Yesterday, the Associated Press published a listing of dozens of coal-fired power plants throughout the U.S. that will be closed because of EPA rules. The list includes plants in nearly every state in the union.
At least 32 are on the chopping block now and another 36 may have to shut down because of new EPA air pollution rules. These plants supply energy for 22 million households.
The fallout will be most acute for the towns where power plant smokestacks long have cast a shadow. Tax revenues and jobs will be lost, and investments in new power plants and pollution controls probably will raise electric bills.
The survey, based on interviews with 55 power plant operators and on the Environmental Protection Agency’s own prediction of power plant retirements, rebuts claims by critics of the regulations and some electric power producers.
They have predicted the EPA rules will kill coal as a power source and force blackouts, basing their argument on estimates from energy analysts, congressional offices, government regulators, unions and interest groups. Many of those studies inflate the number of plants retiring by counting those shutting down for reasons other than the two EPA rules.