We get on President Obama’s case for neglecting to keep his campaign promises, so it’s only fair to note when he fulfills them. In January 2008, Obama promised to bankrupt coal-fired power plants with his new environmental regulations. Consider this a promise kept:
GenOn Energy Inc. plans to close five of its older coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania over the next four years.
The company, based in Houston, said Wednesday that tough new environmental rules make it unprofitable to operate the plants, which generate a total of 3,140 megawatts of electricity. The plants are in Portland, Shawville, Titus, New Castle and Elrama. Two plants in Ohio and one in New Jersey will also be closed. The company said the timeframes are subject to further review based on market conditions.
The Sierra Club cheered the announcement, of course, claiming it will prevent 179 premature deaths a year. The Sierra Club is located in San Francisco, California, of course, and not in Pennsylvania, which will have to find some way to replace the production of 3140 megawatts of electricity each year. The lack of production will make electricity even more expensive in the Rust Belt state where unemployment is 7.7% (about midrange for the US) and rising fuel prices will hammer the middle class already.
As the Obama administration continues its aggressive push to get more electric vehicles on the road — a goal of 1.5 million by 2015, when these plants are going to be shutting down — how exactly do they plan to generate enough electricity to meet current demand, let alone the increased demand as a million or more people plug their cars into the grid?