"If you are reading this blog, chances are you are either an energy economist, grid geek, or maybe my mother. Regardless, this administration seems intent on trying various coal bailout attempts. Hopefully, you’ve already read up on the high costs and low benefits to such bailouts, how the first attempt failed, and how they’re at it again. My latest research has uncovered that every month, millions of consumers are unwittingly bailing out coal-fired power plants to the tune of over a billion dollars a year."
Honestly, I don't quite understand this article. I've been involved with the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign for maybe three years, and the term "regulated monopoly" seems to be an oxymoron. The "expensive" power plants have scrubbers to filter out the sulfer dioxide. The "cheaper" plants do not. So the monopolies do their best to run the cheaper plants, which are older plants approaching the end of their lifespans. And they will do everything in their power to get around environmental regulations. Major hand-waving as JMG might say toavoid the regulations.
Went to yet another Illinois-EPA hearing last week regarding a local power plant which has been operating without a permit for at least EIGHT YEARS! In no sense does this article take into account the externalites of people sickened by air pollution and waterways threatened by the (mis)management of coal ash ponds. Nor does it take into account the people-hours that state and federal EPA agencies accumulative dealing with the monopolies' corporate lawyers.
The three IL-EPA agents who were taking comments/testimony from local citizens were obviously embarassed to be there. We all started feeling sorry for them, I think, and a number of people went up after the hearing to let them know that we were sympathetic and not holding them personally responsible for this shit.
And the monopolies continue to get away with murder, because they provide union jobs and taxes in struggling communities.