2018 Outlook: Another Year of Coal Plant Retirements
A wave of coal-fired electricity plant retirements— in Kentucky, Missouri, Montana and Texas — add to a toll that continues to add up nationally. The closures accelerate a trend in which nearly twice as much coal-generation capacity will be retired in 2018 compared to 2017.
Statewide Initiative in West Virginia Gives Former Miners Marketable Computer Skills
An organization called Mined Minds has certified 80 former coal miners in computer-coding skills and sparked an initiative to open coding “boot camps” statewide. "I think it gives us a chance to diversify ourselves and be something people think we are not," says the state’s senior U.S. senator.
Montana Plant, $2 Million in Arrears on Local Taxes, Will Close Next Year
The owner of a relatively new coal-fired power plant in Montana says it will probably close next year after having lost money since 2014. The closing will affect about 30 people and will put the company, Heorot Power, further behind on $2 million in delinquent tax obligations to local schools and government.
Failed Deal Is Emblematic of Struggling U.S. Coal Industry
An “instructive moment” in U.S. coal markets occurred this month in a failed deal between Murray Energy and Bowie Resource Partners that shows how investors have lost much of their faith in such holdings.
Op-Ed: Wariness in West Virginia Over Chinese Investment in Natural Gas
A newspaper columnist in favor of economic diversification in West Virginia sounds a note of caution over a Chinese proposal to invest $83.7 billion in natural-gas production in the Mountain State. “We can build tourism, high-tech manufacturing or, perhaps health care innovation … we can refuse to become reliant on a single industry.”
Colorado City Considers Closing Coal Plant a Decade Earlier Than Planned
The City Council has directed Colorado Springs Utility to “analyze possibilities” for closing the city’s coal-fired power plant in 2025, a decade soon than planned. Colorado regulators have ruled that the 80-year-old Martin Drake Power Plant, considered a blight on the downtown area, is out of compliance with air-pollution standards.
New Mexico Legislators Urged to Expand Renewable Energy Target to 50
Lawmakers are being pressed to increase New Mexico’s renewable energy generation mandate to 50 percent of total electricity generation in the state, from 20 percent. The state’s biggest utility, Public Service Company of New Mexico, is already planning to be out of the coal business by 2031.
Ohio Coal Production Falls by 28%
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has published a report concluding that coal production in the state dropped by 28 percent last year as competing energy sources took market share away. The downturn is especially difficult for Belmont County, which was responsible for 64 percent of Ohio’s coal production in 2016.
Coal Industry Bailout Would Mean Higher Power Bills
A U.S. coal-industry subsidy proposed by Energy Secretary Rick Perry would probably mean higher electricity bills for customers in areas where it would be applied. Kentucky is among them.