October 27, 2019
Missed a day. Sorry about that. I was in St. Albans, Vermont (town motto: “Surprisingly far from Thetford”) where I coached the Thetford Academy boys and girls middle school cross-country teams at the Vermont state meet. The weather was, in a word, miserable.
In any event, here’s a teeny bit of good news on the climate change front: Despite candidate Donald Trump’s promise to revive the coal industry, U.S. power plants are expected to consume less coal in 2020 than they have in any year since 1979.
Since 2010, at least 630 coal-fired plants across 43 states — nearly 40 percent of the U.S. coal fleet — have either closed or announced they soon will.
Meanwhile, PacifiCorp, which operates a six-state power system and is one of the country’s largest coal burners, released a study showing that the majority of its 22 coal units are uneconomical. And Xcel Energy, another large coal consumer, recently announced that it intends to be the first major American utility to zero out its carbon emissions by 2050 and, in the meantime, committing to slashing emissions 80 percent across its six-state system by 2030.