Right Hooks

Coal on the Fast Track to Elimination

By design, coal-fired generating capacity is in steep decline.

Business Review Board · Jul. 12, 2016

The Obama administration’s end goal is the complete elimination of coal. And if new data is to be believed, the administration is well ahead of schedule. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration calculations, “Coal-fired generating capacity in the United States dropped from 299 gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2014 to 276 GW as of April 2016.” Moreover, “Coal-fired generation’s share of total electricity generation fell from 39% in 2014 to 28% in the first four months of 2016.”

That’s a steep decline. And it’s nowhere near what the EPA unrealistically projected in its December 2011 “Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Final Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.” In that report, the agency estimated, “A small amount of coal-fired capacity, about 4.7 GW (less than 2 percent of all coal-fired capacity in 2015), is projected to become uneconomic to maintain by 2015 [emphasis added].”

Coal, by design, is on the fast track to elimination. And if it’s phased out quicker than expected? Well, tough luck. What’s bad news for the coal industry and the overall economy is good news for the EPA and its Democrat operatives. The Democratic Platform Committee just endorsed a provision “calling on the Department of Justice to investigate alleged corporate fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies who have reportedly misled shareholders and the public on the scientific reality of climate change.” Too bad the committee won’t endorse an investigation into the fraudulent projections government officials cling to whenever they seek to implement devious and onerous regulations.

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