NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Obama's War on Coal Harms Americans

August 9, 2013

President Obama's apparent "war on coal" will result in 207 coal plants shuttering their doors over the next decade or so, according to Reuters. Whether due to environmental regulations or cheap natural gas (which the Environmental Protection Agency is also eyeing suspiciously via potential fracking regulations), these coal plants will close their doors, resulting in a loss of over 40,000 megawatts of electricity, says the Washington Examiner.

That's less than 1 percent of all the electricity used by the country in a year, but because multiple plants are closing in the same location, energy prices for people living within their reach will increase. Not to mention the job losses from closing those plants.

  • As 207 plants are slated to close, 138 have already shut down since Obama took office in 2009 and began his anti-coal onslaught.
  • If all 207 of those facilities cease operating, it will leave the nation with 439 coal-fired plants, a loss of 32 percent of the nation's coal plants.
  • Coal currently accounts for about 40 percent of the nation's energy supply, so losing this many coal plants will be devastating.
  • Renewable energy (including wind, solar, geothermal and others) account for only 12 percent of current consumption, and that percentage isn't growing very quickly.

These coal plants will have to be replaced with newer, more expensive forms of energy, like renewables. Some of the plants are being converted into natural gas plants, but building new power supplies will be costly.

Source: Ashe Schow, "'War on Coal': 207 Coal Plants Will Close In the Next Decade," Washington Examiner, August 6, 2013.


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