Coal / FirstEnergy

When old coal plants die, is it a bust or a blessing for Ohio?

CLEVELAND — “Last month, when FirstEnergy Corp. decided to close six coal-fired power plants in its home state of Ohio and two other states, the moves became instant political ammunition for Republicans, who blamed the Obama administration’s environmental regulations for the closures.

Because of the regulations on toxic power plant emissions announced last month by U.S. EPA, ‘500 hardworking Americans in three states will lose their jobs — not to mention the countless indirect jobs,’ asserted Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio).

But the causes for the closures were not quite as simple or as immediate as that. Other forces helped push the FirstEnergy plants to the brink, according to energy experts. They include an underperforming U.S. economy, which is suppressing growth of electricity demand, and the lowest natural gas prices in a dozen years, which have made new gas-fired generation a compelling choice for utilities.”

— Peter Behr, E & E News

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