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Fossil Fuels Squeezed by Plunge in Cost of Renewab...

The economics of generating electricity from fossil fuels are deteriorating rapidly as renewable energy technology plunges in costs. Wind and solar power seen beating coal in most places by 2023 Rapid change in energy economics is ‘changing perceptions’ That’s the conclusion of a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report on the levelized cost of energy, a measure that takes into account the expenses from buying equipment,...

Environmental Groups Sue EPA Over Rule Change That...

Seven environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, Ohio Citizen Action, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday, The Hill reported. The lawsuit seeks to reverse the agency’s January decision to repeal the “once-in always-in” policy, which said that all “major” sources of air pollution, like power...

IEEFA Update: An Effort in Congress to Bail Out th...

A Bill to Ostensibly Enhance National Energy Security but Would Benefit Only a Select Few Having failed to obtain bailouts for failing coal plants and mines by way of policy actions from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the coal industry has now turned to its friends in Congress. Rep. Larry Bucshon, a Republican from Indiana, is promoting House Bill HR 5270, the Electricity...

Trump wanted to slash funding for clean energy. Co...

The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that passed Friday morning and averted a government shutdown increases spending on clean energy and keeps the Environmental Protection Agency funded at current levels. That’s despite the White House suggestion that Congress cut EPA’s budget by one-third and make drastic reductions in clean energy research. Tarak Shah, a former chief of staff in the science and energy office at the US...

Editorial: No Ohio future seen for coal

There’s not much future in coal, even in Ohio. Even though coal still plays a prominent role in the imagination and politics of southeastern Ohio, it’s an ever-shrinking part of our economy. Some politicians profit by selling the false narrative of a “war on coal,” promising a comeback in mining jobs by relaxing or rolling back environmental laws. The hard truth, however, is that coal has been on the decline for decades. And...

US utilities find water pollution at coal ash dump...

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – Major utilities have found evidence of groundwater contamination at coal-burning power plants across the U.S. where landfills and man-made ponds have been used for decades as dumping grounds for coal ash, according to data released by plant owners under a Friday deadline. Heightened levels of pollutants – including arsenic and radium in some cases – were documented at plants in...

Hundreds of mayors stand up to Scott Pruitt over c...

EPA chief Scott Pruitt received an unusual letter Tuesday morning. Two hundred and thirty-six mayors from 47 U.S. states and territories had sent him a clear message: Stop dismantling the Clean Power Plan. Last October, Pruitt announced his intentions to repeal and replace the Obama-era plan, the nation’s first attempt at regulating harmful greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. So far, Pruitt has done a bang-up job of...

In 2018, expect ‘clean energy’ to be cheap energy...

The central fact that will drive the energy industry worldwide in 2018, profoundly affecting businesses, consumers and policymakers, is that “clean energy” is now “cheap energy.” Fossil fuel extraction is expensive. It is giving way to cheaper, more flexible technologies, primarily renewables like wind and solar, and electric vehicles. These shifts will change investment decisions, business models, household usage,...

White House seeks 72 percent cut to clean energy r...

The Trump administration is poised to ask Congress for deep budget cuts to the Energy Department’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, slashing them by 72 percent overall in fiscal 2019, according to draft budget documents obtained by The Washington Post. Many of the sharp cuts would likely be restored by Congress, but President Trump’s budget due out in February will mark a starting point for negotiations and...

‘DOE’s Efforts to Save Coal Through Market Interve...

The Department of Energy’s days of attempting to meddle in the power markets to benefit fuel sources the administration looks favorably upon probably are over, an attorney with Akin Gump said Jan. 30 during an energy policy briefing on the year ahead. The Trump administration’s desire to reinvigorate the struggling coal industry is no secret; the subject of ending the so-called war on coal got much attention on the campaign...

A Coal Executive’s “Action Plan” For Trump Is Made...

As early as his 2016 election campaign, Donald Trump has been a vocal advocate for the coal industry. As a candidate and now as president, he’s promised to slash regulations he says cost miners their jobs, and forged political alliances with leaders across the industry. Among those leaders is Robert E. Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corp., the country’s largest coal mining company. During the election, Murray was an ardent...

President Donald Trump said coal miners in Southwe...

“Coal is facing a long-term problem.” When then-presidential candidate Donald Trump visited the Pittsburgh area during his campaign, he consistently promised that the coal industry would be making a rebound. “Coal — clean coal, clean coal — we’re bringing it back,” Trump said at an April 2016 rally at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh. In July 2016, in Scranton in northeast Pennsylvania, Trump...

Battery Storage Revolution Could ‘Sound the ...

If we want to accelerate the world’s renewable energy transition, we’ll have to modernize the electric grid and we’ll need much better batteries. Just look at Germany, which generates so much clean energy on particularly windy and sunny days that electricity prices are often negative. Sure this is good news for a German person’s wallet, but as the New York Times noted, “Germany’s power...

Coal’s death spiral, in 3 charts

The latest reports suggest that coal has the equivalent of black-lung disease: the condition is chronic, and the long-term prognosis is dire. Power companies plan to shutter more than 10 big coal plants in 2018, extinguishing a major portion of coal burning in the United States (see the map below). According to projections released by the Energy Information Administration this week, coal-fired plants will produce less than...

Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Survives, but G.M. and...

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan called electric vehicle tax credits “money wasted on losers.” The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, said he’d “do away” with renewable energy subsidies. During the presidential election campaign, Donald J. Trump disparaged renewable energy as “very, very expensive” and “not working on a large scale.” He said a wind farm in California looked like a “junk yard” and claimed...