Thursday, March 30, 2017

Policy Shift Helps Coal, but Other Forces May Limit Effect - The New York Times

A 2014 photo showing rail cars filled with coal in Wyoming and sprayed with a topper agent to suppress dust. (Credit: Ryan Dorgan/Casper Star-Tribune, via Associated Press) Click to Enlarge.
Many fossil fuel executives are celebrating President Trump’s move to dismantle the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.  But their cheers are muted, because market forces and state initiatives continue to elevate coal’s rivals, especially natural gas and renewable energy.

In coal’s favor, there is the new promise that federal lands will be open for leasing, ending an Obama-era moratorium.  Easing pollution restrictions could delay the closing of some old coal-fired power plants, slowing the switch by some utilities to other sources.

And with the government pendulum swinging from environmental concerns back to job creation and energy independence, share prices of many energy companies, particularly coal producers, soared Tuesday on the news.

For coal executives, however, optimism and expansion plans remain guarded.  Regulatory relief could restore 10 percent of their companies’ lost market share at most, they say — nowhere near enough to return coal to its dominant position in power markets and put tens of thousands of coal miners to work.

Read more at Policy Shift Helps Coal, but Other Forces May Limit Effect

No comments:

Post a Comment