America could save $78 billion by shutting down coal power plants

Coal can be dangerous to mine, is a finite resource, and has, over humanity's centuries of using it as a power source in one way or another, done unspeakable damage to our environment. The Sun's light, ocean tides and the wind? They're practically an infinite resource, can be turned into a power source relatively safely and, due to the infrastructure required to harness them, could be be responsible for tens of thousands of jobs. The coal industry and coal power stations should die: they've had their time. But the Trump administration and the rich loons that love it have a vested interest in coal: money.

Wait, what? The coal industry is fiscally unsound? Well, shit...

From Carbon Tracker:

Two-fifths of the world’s coal power stations are already running at a loss, finds Carbon Tracker in a unique study released today which challenges the need for new coal generation and shows that it makes economic sense to close plants in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.

**42% of global coal capacity is already unprofitable because of high fuel costs; by 2040 that could reach 72% as existing carbon pricing and air pollution regulations drive up costs while the price of onshore wind and solar power continues to fall; any future regulation would make coal power still more unprofitable.

**It costs more to run 35% of coal power plants than to build new renewable generation; by 2030 building new renewables will be cheaper than continuing to operate 96% of today’s existing and planned coal plants.

**China could save $389 billion by closing plants in line with the Paris Climate Agreement instead of pursuing business as usual plans; the EU could save $89 billion; the US could save $78 billion; and Russia could save $20 billion.

So, how in the hell do coal plants, coal mines and the rest of a once-mighty but always kinda shitty industry stay afloat, despite the fact that they're bleeding cash? In America, it's because the government subsidizes them to keep things humming along. What this really means, of course, is that Americans are having their tax dollars highjacked in order to pay for a bloated, failing industry to continue to fuck up the planet.

Just think about what that $78 billion being poured into the coal industry could be used on instead.
Image: by Greg Goebel from Loveland CO, USA - Yidjp_1bUploaded by PDTillman, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

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