The genius of the free market is that it provides consumers with more for less. That principle is turned on its head in the Obama era, as Americans face the prospect of getting less for more when it comes to powering their homes and workplaces. In a poor economy, that’s bad news for folks who’ve already tightened their belts to the final hole.
Cheers went up last week from the self-proclaimed green lobby, including the Sierra Cluband Greenpeace, as they reached a milestone in their quest to drive up the cost of America’s fossil fuels. On Feb. 29, two utility companies announced the shuttering of nine coal power plants in the East and Midwest. That sent the number of plants slated for deactivation since 2010 beyond the century mark to 106.
GenOn Energy said it would shutter seven coal plants and one oil-fired plant in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois with a total generating capacity of 3,140 megawatts. Midwest Generation followed suit with an advisory that it would close two coal plants serving Chicago.
The shutdowns represent a victory for President Obama, who in a 2008 interview as a candidate signaled his intention to run the coal industry into the ground: “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can, it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s emitted.”
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- Dirty, Ancient Coal Plants In Midwest Being Shuttered (thinkprogress.org)