Silverstein: Lights Out for Some Coal Plants

“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

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…

Read the entire commentary.

5 thoughts on “Silverstein: Lights Out for Some Coal Plants”

  1. Steam-heat is said by many to be “the best”, and coal could be a good way to make it. It also employs boiler-makers/furnace-reliners, which is cool, because we may someday NEED to build steam engines for our rail-roads, and those guys will be crucial to keep them running. Ralph is staving-off the “GREEN-Meanie-weenie” ‘cancer’ by commenting. Thank you, Ralph., and William, you’re correct about “green-math!”

  2. How do you know? Perhaps you would have cured cancer if you stayed out of the basement.

    More seriously, the analyses done to support EPA are arithmetic gone wild.

  3. 58 years ago my grandparents had a 3 story rooming house that used coal to heat water for steam in radiators to heat the building. I played in the basement where the coal was stored and shoveled it into the furnace in the winter with no physical or mental problems associated with being around coal or the fumes created by it.

  4. I’ll wager that EVERY coal-burning plant could be retro-fitted for gas, and at FAR less than scrubbers would cost. I KNOW it’s easy, and “possible”, because Consumers Power DID IT to one of their electric-generating plants in Kalamazoo, Michigan, over 50 years ago. It went from coal to gas in months. I’ll bet they had the “sense” and courtesy for their clients, that the change-over took place in the Summer months! My point is the TIMING! There’s NO REASON, those plants couldn’t operate for this season, rather than shutting them down, all at once, mid-winter! Being warm is preferred to the current cleaner-than clean, Clean air. Warm,dirty air can be filtered, without contracting Pneumonia. Filtered, cool air can, however, CAUSE Pneumonia, which in the Elderly, can be fatal! I think the Regime doesn’t CARE if people freeze. If, under Nobama-care, they’re too old to “justify” the cost of repairing the damage done to them by no operating coal plants(–rationed heat), the Regime will cry crocodile-tears (–most Retirees are a Republican vote,–we can’t have them inter-rupting the long march to our lovely Fasc–er, SOCIAL-ism)…about those they “shuffled-off” to meet their Maker in the East. Of course, the EPA is NOT to blame for people freezing! It wasn’t the COLD of Global-warming that killed them–it was the pneumonia… they got, from sleeping in overly chilled rooms,–that was what did them in. In this “kiss-Nobama-climate(pun)”–there will BE NO deaths due to shuttered Coal plants BEFORE retro-fitting them with gas plants–it was the Pneumonia, that they contracted while trying to keep warm, due to the shuttered Coal-plants BEFORE they were retro-fitted to gas–totally the FAULT of the Power-company Executives–they didn’t arrange for heat to come piped from the planet Mercury or Venus or some such. Anyway, Jacksen’s EPA-Schute-staffel-GOONS of plant-closure, are innocent. It’s the fault of those Republican retirees that got sick, obviously,–probably,–JUST to Spite and Embarrass the President, and his Green-SS EPA, imo. G-d, however KNOWS WHO is to blame…

  5. Interesting Thought.
    Compare a fifty year old coal-fired plant with a fifteen year old non-reparable wind turbine.
    And how many of these old coal-fired plants can be retrofitted to natural gas? For use for another thirty years?

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