“Politically, it is a win-win for the government if it uses natural gas to produce power here while quietly selling coal elsewhere.”
Ken Silverstein writes at Forbes.com:
First there were six. Now there’s three more. What’s going on in the coal-fired utility business? FirstEnergy of Ohio plans to close by September those 9 units, which supply as much as 13 percent of the company’s electricity.
Some call it an Environmental Protection Agency onslaught. Others call it for what it is — environmental improvements that are long overdue. Indeed, utilities are now forced to choose whether to retrofit or to retire their old coal plants that do not have modern pollution controls. It’s expensive to go back and fix those that are as old as 50, or ones that have outlived their expected days on this earth…