"A Dilemma With Aging Coal Plants: Retire Them Or Restore Them?"

"When the coal-fired power plant at the Bingham Canyon copper mine in Utah started up, Franklin D. Roosevelt was running for his fourth term as president. The top music hits were sung by Bing Crosby, Jimmy Dorsey and Dinah Shore. D-Day was still a couple of months away.

People born that year are now collecting Social Security.

Yet 70 years after opening, the power plant north of Salt Lake City hasn’t yet retired. It is, depending on how you calculate it, the oldest in the nation. And it’s still running with the original boilers, steam turbines and fans to power the company’s smelter and crushing operations. The local managers want to replace three of the four units at the plant with a more efficient combined cycle model, but that costs hundreds of millions of dollars and they’re awaiting approval from the parent company, Rio Tinto Kennecott."

Steven Mufson reports for the Washington Post June 13, 2014.

Monday, June 16, 2014