‘To Me, Saying This Is a War on Coal Is Saying the Internet Is a War on Typewriters’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Emma Foehringer Merchant for Newsweek:“Utilities are really coming to grips with how they need to adapt to a changing climate,” said Dave Robertson of Portland General Electric, one of two utilities that serve 70 percent of customers in Oregon, and a collaborator on the Oregon legislation. He said that over the next 25 years “we’re going to need to have new power plants anyways.”Whether those plants will continue to burn coal is up to utilities and power producers. And recently, companies have been deciding against it. According to the magazine Pacific Standard, of the 523 coal plants in operation over the last five years, more than 200 have closed or soon will. Furthermore, no new coal plants are currently planned in the United States.“To me saying this is a war on coal is saying the Internet is a war on typewriters,” said Bob Keefe, executive director for E2, a partner of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “ The fact of the matter is that the energy business…is in transition. The good news is that like any major industry transition, we’re seeing a lot of progress”—specifically, the addition of 250,000 clean energy jobs in the last four years.Renewable energy is also getting cheaper, leading to an expected 8 percent increase in renewables this year. “The ‘war on coal’ is being driven by lots of different dynamics including a huge drop in the cost of renewables and then obviously to an extent the drop in price in natural gas in the United States,” said Jake Schmidt of the NRDC. It has become economically rational “to shift away from coal to one of these sources and a lot of companies are choosing natural gas.”Republicans coined the phrase “war on coal” as a pejorative way to describe Obama’s regulatory policies.  This year’s presidential race has continued that belligerently pro-coal approach. Trump has been particularly  outspoken , calling Obama’s war a job killer, and he has raked in  coal country votes  and  support  for his efforts.But according to Keefe, rhetorical assaults designed to boost coal are a waste of time. “If I’m a coal state politician, instead of harping about some other party’s ‘war on coal’ I would be trying my best to help those workers,” he said. “Getting them some worker retraining programs and more importantly getting more clean energy … in my state.” Clearing the way for budding renewables programs will help to ease the absence of coal across the country.  Nevada has faced what Keefe calls a “solar debacle,” thanks to regulators dumping extra electricity costs on solar users, and North Carolina  and  Florida  have seen similar struggles. Sorting out these regulations will take some pressure off natural gas.Full article: Is It Game Over for Coal? ‘To Me, Saying This Is a War on Coal Is Saying the Internet Is a War on Typewriters’last_img

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