Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Lens: Coal-By-Wire Phase-Out Eyed, But Coal Persists

by March 16th, 2016

From the new site Lens:

Washington Aims to Phase Out Montana Coal-By-Wire, But Coal Will Persist.

Key take-aways:

  • Puget Sound Energy has won support from Washington lawmakers to shift federal tax credits awarded to them for alternative energy projects away from a ratepayer return fund and to another fund the utility says is vital to protect ratepayers. That’d be a special account to pay for tear-down and clean up, in the 2020s probably, of the 1970s vintage Colstrip 1 and 2 coal-powered electricity plants in Montana.

  • PSE’s General Counsel told legislators: “We’re looking at the reality of Colstrip, at the fact that there is a life-end out there, at some point in time….We think it is incumbent upon us…to…minimize the ultimate costs to our customers.”

  • It’s an important acknowledgement of the inevitable declining role of coal in U.S. electricity production. But the appetite of the nation and Asia for U.S. coal will not soon subside, as shown by projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. And labor sees jobs, wages and economic growth accompanying a controversial coal export terminal proposed for Southwest Washington state.

  • Read the whole thing.

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