Coal / Energy

Trump’s power plant plan can’t save coal from market forces

The U.S. is on course for more coal plant closings as utilities shift to cheaper renewables and natural gas. Analysts say the administration can do little about it.

WASHINGTON, DC — “The Trump administration’s proposal for rolling back federal power plant regulations could affect the short-term fate of some plants, but utility companies appear likely to maintain their long-term course in a market where coal power can no longer compete with natural gas and renewables.

Energy analysts say the administration and coal interests can do little to change the industry’s trajectory.

The market points inexorably toward continued closing of coal plants in favor of renewables and natural gas. Gyrations in U.S. energy policy are making companies less likely to make investment decisions that assume the latest policy will endure. And some big states, especially California and the Northeastern states, are moving in the opposite direction from Trump with cap and trade carbon regulations on all power plants or laws demanding a steady shift to renewables.

— Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News

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