From the NY Times
A total of 55 plants, including Big Sandy, have closed or have announced plans to shut down, according to a count by the Sierra Club. That will leave 395 coal-burning plants in the United States, compared with 522 in 2010, according to the Sierra Club.A double whammy for KY: electricity increases 8% while the economy of the area takes a heavy hit.In May, the power company withdrew a plan to spent $1 billion to retrofit Big Sandy so that it could continue to operate. But that would have required a 31 percent increase in electricity rates for eastern Kentucky residents.
On Wednesday, A.E.P. announced that it would close both of the coal-burning furnaces at Big Sandy in 2015, but left open the possibility that one of the units would be retrofitted to use natural gas. Area residents, if the Kentucky Public Service Commission approves the plan, would see an 8 percent increase in their electricity rates — to replace Big Sandy’s production with electricity from West Virginia — much less than the earlier plan.
Mr. Adkins said the repercussions in eastern Kentucky will last for decades, adding that local hotels, trucking companies, and even schools, would be adversely affected by the shutdown.So as the US decreases its carbon footprint ... China and India will take up the slack ... and the people in KY will just turn off the lights and turn down the thermostats.Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association, said that there remained hope that the price of natural gas would rise in the coming year, making coal more competitive. He said surging demand in India and China could help replace declining domestic sales.
“We have the most of the fuel — coal — that the rest of world wants the most of,” he said.