Kentucky making moves to limit coal reliance

The New York Times

Despite loud opposition to the EPA's limits on carbon emissions from existing power plants in coal-rich Kentucky, some state officials say the state is already moving toward reducing its reliance on coal and competition from natural gas will keep power prices at bay, The New York Times reports.

Under attack, coal maintains its political muscle

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The coal industry is shedding thousands of jobs and facing the government's most severe crackdown on carbon emissions yet. But king coal still flexes its political muscle in Kentucky and West Virginia, where Republicans and even Democrats try to out-coal one another by cozying up to the industry and slamming President Barack Obama.

In other coal-producing areas such as Ohio and Virginia, Democrats have been able to win even with the industry against them. That's not an option for politicians in the heart of Appalachia.

Many people here still cling to coal as a source of work and cultural pride, so almost everyone running for office seeks the mantle of coal savior, or at least defender.

FERC photo

FERC nominee Bay says grid can handle Obama carbon rule

President Barack Obama's nominee to become the nation's top electricity regulator isn't buying assertions coming from critics of power plant carbon regulations, who contend reliability could be undermined by the 30 percent emissions cut proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Norman Bay, nominated to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said in written answers to questions raised by members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that planning by industry, regulators and grid operators "can help anticipate and address any potential implications for resource adequacy and reliability."

Blast rocks Kosovo power plant; at least 3 dead

OBILIC, Kosovo (AP) — A huge explosion rocked Kosovo's main power plant Friday, killing at least three people and injuring more than a dozen, a government official told The Associated Press Friday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the number of casualties was not final and the official was not authorized to talk to the media before the families of the victims could be notified.

The official said authorities believe the blast at Kosovo A power plant was caused during a botched replacement of hydrogen canisters used for cooling generators. The powerful blast was heard in the nearby capital, Pristina. A black plume of smoke could be seen rising from the coal-fired plant, as ambulances ferried the injured to hospitals.

Office of Sen. Murkowski

Murkowski: Carbon rule will target coal, then gas

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska on Thursday raised fresh concerns about the reliability of electricity generation under President Barack Obama's plan to cut carbon from existing power plants, adding her voice to critics who oppose the effort.

Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said in a floor speech that the plan would not only curb the use of coal but also threaten natural gas.

Energy Future says it’s gotten OK for key loan

The Wall Street Journal

Lawyer Edward Sassower, representing Energy Future Holdings in its bankruptcy proceedings, says the company has cleared the way to get a $4.475 billion loan that will keep its Texas Competitive Electric Holdings unit going, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Competition to acquire Duke energy plants in Midwest includes Dynegy

The Wall Street Journal

Dynegy Inc. only came out of bankruptcy protection two years ago, but the company is looking to acquire 11 power plants Duke Energy is selling in the Midwest, and is competing against some private equity firms in the process, The Wall Street Journal reports.

NJ takes legal action against some 3rd party energy suppliers


Three third party energy suppliers in New Jersey are being sued by the state’s consumer affairs division and the Board of Public Utilities for fraudulently attracting customers with promises of lower utility bills only to slam them with higher ones, KYW reports.

Efficiency key to lower electricity prices, ease capacity strain in Texas: Report


A report from Brattle Group consultants says moves to curb electricity use in Texas – including energy efficiency steps and demand response programs – would keep a lid on power prices and ease pressure to build new capacity, FuelFix reports.

Power plant plan further clouds coal's future

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (AP) — President Barack Obama's ambitious plan to reduce the gases blamed for global warming from the nation's power plants gives many coal-dependent states more lenient restrictions and won't necessarily be the primary reason coal-fired power plants will be retired.

If Kentucky, for example, meets the new limits that the Obama administration proposed Monday, it would be allowed to release more heat-trapping carbon dioxide per unit of power in 2030 than plants in 34 states do now.

That's because the Environmental Protection Agency would only require Kentucky, which relies on coal for about 90 percent of its electricity needs, to improve its carbon dioxide emissions rate by 18 percent over the next 15 years. By 2030, Kentucky would be second only to North Dakota for having the most carbon-intensive power plants in the country.


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