Coal-produced electricity, long cheaper, rising in cost

Electric bills are poised to soar for customers of utilities building coal-fired power plants.

The plants, long-trusted purveyors of low-cost power, no longer seem like such good bets because of soaring construction costs and the surging cost of coal. Moreover, many think Congress will impose penalties on emissions that contribute to global warming.

To be sure, some in the electric industry still view coal-fired plants as the best low-cost option to provide year-round power. But the growing costs, driven by burgeoning global demand, have prompted warnings of “seismic shifts” in the way the industry views the plants.

Read the story here: 

U.S. Environmental Groups Divided on “Clean Coal”

At a Senate press conference held last week to urge national action on climate change policy, 16 major U.S. environmental organizations shared the stage in solidarity. But while it appears the nation’s green groups are united in the fight against global warming, they remain divided on which technologies would best create a carbon-free economy. This division may cause major roadblocks as Congress prepares to debate several climate change policies that could lead to sweeping changes.

Read the story here: 

Concerns make coal future unclear

WASHINGTON – Coal-producing states that supply nearly half of the nation’s electricity are feeling squeezed as efforts to combat global warming outpace technology needed to make the nation’s most abundant fossil fuel burn more cleanly.

In 2007, proposals for 59 coal plants were scrapped in 24 states, either by state regulators concerned about the effects of carbon dioxide emissions or by power companies worried about the future costs of pollution, according to data from the Sierra Club.

Read the entire story here: