5 or refuel it with natural gas. Due to the cost of compliance with environmental regulations and current market conditions, AEP has determined that it is unlikely to make the capital investment to refuel the unit. …
The company previously announced its intent to retire Muskingum River Units 1-4 (840 MW) in 2015. Approximately 95 employees working at Muskingum River Plant Units 1-5 will be impacted.
And get ready for more shutdowns and job losses, because that almost certainly won’t be the last of them.