"Who’s Killing the Coal-Fired Power Plant?"

"An unusual confluence of environmental, political and economic events are colliding to take down the coal-fired power plant, shifting American power generation from the country’s historically dominant fuel source."

"House Republicans and some in the industry have argued EPA’s steady stream of air permits could blow Old King Coal right off his perch at the helm of America’s power grid.

But a closer look shows that the regulations are only an accelerant, and only in some cases, to the direction many power companies are already taking. And the rules may, in fact, give many power companies the cover to launch costly new projects with huge returns, and to tighten markets in a way that could drive up prices and profits.

No doubt, some companies stand to lose. The winners and losers are bound to shift. But there are multiple culprits: a lagging economy, the discovery of huge resources of domestic natural gas and an administration predisposed to push through more stringent environmental demands (buoyed by new technologies making cleaner coal plants a possibility)."

Erica Martinson reports for Politico December 6, 2011.

Source: Politico, 12/07/2011